5 Things Buyers Want in New Homes Now

by hookedonhouses on March 12, 2010

Coastal Living Idea House 09 exteriorThere’s an interesting article on MarketWatch touting the must-have features buyers are demanding from new homes now.  An annual survey reveals what is gaining in popularity among home buyers, and what is no longer as important. I thought it would be interesting to take our own little survey to see if you agree–or disagree–with some of their findings. What would be important to you in a new house, and what could you live without?

Cooper Kitchen

1. Large Kitchens with Islands. Kitchens are still the best place to spend your design dollars. They’re one room that buyers aren’t willing to downsize. Paul Cardis, CEO of AVID, says granite countertops are a must for move-up buyers and buyers of custom homes, but for others “they are on the bubble.”


Country Living-Home office

2. Home Offices. People say they’d rather have a study than a formal dining room.



3. First-Floor Master Bedrooms. This used to be most important for people who didn’t have young children living at home. Now it’s becoming more popular across the board.

jane-coslick-designs-screened-porch-fish-camp-cottage 4. Outdoor Living Rooms. The survey shows that even people living in colder climates like Canada are spending more time outdoors and want their homes to accommodate them.


5. Soaker Tubs. Losing popularity in the bathroom: whirlpool tubs. Gaining: oversize showers with seating.

Are there features in a new home that would be more important to you than any of these listed here? What would they be?

The annual survey is conducted by AVID Ratings Co. You can read the article with the rest of their findings at MarketWatch. Photos: Coastal Living’s Idea House at top; kitchen via the MLS; home office Country Living; bedroom by Phoebe Howard; screened porch photo designed by Jane Coslick; bath by Sarah Richardson.

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Stephanie March 12, 2010 at 7:59 am

Very interesting article. I agree with the larger kitchen but a soaker tub in the bathroom is definitely on the low list of priorities for me.
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Sweetest unique gift for your granny, mema, nanny =-.

Becky K March 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

I went against the group on everything….that is just too funny.
So there is still hope for those who are trying to sell older homes…if I ever look for another home.

Becky K.
.-= Becky K´s last blog .. =-.

Kristin March 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

This was fun! An outdoor living room would be on my ‘must have’ list! But the standard and the design on the house would be more important than any of these things actually! Have a nice weekend!!

xo’s Kristin
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Paradise found again =-.

Christine March 12, 2010 at 8:07 am

My washer & dryer are in my basement and I hate it! :( For me, a must-have would be a laundry room close to the bedrooms/bathrooms.
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Seafood is Where It’s At =-.

Pam @ Design Fanatic March 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

Julia, good post, especially when I am getting ready to put my house on the market! As a kitchen designer, I can attest to homebuyers wanting a large island, or any size island, for that matter! Personally, my next house MUST have a first floor master bedroom(I have one currently) because I’m not getting any younger! I am seeing the trend amongst the younger homebuyers (early 30′s) to skip the tub altogether in the master bath in order to fit in a really large shower. I have trouble with that one since I love, love , love a hot bath once in awhile!
.-= Pam @ Design Fanatic´s last blog ..MY TREASURE CHEST =-.

Shannon March 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

I really enjoyed this poll. When we were putting the design of our home together we knew we wanted to have the master on the first floor for the obvious reasons. But since we still have young children at home, we also opted to have another bedroom and full bath on the first floor as well. Right now we will use it as a nursery and later it can become something else. But I realize that probably won’t be appealing to everyone.
.-= Shannon´s last blog ..Got Kids? . . . Pets? . . . Both? =-.

Cyndi March 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

Since I live in an older home and love it, for me most of the items on the list were, “Would be nice, but not necessary”, because I am quite content with my little cottage. However, the one thing that I absolutely MUST have is an outdoor space – I have a huge three-season porch on my home and I LOVE it! I spend a lot of time out there in the Spring, Summer, and Fall and can’t imagine not having a space like that. Also, it’s the only “outside” my cats know!

Oh, and like Christine above, I would absolutely love to have a first floor laundry room!
.-= Cyndi´s last blog ..A Bag For a Cause and a Give Away =-.

Kristi @ Creative Kristi March 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

The idea of a first floor bedroom at ALL freaks me out. Peeping Toms, break-ins are easier…AHHH! I hate that idea (and hate is a strong word lol!!) Apparently people who WANT a first floor bedroom (of any kind- master or other) have never had a break in or feel super secure in their home. I live in a ‘safe’ neighbor hood and a really safe state in general and I’ve always freaked out about first floor bedrooms.
:) that’s my two cents on bedrooms
.-= Kristi @ Creative Kristi´s last blog ..A little time for organizing…. =-.

mama-face March 12, 2010 at 8:42 am

been following for a while, but this is my first comment. :)

we are thinking of building a new home and I found this poll very interesting…I think big tubs are a huge waste, big pain to clean and rarely get used enough to “need”. Love the larger shower idea. As I get older a main master bedroom has become much more of a necessity; stairs aren’t a problem now at all, but we are hoping to build the home we will in after my husband retires. (Even though that is years down the road).

love your blog by the way!
.-= mama-face´s last blog ..waves =-.

Mary March 12, 2010 at 8:42 am

For me, having built in shelving and interesting details such as crown molding, chair railing, an interesting window is high on my list rather than a large house.

Lisa March 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

I agree with Christine…laundry where the clothes are! We’re renovating (renovation blog is sadly behind) and other priorities for us were:

- Smart House–Lutron lighting, Nuvo sound system, music/lights/security/etc from iPhones (we are nerds)
- Livable living areas–house is large, with looming ceilings, so we need to be able to entertain in the same spaces that we watch TV and snuggle with the kiddos
- Outdoor living space–we live in Florida, so we went all out on the pool
- Warmth–I covered marble floors with dark wood. It was a tough decision, but a good one to make a cold house feel like a home.
- Flow!! I put double, French pocket doors in a wall and made a yucky room feel bright and accessible. The next phase will widen another area–I’m willing to lose some things to give some elbow room between the kitchen & dining room. I think the flow there is horrible and has kept us from using it.

After all this, we’re not moving anytime soon, but hopefully all this pain will help other people know what to look for. Or run away from…

Rachel March 12, 2010 at 8:49 am

Our current home does not have a garage, and I had no idea how much I would want one. So, for our next home that is a big priority!
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Smarty Sponsor: Evy’s Gifts =-.

Kim March 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

I would want a new home to be open with lots of light pouring and plenty of storage space.
.-= Kim´s last blog ..My Winter Bedroom……. =-.

bermudaonion (Kathy) March 12, 2010 at 8:51 am

We bought our house for it’s fabulous kitchen, so I totally agree with that one. We want a home office AND a dining room. I really don’t care if our house has a bathtub in it – we’re shower people – but I know it must for resale.

Sara March 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

For a NEW home: all the things listed above plus laundry near the bedrooms.
For an OLDER home: Updated kitchens and baths (within the existing spaces), detailing in moldings and built-ins. Storage – which can be hard in older homes. And – like newer homes – outdoor living space for grilling, dining, playing, etc.

Great feature/poll, Julia!

rachel March 12, 2010 at 8:53 am

interesting survey! i think the kitchen island thing is funny… i have tons of counter & prep space in my kitchen, and i think an island would disrupt the flow of the room!
i like having just one eating area- our dining room is our place for meals, so it gets plenty of use.
the most important thing for me when we bought this house was having space for gatherings. we host groups from our church several times a week (husband is a pastor), so a room with space to circle the chairs is nice. not a huge, formal, vaulted ceiling room- just a nice sized room that helps promote discussion!
oooh- and a mudroom. love having a mudroom!
.-= rachel´s last blog ..ummm… tuesday thoughts =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

Fun survey, Julia!! :) I took it pretending that I may someday get out of this itty bitty place we call home. :s (1970s Colonial with NO storage!)

My “dream home” would have:
-A kitchen with a walk-in pantry
-Mudroom w/ storage space
-Laundry room w/ an area for folding and ironing
-Built-ins all over the place!
-An extra bedroom
-A deck large enough to entertain, overlooking a yard with nice grass ;)
-A fireplace
-Lots of storage closets
-Our own master bath with a big shower, a giant tub, and a vanity area just for me

That’s not too much to ask, is it? ;)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Friday Favorites Feature ::Weekend Bloggy Reading:: =-.

Nichole March 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

Really interesting. Only two out of five were must haves for me.
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..I Didn’t Cheat! =-.

Her Shade Of Green March 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

What an interesting survey!

Vicki March 12, 2010 at 9:13 am

I agree with the large kitchen and island. I would also add a walk in closet.

the 7msn ranch March 12, 2010 at 9:32 am

People pooh-poohed me five years ago when I had this house built and put a big shower in the master bath – no tub. Vindication is so sweet. I agreed with all of the must-have features.
.-= the 7msn ranch´s last blog ..The Furminator =-.

Jen March 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

When we were looking for new houses we noticed that most newer construction homes in our area had master suites on the main level. The other bedrooms were either upstairs or in the basement. While this may be great when my kids are older having my baby and toddler on a separate level is not what I wanted.

Kat in Texas March 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

Large kitchen with an island is a must have! To me, the kitchen is the hub of the household. It’s like a magnet–everyone is drawn there.
I have a large jacuzzi tub which was installed by the previous owners when they remodeled the master bath. Although I’m happy it was remodeled, I wouldn’t have chosen a large tub. I’m a shower girl, and I think I’ve probably taken a bath in it maybe half a dozen times in four years. Waste of space. I’d rather have a large shower.
Even though my laundry room isn’t near the bedrooms, at least I now have one! In our previous home, the washer and dryer were in the garage. Needless to say, doing laundry during our hot Texas summers was grueling!

Jamie D. March 12, 2010 at 9:39 am

I agree with most of the things on the list that buyers want these days. However, what I crave the MOST in new houses is character. I’m so tired of the cookie cutter homes that builders are slapping up everywhere, with room after room of four plain walls with little to no trim work or any detail to make it interesting. I wish they could build small homes with character, like they used to. It seems you can only get character these days if you build a McMansion.

Sarah @ Dream In Domestic March 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

I think they all would be nice, but not necessary. I guess I have never owned a home before, so I am thinking of this in terms of my first home. I try to be realistic and know that my first house will probably be very limited and I will need to do a lot of work to it. I would love to make a house have all of these, but I doubt my first house will have all of these, or even most.

Got me thinking, though!
.-= Sarah @ Dream In Domestic´s last blog ..Dreaming Of: A Kitchen of Bountiful Appliances & Accessories =-.

Sarah March 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

A fireplace! And laundry on the second floor with the bedrooms would be great, but not a necessity.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..let’s pretend =-.

Kristin@Bouelvard Interior Design March 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

I absolutely agree 100 percent with the article. It reflects my desires exactly, especially the first floor master. I don’t need a huge kitchen but one that has an island and a good space plan are critical. I’m not a McMansion girl. Can’t afford to decorate those suckers properly and they just aren’t Green. When my husband finally retires from the military I may someday someday live in a house of my design and desire. A girl can dream…. Great post!

Janet @ I Drink at Restaurants March 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

Aaah! How to answer??? I would never trade a dining room for a home office- I must have both or all bets are off!

Our biggest frustration is trying to find a dining room in a newer home that people can actually use. Most are 10′ x 12′, maybe 12′ x 14′ if we’re lucky. To get a more generously-sized dining room, the whole house has to get larger, it seems.

For some reason, when working at a kitchen island, I find I am inevitably blocking the path of anyone else working in the kitchen with me.

Although ity’s not mentioned on this list, I also loathe breakfast bars. When I want to eat at a bar, I eat in a bar. I much prefer sitting across from a person/people so we are able to make eye contact while we’re eating and talking.

Gee, can you tell meals are social events in our home?
.-= Janet @ I Drink at Restaurants´s last blog ..And Finally- He Barks! =-.

Pat March 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

I was middle of the road on the survey, except for the outdoor room..that would be great!
My wants would be:
1st floor master bedroom
large kitcken pantry
large great room/dining area
1st floor laundry!
most of all….a great view!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Say Cheese! =-.

Bailey March 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

Innnteresting. Very very interesting. Especially because my Fiance and I are in the middle of redoing our first home and had to make choices like study or dining room…A few were a little suspect to me. First floor master? No way. But I think that has to do with living in Chicago and having limited space on the lots and building upwards. And light issues.
.-= Bailey´s last blog ..Thank Buddha, It’s Spring: I Suwannee =-.

Sheila March 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

We are about 6 months from building our dream home (or a smaller version of it, once we actually realize how much everything is going to cost — aack) and I have a long list of “necessary” items and designs. So, this dream home must have: 3-car garage, Nantucket/shingle style, transom windows, white (fresh white!) woodwork, espresso-colored counters (silestone or Corian? No granite!), oil-rubbed bronze hardware, dark wood floors, 4 bedrooms, office, French doors, double-hung windows, limestone accents, sauna (no soaker tub), laundry next to master on main floor, jack-n-jill bathroom for the kiddos, stained concrete basement floor, killer wet bar, yada yada. I could keep going but my list is loooooong. I’ll post pics when this bad boy gets built — just don’t hold your breath! Happy Friday!
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..Wash vs. Warsh =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints March 12, 2010 at 10:06 am

I love it when you poll us:) It’s fun giving my two-cents worth. I wish our kitchen island had room for seating. I would love to have my girls plop down there and talk to me while I’m cooking. The next house will hopefully accomodate my wishes. Have a great weekend Julia.
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Prescription for Contentment =-.

beth March 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

My home has gotta have character! That’s my first priority. We are living in a new home that had ZERO character when we moved in, and many of the things on that list are not all that important to me. I don’t want the granite countertops, or the island. I love to take a nice hot bath once in a while, and having a claw foot tub is on the list of must haves for me. We have five children, so having another bedroom is much more important to me than a home office. If we had a two story home, my master bedroom would have to be on the top floor, with the kids bedrooms downstairs, for peace and quiet. The only thing on the list that I really have to have is a nice outdoor space. We spend a lot of time outside, and having a comfortable place to relax is VERY important!
.-= beth´s last blog ..Some pics of the new wood floor =-.

Laurie March 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

I like pantries, a nice walk-in closet, a southern or western exposure with big windows and no projecting garage door as the focal point!

kate March 12, 2010 at 10:22 am

This list seems really geared towards people buying suburban homes to retire in. Is MarketWatch a publish by AARP?

Sunshine March 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

As a mother of three a large kitchen with an island is a must! We spend 75 percent of the day in the kitchen making meals and cleaning them up! I also live for the outdoors, so the outdoor room is a must for me too! The others would definetly be nice to have, but not a neccessity for me. I love the picture of the house by the way!
.-= Sunshine´s last blog ..Home Staging =-.

Brooke Harkness March 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

Now that I have 4 kids, my priorities have changed. The number one thing for me is a mudroom with some sort of lockers for my kids to store backpacks, coats, boots, sports equipment, ballet gear, etc. Right now, everyone drops it in the kitchen.

A large kitchen with a big island where we can actually have barstools and eat at is also a priority–we are casual and I would even give up a kitchen table area to have a large enough island for us all to sit at.

A laundry room upstairs would be awesome. We also need a three car garage. Other than that–the rest is gravy.
.-= Brooke Harkness´s last blog ..My Own Max and Ruby =-.

Tricia Rose March 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

This poll was fascinating – I’m not American and lots of houses here seem waaaay to big to me already (and I’m not in Texas!). I think a lot of my choices are culturally biased – absolutely love outdoor living space (what I quaintly call a garden), have a hysterical loathing of islands, especially granite, neeeeed the option of a deep tub -but would also love to have the option of a vast American basement and a garage. And an Australian laundry – they are the best.
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..LOL =-.

grissell March 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

Great post! Definitely when we get our new house in a few years… I DEF want a large kitchen with 4 kids… I so need it! :)
.-= grissell´s last blog ..Random thoughts, I have very LOW number of entries of some of giveaways.. ENTER odds are good… :) =-.

Lili March 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

(No one take this personally) I have to say that it actually makes me a little sad to see that people would rather have a home office than a formal dining room! I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate the use of a home office, but I would much rather have a dining room that would accommodate a large table to see all of my familys smiling faces. I think that it just goes to show what the times are like, that we are beginning to put work before family and fellowship. That just makes me sad.

Melissa March 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

We are now building a new house, and these were the things that made us choose our floor plan and community:
1. master bedroom on second floor, with the kids (I _hate_ making the treks upstairs in the middle of the night to feed the baby!)
2. great school district
3. large lot with lots of grass and space between houses (no looking out the window directly at a brick wall)
4. walk-in pantry
5. a study – with doors – where I can store all of my craft supplies
6. a play room (in our case it’s a loft, but at least it’s a dedicated space)
7. laundry upstairs near all of the bedrooms
8. a tub in the master bedroom _and_ a shower with a bench

I do wish we had a mudroom with storage, a large deck, and a three car garage. I’m sure I’ll discover other things, too, but only time will tell. Also, I would have to agree with Laurie about the garage being the focal point. That was a big one for my husband. He says he hates when a house says, “Hello! Welcome to our garage!”
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..Kitchen Table Redo? =-.

Lori-Anne March 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

Features I used to think were superfluous until I moved into a house that boasts them… and now I consider them must-haves: kitchen island, granite countertops, (gas) fireplace, hardwood flooring and three (aka 2.5) bathrooms.
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..Lemon Tea Cup Chiffon =-.

Mike March 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

Anyone besides me who just loves loves loves loves loves the front elevation of the house that opens this post? :-)

I have to say that large kitchen with an island is probably a “must have” (and that’s how I voted), but as someone who takes their cooking seriously, I would prioritize a good layout over a larger kitchen (if push came to shove). Just my $.02!

Amber March 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

It seems like this article is all about “big big big!” Yeah a lot of space is nice, but dear God who wants to clean all that extra square footage?!

For us, we’d love a large living room where we can sprawl out.
A big kitchen would be nice, but as long as we can both get around in it and open all the cabinet/appliance doors at once, then that’s fine.
A matser suite is definitely a must-have on our list, and I do have to admit that the bathroom needs to be able to accomodate a claw-foot tub.
A nice sized wrap-around porch and a seperate guest house would be the only other things that would help seal our home-buying deal.
.-= Amber´s last blog ..big fat diy FAIL! =-.

Bonnie Morscher March 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

My old house has coved ceilings, tons of woodwork, built-in china cabinet and linen cupboard, built-in floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard in the kitchen and a beautiful arch between the living and dining rooms. I use my dining room 4 to 5 times a week, including a family dinner every Sunday night. I own a bungalow-style duplex with my daughter and I live upstairs. My second bedroom is a guest room/home office. Downstairs, my daughter has much of the same features and also a large living room with crown molding and two French doors leading to a sunroom. We have a small porch with a table and two chairs and I have a large balcony upstairs, too. There are 55 windows in our house, so we get lots of light. When I renovated my bathroom upstairs, I removed the cast iron tub and installed a large shower. My daughter still has a shower over tub downstairs. I love my house (as if you couldn’t tell!) and I doubt that I would ever want to build a new house, but if I could do anything I wanted to this lovely old home, I would add a fireplace upstairs and down, and a screened porch out back and finish the basement to be a great big recreation/exercise/family room with spa like bathroom and first-rate laundry area.

Terry March 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

I’d most like to have a built-in maid ;-).

Pat Smith at Pat's Addition March 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

I’m really lucky to have a big kitchen with island, an office, a 1st floor master, a big deck, a whirlpool tub (the kids use it most). My musts were our a great mud/laundry, garage, basement and attic storage, a garden and charm. Luck we bought this house!
.-= Pat Smith at Pat’s Addition´s last blog ..Storm Damage =-.

Kathy :) March 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

I was with everyone except the tub !!! I don’t have one but its on the list, man is my list getting LONG…..

Fun post…..

Have a great week-end Julia, we are expecting a HUGE rain/wind storm…..YIKES (wind scares me I can deal with everything else but wind)

All the best,
xo Kathy :)

Hip Hip Gin Gin March 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I’m shocked people like first floor bedrooms. We have one and I hate it, it’s the first thing I would change if I could. I guess it is good for when we try to sell, that gives me hope!
.-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Becky Kelso =-.

Elaine's Semi-Homemade Life March 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Great article and good to know – our house went on the market this week and we have all 5 must haves! Plan to include them all in the new house, too… :) I think our outdoor living space will be one feature that sets us apart from our competition on the market.
.-= Elaine’s Semi-Homemade Life´s last blog ..It’s really happening! =-.

Robin March 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

The older I get, the more important it is to have a walk-out backyard…as opposed to a deck with stairs! I also “must have” a decent-sized laundry room…I spend so much time in there, you know!!!
.-= Robin´s last blog ..Sharing the Nest…Tips for Hosting Foreign House Guests =-.

Kris March 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I’m also surprised laundry room isn’t on that list. Although, in my experience every new home my husband and I looked at had a laundry room either on the main floor or the 2nd floor, so maybe it’s just a given?

Looking at older homes we had trouble finding one that had everything we wanted, all the new models had it. So things definitely changed.

A large kitchen island was very important to us, and we remodeled the kitchen and converted the sun room to be part of the kitchen so we could have a large island (oh..and we went with granite too..we just had to wait till what we wanted went on sale so we could afford it. haha!). We also have a home office, we have a ranch so the master is on the main floor however we didn’t even consider any 2 stories where this wasn’t the case.
.-= Kris´s last blog ..Friday Smile – The NEW master bathroom =-.

Beckie March 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Love the house pictured on top. We built our house 22 yrs ago. We had a list of musts. My hubby is a model railroader, so there is a basement for him. It still doesn’t have a running layout, but work area for him as well as an office. I am a sewing professional & fanatic. I had to have a sewing studio. As we planned our home, we knew that our aging parents would have easier time with a guest room on the first floor. While it isn’t a master suite, there is a full bath close by. I was grateful for that room when I had knee replacement & really wanted avoid the stairs for a while. We are in the planning stage of adding a sunroom & enlarging the kitchen. I would love to knock out the wall between the dining room & the kitchen for a larger eating space. A large island would be possible with that reconfigure.
With my arthritis, I do wish we had a whirlpool tub, but not sure I could get out of it in my present state! (LOL)
.-= Beckie´s last blog ..Inherited From my Grandmother =-.

rue March 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Well, I guess a new house isn’t for me, but you already knew that ;)

I don’t care about any of it, except the outdoor living area. I love ours!

The large kitchen with a huge island… had one and it was pretty, but a pain to cook in. I love my small kitchen better because it’s much easier to get to everything quickly.

No dining room?? Well, I like to have options of where to eat and have a nice holiday table, but hardly anyone cooks anymore, so why would they need a nice room to enjoy it? LOL As far as an office, I’d rather have my desk where it is, in the family room, so I’m not closed off from everyone, like I was in the last house.

Soaker tub?… We had one in the last house and we never used it, because it took forever to fill and even with a separate water heater for it, it got cold quick. I think it’s a waste of money and a ‘mood’ killer.

As far as the bedroom downstairs…. I had one two houses ago and now we’re upstairs. I haven’t noticed any difference, so I don’t get why it’s a priority unless you’re too old to walk upstairs, but then why would you buy a two story house? LOL

All I really need in a house is… what I already have, but if I were forced to live in a new house, I would want ‘character’. If it doesn’t have that, nothing else matters ;)

.-= rue´s last blog ..The snow is gone now… =-.

Kris March 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I meant to put this in my other comment and forgot, I think it’s interesting that so many commented regarding a larger shower. Husband and I just finished a master bathroom remodel (no really..the glass for the shower was just installed yesterday! lol!) and we re-did the entire bathroom mainly because we wanted a larger shower and had the room for it. We still have a tub, we kept the original, but man oh man, that large shower is going to be so freaking nice. I think there’s a trend towards having a larger shower in the master bathroom too..but I think right now it’s something that isn’t seen as must-have, more of a “wish” and “if we had the money” kind of thing.

I have pictures on my blog if anybody is interested, it should link it below.
.-= Kris´s last blog ..Friday Smile – The NEW master bathroom =-.

Brandi March 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

My must haves:
1. A laundry room (mine is in the garage, ick)
2. Bedrooms in the back of the home if it’s a single story. We live in a home built in the 70′s and all of the bedrooms are in the back of the home. I hate how the newer homes will have one or both of the bedrooms facing the street. Since my kids would be in them it just makes me uncomfortable. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine. :)
3. Powder room for guests. (again, older home here)

I could totally skip having a formal dining room as long as the eat-in area could accommodate our table with both extensions in. Our current home has a counter-height bar that seats 6 so we don’t really need a huge dining space. Plus everybody would rather eat in the same area when we host.

Camila March 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Oh great post. Loved reading about that’s most wanted.

I would love an outdoor living area. That would be on the top of my list.

Don’t really love the idea of bedrooms on the first floor, but would love a laundry room on my second floor!

Lauren March 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I think the biggest thing I will ever look for in house shopping is what kind of land it’s sitting on. Growing up with a huge yard has me spoiled, and I can’t even imagine only have one little square for my children to play with. And rather than a study, I’d much rather have an open library room. My books spilleth over!
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Duped =-.

anna see March 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Loved this! My home is lacking almost all of these areas. I do love having an office, though. A girl can dream about the other things, right?
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Unhappy Friday =-.

Sherry March 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I would love to see the inside of the house in the top photo, it’s so pretty!

My must haves:
Downstairs master suite, no soaking tub necessary; spacious, open kitchen – granite I can live without; no dining room, we’ll eat & entertain outdoors; a wiring closet for hiding all the unattractive internet wires, modems and doohickeys.

hookedonhouses March 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I wrote a post about the house at the top of the post on my old blog. You can see it here:



Lauryn March 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I’m house hunting right now and I must have a weird combination of wishes because I’ve yet to find anything even close to what I want. Big kitchen, formal dining room, parlor/library, sun room/screened patio/etc, laundry room, and good sized bathrooms. Almost all the places I’ve looked at would need the kitchen and bathrooms completely ripped out and replaced. Even the new homes the kitchens are much too small for my taste. Why do they put in eat-in kitchens with a formal dining room. That seems like such a waste of space, I’d rather have more kitchen. Although I’d be willing to go through the remodels for an old home, newer homes just don’t have the character historic homes do. They all look like Stepford houses!
.-= Lauryn´s last blog ..Little Bit of Nature =-.

Christina March 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

We are praying and hoping and praying and hoping some more that we will get to move soon, and we have some very specific wants…some of which probably won’t happen, especially in our price-range, but anyway. Ideally we want a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a large kitchen, a semi-large laundry/mud room, a bottom floor master suite, and most importantly a large 2nd living room/den where I can have a play/craft/homeschool room for me and the kids. Plus lots of character, no major issues, and a large lot. Now is that too much to ask? :)
.-= Christina´s last blog ..Making Progress =-.

Struggler March 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Fascinating, and such an insight into how we now live compared with the past. It all really depends on money and space, doesn’t it… when I lived in London, even a dishwasher would have been a luxury, and a second bathroom or even a half bath would have elevated me to instant bliss.
Nowadays, if I was building a brand new home without huge space constraints, I would ask for his and hers bathrooms ensuite to the master bedroom. There are just some things that should not be shared!
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Where Do You Do Your Ironing? =-.

Ruth March 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

One thing that is a must for me since I am single and getting older is an air condition unit I can walk into to change the air filter. I didn’t think about this when I built my house. When I found out I had to go up the pull down staircase every three months to change the air filter I knew I had messed up! On one occasion I had the filter in my hand on the way down and missed the third step from the bootm and broke my foot. I will never overlook this item again!!

Sandy March 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

My dream house would have a very large, walk-in closet on every floor (additional to any bedroom closet). A place to store linens, suitcases, vacuum cleaners, coats, hats, and boots. And a large laundry room separate from the mud room with a door to close it off from view.

Jeannine520 March 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm

My most important features are large lots with houses set back far from the curb, spacious rooms, 10 ft ceilings, no double height ceilings – that’s a deal breaker, a traditional floorplan with a proper foyer, wide staircase, all bedrooms must be upstairs, hardwood floors – not laminate, the front elevation has to look good too, no houses with big garages and driveways right out there in front. A formal dining room is an absolute must.

Kim March 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm

When I think of my dream home, I think of an open floor plan, curved staircase, two bedrooms plus the master on the first level, two bedrooms upstairs, mudroom, big pantry, good sized laundry room, plenty of bathrooms, bathroom by the garage so people aren’t trampling through the house, a good sized backyard, three car garage, I agree with the person above, spacious rooms, kitchen opened to the great room, living room, and more.

Scribbler March 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Interesting stuff! I am in line with most of it. Also, I agree with the commenter about his and hers baths. My husband and I think that is a key secret to a long and happy marriage.


Nancy2711 March 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I am so on love with this site! Thank You!
One thing that is a must have is a first floor master bedroom and full bath. My husband and I passed on purchasing a fabulous home because it did not have these. A broken leg or sprained ankle, many different kinds of surgery (that even us young folk may need) require a period where stairs are to be avoided and other things that may only be a inconvienence for a short time

Nancy2711 March 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Whoops, sorry about that..
to continue, that short time may be very difficult if you need to go up and down stairs to shower etc.
Also, we raised 3 boys, love them dearly but having their bedrooms upstairs and ours on main was great, they could tear around, stay up late, you name it and it didn’t interfer with our peace, and umm… “privacy”.

houses to let March 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Wow! The pictures are awesome and looking like a complete home. As a new trend mostly people likes to have all the facilities in their home including gym also. According to me this 5 things are perfect that anybody wants in their home.
.-= houses to let´s last blog ..Furnished House To Let =-.

kathy bogdziewicz March 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I am a realtor that works with a number of first time homebuyers….interesting how most do not care to have a home-office….they are all very technical and use their phones/laptops for everything with no need for a desk! Most important to them is a place for a flat screen!

Etheljr March 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Love your blog, you do a great job. This probably goes with the big kitchen, but I’m determined my next house will have a large walk-in pantry. I saw one recently at an open house that has a pass-through small door into the pantry from the garage, and I’m sold on that idea!

E. George March 13, 2010 at 5:14 am

Hi Julia love your ideas – well our home is a company built home its almost 25 years old – the kitchen is not a bad size would have been nice to have a walk in pantry – the bathroom is small but ok with water restrictions for the last few years you would feel guilty about having a soak in a big tub (not a good idea) I love my garden it has lots of roses and frangipani all in flower for now so I better not ask for anything more the truth is we can’t afford to up grade anything at the moment my poky bathroom cost $25000 for a simple reno no gold taps or anything like that but I must say the pictures are very tempting thanks Julia what would we do without you? Regards Esther from Sydney. ps I’m still looking for a genie in a bottle HAH.

Annie@A View on Design March 13, 2010 at 5:47 am

must have! – pretty rooms like those shown in your post!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..The USA has it all… =-.

Katie March 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

Fun to look at the voting results! I think I voted “low on list” or ” not necessary” on most…because if I was in the market to buy a home, I’d just rather people leave things alone because I’m probably going to want to redo everything anyway. ;o) Please don’t bother putting in the granite countertops….I’d want marble and wood, and forget the new carpet…I’d want to rip it out. Don’t even think about taking out the original bathroom tiles and putting in some brown/stone tile…. But that’s just me. And thank heavens I’m not looking for a new home!
.-= Katie´s last blog ..Busy Day =-.

jodi from new jersey March 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

I have a theory that you know the second you walk in if a house is yours or not. It’s a sixth sense. I can see past the smallish kitchen, lack of island,etc. if the front garden is busting with rose bushes. It will speak to me. Also, the good thing about getting older (I’m 48) is I appreciate everything about my house. The main thing is a feeling of home and refuge, and my children’s faces around the table. Everything else will fall into place!

Erin @ House Affairs March 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

We have all but the soaker tub (whirlpool, but do have seating in the shower). It’s for sale! Anybody want to buy it??? ;-)
.-= Erin @ House Affairs´s last blog ..Keeping Room Take Two =-.

Sue March 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

.-= Sue´s last blog ..FLEA MARKET FRIDAY! =-.

liz March 13, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Closets, closets and more closets – the bigger the better!!!!!!

Rhianna March 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Walk-in closets in each bedroom and large hall closets and a large pantry
.-= Rhianna´s last blog ..They say it’s your birthday . . . . =-.

Beck March 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

A”must have” for me would be coil type heated floors.

Beck March 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

One bit of advise for new homebuyers….seriously, location, location, location. Hindsight is 20/20……but to me, that is so very important. Especially new housing additions where you think it is so nice and quiet….in 10 years, you might have a freeway over your head or a cell tower in your back yard……. I bought my 1930 home in a well established neighborhood, pre-cookie cutter days. No fear of new major intersections or zoning issues. Next home, if any…..will be wayyyy out in the country!

Jen @ After The Alter March 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm

wow! wouldn’t I love all those things! I guess they are talking “new homes” but in Long Island it seems all you get are very old homes..lol so what are my must haves?
1: 2 floors
2: central air (amazingly enough way too many homes don’t have this)
3: 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 baths (forget what type of tub I just want my own bathroom!)

small pickings here! lol
.-= Jen @ After The Alter´s last blog ..Random Thoughts: Bag Your Own Groceries! =-.

marta April 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

hello hello! i am new to your blog and am excited to have found it! i’d love your tips for a first time home owner, we are new to the area and have a really great realtor. however i don’t want to miss anything when i’m looking through new homes. we’re on a bit of a budget, but what are the red flags?! what are the musts?! for me, all i want is a fenced in backyard for my little boy.. any other fabulous things i should look for? and what is the best way to ‘get to know’ the neighborhood!?! any advice is appreciated. xo.
.-= marta´s last blog ..snapshots on skis =-.

michelle June 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

didn’t get to vote but a dinning room is a *must have* ideally I’d like both but a dinning room is great!(I hate eating in a small kitchen It just drives me nuts,and even if it was big,still need one,because for having guests over there all in the way that way) I’d like a large kitchen w/large pantry,at least a half bath on the first floor,first floor master bedroom ,I must have a tub! and my hubby must have a shower! Walk in closets! one for him and her (because we both have a ton of clothes!) First floor laundry,would love a sunroom also! Lol (if I could afford this it would be great!)

adult communities long island August 10, 2011 at 4:52 am

Most of the time, a buyer wants a house with a neutral color palette. Neutral colors help you envision unique decorating ideas.

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