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What Features Do Home Buyers Want?

April 29, 2013
From Loan Officer Joy James

From Loan Officer Joy James

More square footage, basements, in-law suites, walk-in closets. Those are just some of the amenities that recent respondents to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences said they wanted when buying a new home.


This survey looks at homes that people have bought as well as the amenities they would like or would pay extra to have in their home. This year’s survey, which uses data from purchases between 2010-2012, highlights a number of preferences.



  • ·        Slightly more than half of new homes purchased are single story.
  • ·        The typical home was built in 1996 and is 1,850 square feet.
  • ·        The average purchase was of a three bedroom, two-bath property.
  • ·        78% of homes purchased had a garage and 41% had a basement.  
  • ·        Buyers confirmed that they would be willing to pay more for homes with a basement and mother-in-law suite.


In a list of 33 features that they may or may not have in their homes, the most important to these homeowners were:

  • ·        Central air conditioning  – 65% said it was important.
  • ·        Walk in closet – Important to 39% of those surveyed.
  • ·        Internet/cable ready – 94% did indeed buy a home with this set-up.


Geographic and regional differences also affects what features a buyer wants in a new home:

  • In the south, buyers tend to buy the biggest homes when compared to other regions – 2,000 square feet on average. They also value homes that are less than five years old, have central air, of course, and sit on wooded lots.
  • Midwesterners are more likely to look for homes with garages and basements.
  • Northeasterners are more likely to want a home with hardwood floors and formal dining rooms.

For more information on what future homeowners are looking for, please visit the National Associations of REALTORS® website for the full Profile of  Buyer’s Home Feature Preferences report.

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