The Top ‘Must Haves’ for Today’s Home Buyers

SEATTLE – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – If you’re looking to purchase a luxury home, and are content that laying down an investment of a million dollars or more is well within your wheelhouse, then you’ve no doubt drafted a list of “must-have” accoutrements for both the inside and outside of your elegant new domicile.

Just what kind of “stuff” might one find on that list? Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin wanted to know and initiated a survey among roughly 300 of its Premier agents, asking them to identify the specific amenities that luxury buyers say they can’t live without.

The just-released survey included data about both the interior design specifications of high-end properties as well as the outdoor modeling requested by purchasers on their “got to have it” list.

The results were striking. It turns out more than four in five (86 percent) folks probing the real estate market for a sumptuous residence ranked double vanities as absolutely necessary accessories, making those fixtures the most asked-for kitchen and bathroom features among high-end shoppers this year.

Next came kitchen islands and granite or quartz countertops, with 85 percent of luxury buyers asking their agents for either of them, followed closely by walk-in pantries — demanded by 83 percent.

Granite countertops were the only other trend the majority of agents ranked as “very desirable.” Several things that used to be popular, such as sliding barn doors and shiplap (boards cut with a step-shaped joint on either side to create an overlapping effect when installed) seem to have gone by the wayside. Just 8 percent of agents said people eying a pricey domicile ranked either of those features as “very desirable.”

Expanding out to the entire house, 83 percent of agents said open-concept floor plans are desirable to luxury buyers, making them the most wanted interior style among this season’s home purchasers.

Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) of big buck buyers say landscaping is a must-have feature followed by indoor/outdoor living space (58 percent). Still, buyers are less likely to rank outdoor features as must-haves than kitchen or bathroom amenities. Perhaps this is why only 33 percent put “swimming pool” on the roster of necessary inclusions.

Citizens concerned about the state of the climate will be disappointed to learn that more than half of homebuyers tracking residences on the luxe list say meteorological- and energy-friendly features such as solar-powered lights, solar panels and drought-resistant landscaping are not on their priority list. Only a third (31 percent) want energy-efficient appliances, and smart-home technology got a thumbs up from 42 to 44 percent of high-end home seekers.

“Luxury buyers are looking to fall in love with their future home, and they often make emotional decisions because they have the financial means to do so,” said Andrew Rottner, a Redfin Premier Agent in Denver. “What luxury buyers want are all the features of a custom-built home in an established and enviable neighborhood. [They want a] home where, before even touring, the buyer can envision the cooking they’d do in the kitchen or the entertaining they’d do in the indoor/outdoor living space.”

The “what I really, really want” list seems to focus on the kitchen and bathroom.  Redfin agents said 77 percent of those surveyed want high-end appliances, 53 percent would opt for custom cabinets and 47 percent want a separate toilet room, but only 4 percent specified that the home should include a toilet equipped with a bidet.

To help understand what big-money buyers want, it’s probably necessary to find out what they don’t want. The Redfin survey said more than half (54 percent) of those looking to buy costly digs would be unlikely to make an offer on a luxury home if it had an outdated kitchen. That makes an outmoded cooking center the biggest turnoff for buyers, followed by lack of curb appeal (48 percent), outdated bathrooms (44 percent) and popcorn ceilings, 40 percent.

Outdated carpeting, obscure paint colors, linoleum, wallpaper, overly textured walls and a poorly placed laundry room are also home buying no-no’s for people looking to make a purchase totaling a million dollars or more. Add to that list such low-end additions as a pizza oven (2 percent), a shed (17 percent) or a fire pit (21 percent).

A Jacuzzi tub – an item once synonymous with the opulent lifestyle – has pretty much sunk out of sight. Only 6 percent of potential buyers said the venerable hot water bubbling feature was something they’d like to soak in.

One might think people with pockets full of cash would opt for a butler’s pantry, but that type of facility drew the interest of just 18 percent of buyers. A wine fridge didn’t do much better, catching the attention of only 22 percent of would-be buyers.

Redfin Corporation, which provides residential real estate brokerage and mortgage origination services, commissioned the survey among some of its top agents during April and May of this year. The relevant question asked was: “How common is it for luxury buyers to ask for each of the following bathroom/kitchen amenities?” For the purpose of the survey, Redfin included responses that deemed each feature “very common.”

June 24, 2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024

Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report, Copyright 2024.


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