The Top Features Home Buyers Want

With so many perks, deal breakers and amenities vying for our attention, it’s tricky to pinpoint exactly what new home buyers really want in a property. A recent study by Canadian Home Builders’ Association sets out to identify the key factors that drive new homebuyers to choose a particular home.

The 2017 Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study asked 2,775 new home buyers from six provinces for insights on what they wanted in their next home. The top criteria might come as a surprise to some.

A Single Dwelling

The Canadian dream of a single, detached home lives on. According to the study, 41 per cent of people surveyed said they preferred a single-detached, two-storey house and 24 per cent wanted a single-detached bungalow. The desire for a single-detached home has increased by about 10 per cent over compared to the 2015 study.

 There are many great benefits that come with a single, detached home including lawn space, a private garage and privacy. It’s important, however, to note the downsides, which include increased maintenance costs and a potentially longer commute time.

 Storage Space

On a list of top 10 must-have home features, storage space – specifically a walk-in closet – came out on top. Linen closets and a two-car garage also made the list.

When it comes to purchasing a home, storage space is a definite perk, but it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. Thinking outside the box can help potential home buyers make the most of their space and that includes increasing storage through alternative methods. If you don’t have a walk-in closet, for instance, creating custom closet shelving can help maximize closet space. Decorative carts – like the IKEA RASKOG – can be versatile and store anything from linens to baby supplies. Creative solutions can help you make the most of limited space.

Kitchen Finishes

Home buyers value open-concept layouts and the majority said that they want counters to be topped with quartz instead of granite.

Again, it’s important for homebuyers to see past the current aesthetic and think about opportunities for improvement. A kitchen counter, for instance, is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix and can give your kitchen a fresh new look. Though you may not be ready to deal with a complete fixer-upper, there are often small fixes you can make to improve the overall look and feel of your kitchen.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is another desirable trait for new home buyers. Included among the Top 10 must haves were high-efficiency windows, energy-efficient appliances and certification by a designated program. LED lighting and solar power generation also made the list. When asked why they seek out energy efficiency, the majority – 60 per cent – cited the lower utility costs.

Survey respondents are willing to pay more for a home if it means lower annual utility costs. Beyond major energy-efficient features, small changes – like a smart thermometer – can have a significant impact on utility costs. Research your options and make the changes you need to save on utility costs.

It’s completely natural for new home buyers to have a long list of must-haves, but when it comes to the house hunt, those who have been through it know that the list ultimately tends to get shorter as the hunt gets longer. The good news is that it’s very possible to get the home of your dreams if you’re willing to think about ways to make your own improvements – either big or small. The faster you open yourself up to new possibilities, the more likely you are to find your perfect home.

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