What Homebuyers Want in Their New Home, Pt. 1

by Peter Thomas Ricci

NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences has detailed, with impressive specificity, what homebuyers want in their new homes.


Understanding key real estate trends is important, and what amenities, preferences and features today’s homebuyers are pursuing in new construction properties is useful information – especially now that new construction is coming back!

And few sources are more thorough in their examination of homebuyer trends than the National Association of Realtors’ titanic 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences, a massive study of homebuyer trends that analyzes regional, demographic and compositional factors in why homebuyers purchase the new construction properties that they do.

The 2013 survey sampled homebuyers who purchased their residence between 2010 and 2012, and as we always said, it’s an enormous study – so enormous, in fact, that we’re splitting our coverage of its finding across two posts, to offer you a more thorough examination of its findings.

2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences

Here are the main findings in NAR’s  2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences:

  • Garages continued to be a huge selling point for homebuyers, with 78 percent of all homebuyers purchasing a home with a garage; new homebuyers, Midwesterners and suburbanites were especially loving towards garages.
  • Though 41 percent of homebuyers bought homes with basements, it was a more common feature in the Midwest and Northeast, while Southerners typically bought the largest homes at an average of 2,000 square feet.
  • Age was a very important factor. Among homebuyers 55 and older, 42 percent considered finding a single-level home important, compared to just 11 percent of homebuyers aged 35 and under; interestingly, single men preferred homes with finished basements, while women preferred single-level homes, while single men and married couples preferred homes with new kitchen appliances.
  • Unsurprisingly, central air conditioning was the biggest demand for homebuyers, with 65 percent considering the feature “very important” to their home search; that was followed by a walk-in closet with 39 percent, an en-suite master bathroom and finally, cable/satellite TV/Internet capabilities.
  • Those features did indeed influence what homes were ultimately purchase – of the homebuyers who rated central AC and cable et. al. as very or somewhat important, an incredible 94 percent were true to their word, buying homes with those very featured. Also important was an eat-in kitchen, with 89 percent of homebuyers who valued that feature buying such properties.

But what of other amenities, such as a living room? What about laundry rooms? And finally, how much were homebuyers will to pay for these fancy features? Read part 2 to find out!

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