Agents in the Know: What Do Buyers Want Most in a Home? Best New Home Features of 2020

mother and daughter in laundry room playing in hamper

Walk-in master closets, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, eco-friendly wood flooring and tucked-away functional spaces. These are the best new home features of 2020 and they are the must-haves that are sure to be on your clients’ lists. So, smart agents should start scanning their local inventory with eyes focused on these top requirements.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annual survey, the top new home features for this year are likely to include many, if not all, of the following home-buyer wants and needs: low-emissivity windows, laundry rooms, open floor plans and 9-plus-foot ceilings; they are all in demand, as are smaller homes overall and customizable kitchens for getting the most out of everyday living.

The NAHB survey points to an industry-wide effort to build homes for the entry-level and downsizing buyer, both of which seem willing to sacrifice size but not comfort. While the average size of a new home is now 2,520 square feet, the smallest since 2011, new houses are increasingly being built with high-quality products and services for high-end living.

The best features of newer homes this year include flexible spaces and designer finishes. They include amenities that add style to the inside and outside of houses, and design-driven trends to make multi-family and high-density homes feel more like single-family residences.

Despite all of the market talk about millennials buying lofts and condos in dense urban areas, single-family homes do still reign supreme as the most-purchased type of new property. Most buyers are currently looking for their dream house in the suburbs. They are searching for detached homes with just enough space to enjoy all-season living on their own terms.

Here are the best new home features for 2020, and the products and amenities you should keep an eye out for when viewing properties for your buyers.

Walk-In Master Bedroom Closets

The walk-in master bedroom closet is one of the most sought-after new-home features this year. Ranked in the top five of essential amenities for a new residence, the walk-in master closet offers more space and storage flexibility, with the ability to easily organize clothes, shoes, jewelry, luggage and more in one convenient area. Homes that have walk-in master bedroom closets are generally easier to sell when buyers need to move, a big plus down the road.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Buyers are picky when it comes to their appliance’s colors and features. Stainless steel beats out black and white for refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves and range hoods. While there isn’t a consensus on kitchen cabinet colors among home buyers, stainless steel appliances that go with any type of decor are where it is at among trends for new-home kitchens.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans are not new, but they are very ‘now.” These expansive and airy spaces provide a visual connection between the kitchen, dining area and family room, bringing people together and keeping interiors looking bigger and cleaner. Open floor plans are ideal for entertaining and they offer a casual atmosphere that is perfect for today’s buyer who wants comfort above almost all.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Entertainment today is not confined to inside the home. Outdoor spaces that double as places to relax, dine and socialize are a must among new-home buyers. Your clients will likely desire houses that offer a seamless transition from indoors to out, with areas in both spaces for comfortable and functional design elements like plush sofas and large dining tables.

Hideaway Spaces

Finding privacy to work is essential for buyers with home businesses. Laundry areas that can be out-of-sight when company comes over are ideal. Hideaway spaces to section off desks, unsightly appliances and other parts of the home that the homeowner does not want to be used as the main living area will be must-haves in new houses throughout 2020.

Buyers are also partial to having features like high-tech lighting, large windows, marble countertops and floors, modern architectural elements, spa-like bathrooms, and any feature that gives them the ability to customize a home in their own way.

While it looks like these requirements are probably going to be easy to find in a new home this year, what do you do if your local market doesn’t have any newly built inventory? You search for homes that can provide as much of a blank slate as possible for your clients to create their own creation.

Focus on properties that offer the best solutions for new-home-like features, such as large kitchens that can be remodeled with the latest floor plans and appliance technology. Look for existing houses with vaulted ceilings and expansive yards, and homes that feel airy and bright.

With enough creativity, even if purchasing an older house, your clients can turn a range of spaces into their own private paradises. You can help them tap into small-home potential with just a few design tricks. So, continue to forge ahead no matter the market, meeting challenges with ingenuity that provides client satisfaction every time.

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