Nearly all home buyers – 91 percent – want a laundry room included in their home, more than any other home or community feature, according to NAHB’s report What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition). The report is based on a national survey that asks recent and prospective home buyers (people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years) about the features they want in a home and a community.
One question in the survey asks them to rank features using a four-tier scale of essential/must have, desirable, indifferent, and do not want. Figure 1 shows the top ten features with the highest combination of essential/must have (unlikely to buy a home without it) and desirable (would be seriously influenced to buy home if included). Not only does a laundry room top this list, but when ranking features solely by the essential/must have shares, a laundry room tops the list again with 54 percent of home buyers.
After a laundry room, the most wanted feature is ENERGY STAR windows, with 89 percent of home buyers rating it as essential/must have or desirable. It is important to note that two other ENERGY STAR-related features make the top ten list: ENERGY STAR appliances was rated essential/must have or desirable by 86 percent of home buyers and an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home was rated essential/must have or desirable by 81 percent. The fact that these features made the top ten list indicates that energy efficiency is very important to home buyers.
Two other features on the top ten list are outdoor: 87 percent of home buyers want a patio and 85 percent want exterior lighting. Another theme present is the desire for spaces with organizational functionality: 85 percent view garage storage as essential/must have or desirable while 83 percent feel the same way about walk-in pantries. The other most wanted items include a ceiling fan (with an essential/desirable share of 85 percent), hardwood flooring (83 percent), and a double sink in the kitchen (81 percent).