New Home Checklist: Desirable Features

Desirable Features

Buying a new home involves balancing a multitude of considerations. It can be challenging to get everything you want in a property. Here are some contemporary features that modern homeowners prioritize more highly than others.

Curb appeal.

Homeowners take pride in a property that looks good. Some highly-sought features to look for in a new home that maximize curb appeal include:

  • Front entrance doors that make a statement.
  • Custom-made garage doors.
  • Accentuating door trim and window shutters.
  • Elegant roofing materials, such as slate or Spanish-style tiles.
  • Clean, eco-friendly, water-efficient landscaping.
  • Outdoor solar-powered devices.

Energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency is an important feature for contemporary homebuyers. Not only do homeowners want to save on utility costs, but they also want to go green and help protect the environment. Some ways to enhance energy efficiency include:

  • Ceiling, floor, and below-grade insulation.
  • An electric heating system for zone heating.
  • Eco-friendly appliances.
  • Large windows for increased natural light flow.
  • Low-e glass in windows and sliding doors to insulate against UV and infrared transmission.
  • Solar panels.

Desirable Features

Hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors are one of the most desirable features in a new home. They inspire elegance and evoke a sense of durability and cleanliness not matched by carpet. They also maintain their value exceptionally well. Fortunately, there are also many innovative faux wood flooring options including wood-look tile, luxury vinyl, and engineered hardwood. These products look very similar to solid hardwood and are easy to maintain.

Open concept kitchens.

Kitchens have undergone quite a transformation in recent years. While the kitchen used to be a separate, utilitarian room for cooking, homeowners now prefer the kitchen to be open, inviting, and versatile. It is now the central hub of the modern home. An open kitchen floor plan extends into another communal space such as the dining room, living room, and/or family room. As a result, one “Great Room” is created.  Some ways the open kitchen concept is achieved include:

  • A centralized island in place of wall-attached counters.
  • Open shelving instead of traditional cabinets for storage.
  • Lighter paint colors that better reflect light, making the area feel the most spacious.
  • A breakfast bar as a partition in the place of a full-spanning wall.

Home offices.

A home office used to be a nice bonus feature in a property. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a designated area to work remotely is now an essential, sought-after element of a new abode. It is estimated that 22% of Americans will be working from home by the year 2025. Even if a potential new home does not have specific office space, it is worth considering other options such as renovating the garage, converting a large walk-in closet, or building a studio or ADU in the backyard.

Functional exterior space.

Another result of living during a pandemic is that homeowners are looking for new ways to utilize their space.  A home’s exterior becomes a necessary escape for fresh air and a change of scenery. Some ways a new home maximizes its exterior space include:

  • Louvered pergolas that allow for all-season usage.
  • Decks and patios.
  • Fire pits.
  • Outdoor kitchens.
  • Bifold patio doors that “bring the outdoors in.”

Desirable FeaturesSpace for home projects.

The world is caught up in a DIY craze. Mobile technology, 3D printing, and doorstep delivery make it possible for people to do anything from their homes.  So, a new home should have enough space for people to be able to work on home projects. Large backyards for gardening, outdoor sheds for woodworking, rooms for digital editing or podcast projects, and a dedicated space for arts and crafts are a few worthwhile ideas. 

Community amenities.

If you are considering buying a condominium, townhouse, or home in a private community, monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fees will be charged. Search for your new home in a community that provides a wide array of amenities. Some highly-sought amenities include:

  • Full-service gyms with a blend of aerobic equipment, machines, and free weights.
  • Well-maintained swimming pools.
  • Recreational courts to play tennis, squash, and handball.
  • An enclosed dog park area.
  • Picnic and barbeque facilities.

Great area schools.

Many times, the greatest allure of a new home is its location. Of course, nearby shopping and entertainment opportunities are important, especially when moving to a brand new area. However quality, high-ranking schools are a significant detail for families with, or planning on, children. With more people working from home, a long commute to school is more inconvenient than ever. As a result, a new home’s proximity to good schools could be the deciding factor. 

In the end, prioritize desirable features.

It can be difficult for homebuyers to find everything they want when purchasing a new home. It is easier to sacrifice in some areas when highly prioritized features are already in place. New homes with desirable features are more likely to command top dollar on the contemporary real estate market. Even so, weigh your options and go with the home that feels right.

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Brian Jeffries, ContributorBrian Jeffries

Brian Jeffries is the Content Director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

Desirable Features

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