As the world continues to rebound and make small leaps amid the pandemic, the housing market redeems itself with its slow-but-steady, strong growth this 2021, most specifically for rents, home prices, and of course, housing sales. Yes, the pandemic has served as an obstacle for the industry, but it has also influenced the way buyers and sellers view the real estate landscape, including the most coveted home features. That said, if you’re a seller looking to capitalize on the 2021 real estate market, you’ll know better than to think twice about skipping out on updating areas in your home in need of serious upgrades.
To help you get started, here is a list of the ten most likely amenities today’s homebuyers are going to prioritize:
Kitchen and Baths
Modernized kitchens and baths are a must, especially for millennials and first-time homebuyers, which make up a large portion of buyers for 2021. These kitchen and bathroom models have become synonymous with some of the highest ROI projects, so spending a few on updating these parts of your home will be well worth it since you wouldn’t need to break the bank to attract first-time homebuyers. One tip to make things less expensive is to search for comparables to make just enough improvements to stand out from the competition.
Any would-be buyer looking to limit utility bills would be partial to a property with energy-efficient features, and appliances and windows are the main focus. Energy-efficient windows can trim heating and cooling costs by 12%. Meanwhile, individual appliances like an Energy Star-certified washing machine ($598 to $1,799 at Home Depot) can save homeowners $45 a year or more on their utility bills. If you don’t already have these features yet, carefully consider your remodeling budget and decide where you can afford to spend.
Outdoor Living Spaces
If you’re a homeowner prepping for a resale, it’s important to avoid neglecting your backyard area. Outdoor spaces have become the most coveted outdoor home feature for today’s homebuyers. If they see a house with a nice backyard, they envision all the possibilities of having that kind of outdoor space. These outdoor areas offer more living space without the cost of large-scale home addition, and homebuyers also consider this a plus.
Garage Storage Space
Potential homebuyers with growing families appreciate lots of storage space. Carving out some space in an area that’s easily accessible and organized could help boost the streamlined living facade of your home.
Unlike your attic or backyard, the garage is generally just a few steps away from the rest of your house, making it easier to transport items such as tools, patio chairs, or boxes to and from other parts of the house. These features make your garage a huge resale asset when you put your home up in the market.
Who DOESN’T want a space to stack all clean laundry until it finally gets put away (yes, moms, we hear you!)? Most homeowners appreciate having a separate room to keep the mess (a.k.a unfolded and unironed clean laundry) out of your living space, and a dedicated laundry area or room will be seen as a huge benefit. If you don’t have an existing one, the basement is usually the easiest and cheapest place to put it, as all the utility lines are already there.
Boost both your home’s curb appeal and functional lighting with exterior lights. A properly lit home is attractive and welcoming to passers-by and visitors, and it’s almost necessary for a homeowner hosting outdoor gatherings and activities. Exterior lighting is also an added safety feature to make the home more secure for its occupants. Not to mention, you can install these at a relatively low cost!
Homebuyers (with families) know how quickly a kitchen can become overcrowded without enough space to store essentials (A.K.A canned goods, condiments, and food storage containers). And if you’re a bulk buyer who avoids frequent trips and in-store crowds, a walk-in pantry will probably be the most coveted kitchen feature for you. A walk-in pantry allows homeowners to store larger quantities of non-perishable food items and other kitchen essentials just a step away from the food prep area, unlike reach-in closet pantries with sliding doors that offer limited space. It also a great way to add more space to a home.
Eat-in kitchens are both attractive and convenient for homebuyers with children as it is a space where they can congregate for morning and evening meals, so everyone can share highlights from their day. If you don’t already have this key feature, removing a non-load-bearing wall to create space for a small table and chairs in your kitchen is relatively inexpensive. However, if the demolition involves plumbing, ductwork, and electrical wiring, the price can quickly escalate. So, if you’re on a tight budget, consider adding a center island with room for bar stools.
Low Maintenance Features
The cost of purchasing a new home is enough to drain a homebuyer’s expendable funds, not to mention the many costs that follow the actual purchase. That said, it’s easy to see why homebuyers are inclined to favor homes that require little to no maintenance, as the idea of saving money on maintenance is a strong selling point and one that a seller needs to consider. If you’re looking to sell your home shortly, it’s best to buy new appliances for your kitchen to add value to your home. These are additions that homebuyers will immediately recognize and appreciate, as it lessens the factors they’ll have to address soon after purchasing the home.
Open Floor Plans
What are homebuyers looking for, if not for more living space? Let’s be real here, the whole idea of moving into a new home is to upgrade living arrangements, right? So it isn’t surprising that most homebuyers prioritize a less-confined house or one that facilitates functionality. Proper renovations add appeal and value to a property. So if you’re a seller, consider your current floor plan and determine whether a wall or two would be worth knocking down before you put your home up in the market. Remember, more appealing floor plans create demand.
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