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11 Home Features Today's Buyers Want Most

5 6 1853
21.10.2020

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As the housing market continues to rebound amid the pandemic, would-be sellers should think twice before skipping out on updating areas of their home in need of serious upgrades. With the inventory low and the demand steadily increasing, home buyers are still willing to spend big on homes with quality finishes in sought-after neighborhoods. "After sheltering in place . . . people [are] ready for change in their homes -- or looking for a new one," says Brian Lewis, a real estate broker with New York City-based realty firm Compass. No matter if potential buyers view your property in-person or virtually, you'll want to make sure it's in top condition.

Sellers should know that most remodeling efforts only increase home values by 50% - 80% of the average project's costs, according to Remodeling magazine's 2020 Cost vs. Value report. For example, the average cost of a mid-range bathroom remodel is $21,377. You'd recoup about $13,680 (64%) of that amount during a resale. However, the cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss you'll incur on any home-improvement projects. "Getting stuck in time with your home isn't a smart move and is rarely rewarded financially at sale time," Lewis adds. In fact, it may cause your house to linger on the market longer. As a result, you'll likely have to pay ongoing mortgage, maintenance and staging costs.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, focus on features that most home buyers really want to see. Consumer tastes can vary by region, so consult with your real estate agent to find out which home features are in high demand in your area, advises Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavorial insights for the National Association of Realtors.

Updated for 2020, our slide show reveals those home features most coveted by today's buyers nationwide. Take a look.

We looked at the most recent What Home Buyers Really Want report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to assess the preferences of recent and prospective home buyers. We also used their Features Home Buyers Consider Essential survey, which identifies the most desirable home features among prospective first- and second-time home buyers. Estimated project costs come from HomeWyse.com and reflect the cost of materials and contractor labor, unless noted otherwise.

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More than anything else, homeowners want a room other than the guest bedroom to stack all the clean laundry in until it finally gets put away. A separate laundry room tops the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) list of most-wanted home features by buyers. "Having a separate room [to use for things such as folding or ironing clothes] helps to keep the mess out of your living space . . . Potential buyers will see it as a huge benefit," says Paul Sullivan, founder and president of the Sullivan Company, a Newton, Mass., remodeling and custom-building firm.

If you don't have an existing laundry room and want to add one, the basement is usually the easiest (and cheapest) place to put it, Sullivan advises. The utility lines are already there, and in many cases the basement is unfinished, so you won't have to demolish anything first. Adding a laundry room in the basement can cost as little as $1,000, he says.

However, homeowners who prefer a laundry room or laundry closet (which fits just a washer and dryer) closer to the bedroom can expect installation to cost around $10,000, Sullivan notes. If you're looking to really ramp up your home's wow factor, the cost of a large-scale full laundry room (complete with........

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