The top 10 things home buyers want

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What makes a perfect home?

In a recent survey, an open-plan living area with easy access to the outdoors was top of the wish list.

Easy access to covered outdoor entertaining spaces is one of the things most-valued by Aussie and Kiwi homeowners.

The perfect home has a second informal living area set up for watching TV, playing video games and similar activities.

The perfect house would have a scullery, or butler’s pantry. A storage and workspace adjacent to the main kitchen, but hidden from sight. When you’re entertaining, it’s the ideal spot for dirty dishes.

Abundant storage space, both inside the home and out, is an essential element on homebuyers’ wishlists.

Survey respondents rated extra bathrooms in the top 10 features of the perfect house. At a minimum, the perfect house has a family bathroom and a master. An additional powder room near the living areas would be even better.

Whatever size your house, natural light makes a big difference; it’s no surprise this was the third-highest rated characteristic of the ideal home.

It’s not just the inside of the house that counts. Respondents said that the perfect house also has safe off-street parking; easy access to schools, shops and transport; and a flat enclosed backyard

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What makes a house “perfect”? A recent survey by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) has found the top 10 features that would be on a wishlist for potential home buyers, and local advice seems to be many of the same features are important to Kiwis.

Simply put, the survey showed people want a family-friendly home, designed for easy entertaining with ready access to the outdoors, in a safe and convenient neighbourhood. Given the antipodean fondness for a casual lifestyle, it’s no surprise that a large open-plan living area was the most desired feature.

Additionally, the main living area would have immediate access to a covered outdoor entertaining area and, beyond that, a flat and enclosed yard.

Homebuyers rate two separate living areas as a highly desirable asset in a home.

Homebuyers rate two separate living areas as a highly desirable asset in a home.

Many homeowners wanted a second living room, separate from the main open-plan space. More like a “family room” this would be a less-formal spot for the books, television and video games.

Blogger Stefan Gheorghe of explains: “The main living area is the space where we entertain guests. Family rooms are places to relax and chat, listen to music, play games and enjoy all sorts of other activities. In this room, sofas and recliners are must-have items, as are informal family photos.”

Andy Stewart, spokesperson for the real estate industry in Manawatu, agrees. “Buyers are very keen on an open-plan living area. But once you’ve got teenagers in the house, it’s nice to have another, separate lounge. That way, when you’re entertaining, the adults can be in one area and the kids in the other.”

Loads of storage is one of the most sought-after features, whether buying or building a home.

Loads of storage is one of the most sought-after features, whether buying or building a home.

When the kitchen, dining and living areas all blend into one, a pile of dirty dishes is the last thing you want to see. Accordingly, a butler’s pantry or scullery was high on the wish list. These hidden workspaces have been popular for years, and most kitchen designers incorporate them into the plan whenever possible. Designer Joanne Godding of Bespoke Kitchens says, “Sculleries give you a lot of flexibility. People like to have the kitchen on show and the working space behind.”

Along with two living areas, the perfect home has at least two bathrooms. A family bathroom and a master were considered necessities, but an extra seat-and-sink positioned to serve the main living areas was a highly rated feature, said Andy Stewart.

Unsurprisingly, natural light and ample storage are high on the most-wanted list, but when it comes to the perfect home, survey participants thought beyond the interior features – outdoor spaces come into play, as respondents wanted at least one off-street car park and close proximity to schools, shops and transport. Stewart says that in addition to those qualities, Kiwi buyers are placing greater emphasis on a warm and healthy home. “It’s something we’ve noticed in recent years. More and more buyers are looking for features like double-glazed windows, and a good, reliable heat source – whether it’s a heat pump, gas or wood-burning fire.”

 – Stuff

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