There are some things you can always count on homebuyers wanting from a property – from spacious kitchens to three or more bedrooms.
However, when it comes to what potential buyers want in 2023, the socio-economic turmoil of the last few years has influenced many people in adjusting their priorities.
Last year, we looked at the differences between what millennial and Gen Z homebuyers want, but there are some features that buyers across generations have come to expect from newer builds.
So, which practical features and luxuries are homebuyers on the hunt for to help them cut back on costs while staying comfortable?
With most homes located in suburban areas and many families having more than one car to allow everyone to get around, it’s not surprising that having a secure, dedicated parking space can be a deal-breaker for many buyers.
Whether it’s a driveway or a garage, people want somewhere safe to park their cars – and if there’s an EV charging point installed for electric cars, all the better. This feature is now compulsory for new homes built after 15th June 2022.
Garages are more desirable because they double as storage space, which is especially important for families with young children who have lots of sports equipment and outdoor gear. They also have potential for conversions into playrooms, offices, or extra bedrooms if needed.
Open-plan living remains as popular as ever. Nobody wants to feel crowded into a box-like space, not when connected living and dining areas can create a relaxed floor plan that feels bigger and allows natural light to flow through.
Rather than compartmentalising rooms, open-plan living rooms and kitchens allow each part of the space to maintain its own function without segregating them completely. This is much more effective for keeping an eye on the kids or entertaining family and friends.
The property is sure to earn bonus points if the open-plan lounge and diner happens to include a modern kitchen. Features like kitchen islands, breakfast bars, built-in appliances, and hidden storage make the open plan more effective and less cluttered.
Energy efficiency continues to be important to homeowners and buyers – increasingly so, thanks to the financial pressures of rising energy bills. Many people are willing to pay more for an energy efficient home that can save them money in the long term.
Effective insulation and economical central heating systems are must-haves for any bill-conscious buyer, especially with growing environmental awareness about the importance of reducing our carbon emissions wherever possible.
The easier it is to keep the property warm in winter and cool in summer, the more desirable it will be to buyers. The government has raised the bar for new and existing builds with updated energy efficiency regulations, so developers have even more reason to meet these requirements.
There’s always one person who gets stuck with the box room – typically the youngest child, while older kids get the medium-sized room and the parents get the master bedroom. However, some families will no longer settle for this arrangement.
Equal-sized bedrooms – or at least, bedrooms with less of a size difference – are extremely appealing to modern families. Of course, parents will still want the biggest bedroom, especially if it comes with an ensuite bathroom, but smaller second and third bedrooms should be similar in size.
Part of the reasoning behind this is the ease of storage and access for individuals living in the home, as those with smaller rooms obviously have less private living space. Again, properties may get bonus points if the bedrooms include built-in wardrobes.
With working from home and hybrid working becoming more popular after the lockdown days of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s homebuyers are often looking for properties with an extra room that can be used as a home office.
Whether this is an attic, a basement, an extension, or converted shed, having additional practical space that can make daily life easier is especially attractive. It’s not just about work, either, as these spaces can be used for hobbies, too.
While it may seem like a luxury, homebuyers might be willing to pay more for homes with viable space for an office, gym, library, games room, or cinema. It’s much more appealing if the workable space already exists, rather than having to convert a garage, for example.
Another priority that became more important than ever for homebuyers after negative lockdown experiences is the need for outdoor space. Having somewhere private to spend time outdoors, whether relaxing or exercising, has proven crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing.
Therefore, the bigger the back garden, the better. This has always been true to an extent, but now it’s not just big families wanting a large garden for the kids to play in. More often than not, homebuyers are looking for properties with sizeable private outdoor spaces attached.
It doesn’t have to be perfectly landscaped or a huge expanse of grass – features such as patios and decks are also coveted. Anywhere with the potential for a seating area to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight, whether privately or entertaining, is likely to shoot to the top of buyers’ lists.
A good location is a timeless factor that remains essential to prospective homebuyers, but people are starting to become more picky about what they want to have access to near their new home, aside from schools and GPs.
The chance to be part of a thriving community appeals to most of us, and accordingly, many buyers want to live somewhere with a strong local scene. Independent retail is a perk, as are public spaces like parks and sports centres that welcome people of all ages.
With people wanting to work from home more and drive less, reducing their carbon footprint, it’s beneficial for housing developments to be self-sufficient hubs. Walkable cities have become a hot topic recently, promising areas that can provide everything we need within walking distance.
Last but certainly not least, no self-respecting buyer is going to want to purchase a home that doesn’t meet regulatory standards or doesn’t have the paperwork to prove it does. Access to online resources means homebuyers are more savvy than ever.
Not everyone stays up to date with changing regulations, but anyone who does their research on what to ask before buying a new home will know that every new build should have a structural warranty set up before construction started.
Also known as latent defects insurance, this type of policy protects the homeowner against the costs of repairing latent structural defects. These can develop over several months or years due to faulty materials or poor design and workmanship during construction, and can be very expensive to fix – so it’s a good thing the government made it mandatory for new build homes to have this insurance.
Here at Architects Certificate, we provide structural defects insurance for all kinds of buildings, from new build homes to conversions to commercial properties. To find out how our latent defects insurance could help you, please get in touch.
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