What do Salt Lake Home Buyers Value Most?

Survey Says . . . Storage Space, In-Law Suites

Professional real estate manHome for saleby Joel Carson
President/Principal Broker
Utah Real Estate P.C.

Home buyers take the task of choosing the right house very seriously, as they should. With so many available features today, it can be very difficult to discern what a potential buyer might like most about your Salt Lake home for sale. The National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences can help.

The NAR Buyers’ Profile examines features buyers prefer and the differences in preferences based on factors such as:

  • region
  • demographics
  • household composition

The 2013 results are based on responses from buyers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012.

What do You Want?

Utah home shoppers need to have a solid idea of which features are required or non-negotiable and on which home features they are willing to compromise.

You will likely find the features you value have everything to do with those factors listed above: region, demographics and household composition.

Before you answer the question, “What do you want?” find out what other home buyers had to say according to the latest NAR profile.

Geography and Demography Rule

“Geography and demography strongly influence what buyers value in a home,” an NAR March 2013 press release said. “The typical recently purchased home was 1,860 square feet and was built in 1996.”

Larger homes were typically purchased by the following:

  • repeat buyers
  • buyers of new homes
  • married couples
  • families with children

It is interesting to note first-time buyers and single women tended to buy older homes.

The typical buyer purchased a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Slightly over half of the homes purchased were on a single level.

I was a little surprised by the geography results. Did you know Southerners tend to buy newer homes? According to survey results Southerners want a home less than five years old and in a wooded lot with trees when compared to other regions. Buyers in the South really value central air conditioning – go figure.

How Important is a Garage?

According to the survey, more than three-fourths – 78 percent – of all buyers purchased a home with a garage; however, garages were more popular among new-home buyers, Midwesterners, and suburbanites.

What about a Basement?

“Forty-one percent of homes purchased had a basement, but this feature was more popular among buyers in the Midwest and Northeast,” NAR’s recent press release said.

Looking for Hardwood Floors?

Northeastern buyers value hardwood floors more than people in other regions.

How Big Do You Want Your New Home?

Not surprisingly, Southerners typically bought the largest home at 2,000 square feet. Those in the Northeast followed closely behind with a typical home purchase of 1,850 square feet.

Age Influences Home Feature Requests

It stands to reason that buyers 55 and older treasure the convenience of a single-level home. In fact, 42 percent of those surveyed consider that feature to be very important. On the other hand, only 11 percent of buyers under 35 considered it very important.

Men and Women Don’t Always Agree

Now there’s a surprise: men and women don’t always agree. Single women placed a higher value on single-level homes. But, single men wanted finished basements.

Single men and married couples placed higher importance on new kitchen appliances.

Home Features Important to Shoppers

Central air conditioning rated highest among all 33 home features included in the survey. A whopping 65 percent of buyers considered central air conditioning very important.

Also high on the home buyers’ lists was a walk-in closet in the master bedroom; 39 percent of buyers considered this feature very important.

Many home buyers also placed high value on having a house cable-, satellite TV-, and/or Internet ready. They’re also looking for an en-suite master bathroom.

Show Me the Money

Based on survey results, buyers are willing to spend more money to get waterfront property and more money for a  home less than five years old. Thirty-two percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $5,420 more for a home on the waterfront, and 40 percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $5,020 more for a home that was less than five years old.

Great News, Mom’s Coming to Live with Us!’

Could this be a sign of the times? People are willing to pay the most money for homes including basements and an in-law suite. “Thirty-three percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $3,200 more for a home with a basement, and 20 percent of buyers would be willing to pay a median of $2,920 more for a home with an in-law suite,” according to survey results.

Give Me Some Space

Although 97 percent of recent buyers were satisfied with their home purchase, there are always features buyers would like that they don’t have. Those surveyed said they want larger closets and more storage space. Nearly half of recent buyers surveyed would prefer a larger kitchen, and two out of five would prefer a larger home overall.

What Can we Learn from This?

Most importantly, home sellers can review the NAR 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences to determine who is most likely to purchase their homes. The information contained in the report helps licensed real estate professionals market the best features of your home to a very specific audience.

If you’re ready to sell your Utah condo, Utah townhouse, or Utah single-family home please call me today at 801-673-3333 or send an email to 8016733333@gmob.com. I have a powerful network of home buyers and home sellers. Let me help you reach the right audience in the right way.


Did you notice my mobile number is also my email address? It’s a great way to easily share and remember contact information. Visit www.gmob.com to get your free account today.

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