Homebuyers’ Most Wanted

While every prospective homebuyer holds his or her own list of priorities and must-have amenities, a number of features pop up more frequently than others on wish lists. From open-concept floor plans and quality schools to flex spaces and dedicated laundry rooms, these elements stand particularly popular among today’s homebuyers:

1. A Dedicated Laundry Room

While the laundry area is most often confined to the basement, buyers are seeking a more thoughtful and defined laundry space, especially one located close to bedrooms. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 2017 Home Buyer Preferences report, a separate laundry room was the single most-wanted home feature among buyers.

2. Energy Savings

From low-e windows to ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, buyers want energy-efficient features that drive comfort and reduce utility expenditures. All newly built Gallagher & Henry homes carry the ENERGY STAR label, which means each home has been designed, built, and independently tested to use upwards of 30 percent less energy each year.

3. Ample Storage

From mudrooms featuring lockers and cubbies to three-car garages and walk-in closets, buyers are placing a premium on storage spaces, which helps minimize visible clutter and contributes to a more organized home.

4. An Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans characterized by great rooms that connect kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms – and are often anchored by kitchen islands – remain high on homebuyers’ wish lists. Such spaces offer clear sight lines and are especially ideal for entertaining.

5. Flex Space

When purchasing their long-term home, buyers are increasingly prioritizing spaces that can shift and evolve with their families, such as flex spaces that can morph from a children’s play area into a home office or fitness space.

6. A Posh Master Bathroom

Seeking a respite from the daily grind of life, many prospective homebuyers place spa-like master bathrooms high on their wish lists. With walk-in showers, freestanding tubs, and special features like heated floors, buyers can gain the in-home sanctuary they desire.

7. Hardwoods

Nine out of 10 buyers prefer hardwood flooring, according to the NAHB report. In addition to offering a cleaner, richer look than carpeting, hardwood floors are more resistant to allergens, easier to maintain, and more durable.

8. An Illuminated Exterior

The NAHB report listed exterior lighting as the most desired outdoor feature, a likely result given the added curb appeal and safety exterior lighting delivers.

9. Quality Local Schools

Even for homebuyers who might not have children, high-achieving local schools remain a priority given the well-established connection between school performance and home values. Three out of four respondents to a recent Realtor.com survey, in fact, labeled school boundaries important to their home search.

10. Smart Homes

There’s an app for seemingly everything these days. From security systems and appliances to exterior lighting and comfort controls, homeowners’ interest in intuitive, user-friendly tech tools continues accelerating.

11. An Outdoor Oasis

Eager to extend their indoor living space into the Great Outdoors, buyers are looking for outdoor spaces that feature the requisite staples – namely, a deck or patio – alongside other worthy elements like a fire pit, outdoor bar, and various seating zones.

Top 10 Things Your Home Shouldn’t Be Without

Spills, scrapes, and unpleasant scents. Live in a home long enough and you’re sure to encounter your fair share of accidents, mess, and the unexpected.

With the right products on hand, however, you can unlock a quick solution and minimize any damage. These 10 rather accessible products can help you keep an orderly, tidy home ready to respond to whatever mini-disasters life might throw your way.

1: Vinegar

For the grand price of about $4 a gallon, vinegar is a wonder product for the home capable of unclogging and deodorizing drains, cleaning the microwave, revitalizing leather furniture, and much, much more.

2: Lint Roller

From cleaning up little pieces of glass or needles from the Christmas tree to prepping a paint roller for action, a simple lint roller can accomplish many household tasks and is a particularly essential tool for homes with hairy pets.

3: Cordless Vacuum

A slim, lightweight cordless vacuum is your handy partner to tidy up the nooks and crannies of your home or clean up crumbs in quick time.

4: First-aid kit

A handy first-aid kit stocked with gauze, bandages, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, and the like provides the necessary tools to swiftly address any minor emergency.

5: Fire Extinguisher

For all of $15-20, a fire extinguisher can, quite literally, save your home – and the lives in it. A multipurpose A-B-C-rated unit will work on all fires.

6: Multipurpose Cleaning Wipes

Disposable, multipurpose cleaning wipes make it easy to clean and disinfect sinks, counters, and toilets, sanitize common areas, and spot-clean floors.

7: Security Safe

A basic, fireproof security safe, which will run anywhere from $50-150, is the ideal guardian for your treasured, one-of-a-kind items, valuables, and critical documents.

8: Duster Kit

Easy-to-handle dusters like the Swiffer are absolute magnets for the allergens and dust swirling around your home – on window blinds, on top of the fridge, along baseboards and windowsills, on ceiling fan blades, and more.

9: Wet-Dry Vacuum

Colloquially referred to as Shop-Vacs, a wet-dry vacuum is your home’s versatile tool to suck up anything from crumbs, dirt, and debris in the car to snow on your doorstep or spilled milk.

10: Linen Spray

Linen spray – Febreze is perhaps the most popular brand name in the category – is a simple, snazzy way to refresh clothing, curtains, couches, carpets, and other textile surfaces.