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Must Have Home Features for this Year

By Allison Halliday | December 22, 2015

An article in realtor.com points out that “must-have” home features are constantly changing and it has taken a look at home features that are desirable right now, those features that are up-and-coming and features that are definitely going out of fashion.

To do this, realtor.com looked at millions of listings and analyzed the most commonly used phrases for home features dating back five years. This helped them identify 20 features that are most often seen in listings.

Woman warming hands up at fireplace Winter home
Woman warming hands up at fireplace.

Right at the top of the list is a fireplace with a gas fireplace being the most popular in listings, perhaps due to its ease of use and low maintenance. However wood-burning fireplaces are fast increasing in popularity. The second most popular feature is wood flooring, with carpet and tile coming in at three and 11 respectively. This year wood flooring appeared in 15% of listings, a full 2% above carpet. Granite countertops were once regarded as being a luxury but are now thought of as being standard for anybody who cares about their kitchen. The presence of granite has increased to 13% of all listings over the past five years. Stainless steel appliances come in at number five and are mentioned in 9% of all listings which is nearly double compared to 5 years earlier.

Open plan homes are still very popular as knocking down walls helps create feeling of light and spaciousness. In 2014 an open plan design overtook the formal dining room for the very first time and now open floor plans are the fifth most popular feature, represented in 8% of listings.

Another feature once regarded as being a luxury is fast becoming the norm and that is the walk-in closet. Now, 7% of home listings feature a walk-in closet as being a big selling point. The open kitchen makes it onto the list at number ten, way above a chefs kitchen which only rates as being number 16. Nowadays people want a kitchen where they can not only cook easily but can also hang out while preparing food. In fact, as the article points out, five out of the top 20 home features are kitchen related.

Last on the list is the garden tub and although this conjures up an image of a tub in the garden this isn’t actually the case. Instead it refers to a wider and deeper bath tub that generally has steps to get into it but no jets. This feature has been gaining in popularity over the past few years but is still very much a niche.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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