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What Home Buyers Want

Most homebuyers prefer newer homes with extra space, according 
to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® (NAR) 2013
Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences. The survey, which 
examined buyers who purchased a home between 2010 and 2012, 
finds that the typical recently-purchased home was built in 1996 and 
had 1,860 square feet. The typical buyer purchased a home with 
three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Repeat buyers, buyers of 
new homes, married couples, and families with children tend to 
purchase larger homes, while first-time buyers and single women 
were more likely to buy older homes.
Nearly two-thirds of buyers said central air conditioning was the 
most important home feature, followed by a master walk-in closet, 
desired by 39 percent of buyers. Some home features are so 
sought-after that buyers were willing to spend more money to have 
them. More than two-thirds of buyers (69 percent) who did not 
purchase a home with central air conditioning said they were willing 
to pay $2,520 more for a home with this feature, and the same 
percentage of buyers said they would be willing to pay $1,840 more 
for a home with new kitchen appliances.
Buyers placed the highest dollar value on waterfront properties and 
homes that were less than five years old. They were willing to spend 
the most money for a basement ($3,200) and an in-law suite 
($2,920), while the highest percentage of buyers were willing to 
spend more for a laundry room (63 percent) and a home office or 
den (44 percent).
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