You might suspect that upscale home buyers have different requirements than their more modest peers, and if so, you'd be right. A new report from the National Association of Home Builder’s shows some stark contrasts. The report is the result of a study that asked potential buyers to rate 120 different home features, and then divided the results into two groups. The first group was buyers willing to spend $500,000 or more, the second $150,000 or less.

At the top of the list, nearly half of the upscale buyers thought an outdoor kitchen (49%), and exercise room (48%) and a kitchen with a wine cooler (46%) were either desirable or essential.    28% of the more modest buyers want an exercise room, 27% want outdoor kitchens, but only 15% were interested in kitchen with a wine cooler. You can get the entire article as a PDF download here.

Other aspects of the study revealed that 53% of all buyers wanted to buy a brand new home. Buyers on average expected to pay $203,000 for their next home, and wanted a home with an average of 2,226 square feet. 70% would prefer the utility room for washers and dryers are on the first floor. 57% want a single story house, while 31% preferred two story homes.

The most desired feature overall were Energy-Star appliances, windows and other features.  A laundry room, exhaust fans in bathrooms, exterior lighting, a bathroom linen closet, ceiling fans, garage storage, room enough for a table to eat in the kitchen and a walk-in kitchen pantry rounded out the most popular features.

What features do you think are the most important in your home, or in the next home you buy? What features can you live without? These are key questions to ask yourself when you decide it’s time to find a new home. A list of wants/don’t wants makes it easier to screen out homes that won't fit your lifestyle. Of course, there’s much more to the equation, and I can help you put all the pieces together. 

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI,
Keller Williams Realty

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting

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