As realtors, we are first-hand witnesses to the changing tides of desirable home design elements for home buyers. Seven years ago, when I became a realtor: granite and poured concrete were all the rage for kitchen counters, everyone seemed to be looking for an open concept living space, flat yards bested yards with any slope, and stainless appliances were a must-have. It's interesting to see preferences for certain types of layouts, paint colors, building materials, design elements and landscaping choices ebb and flow over time. I even notice that my personal preferences change, depending upon what I'm seeing more of. I've grown to love marble in kitchens and baths, but I can imagine that, over time, I might tire of their stark whiteness and required maintenance.
The following article from my favorite home and design blog, Apartment Therapy, talks about *modern* homebuyer preferences. While the Northampton area isn't overflowing with Sub Zero or Viking appliances, per se, I agree that the other elements of this article hold true.
What Modern Homebuyers Are Looking For (Hint: It's NOT Granite Countertops)
Trulia pulled data from homes for sale on the site over the past year to see what design features are most popular for listers, pitting different features against each other. While some trends and design staples unsurprisingly won out—looking at you, subway tile and hardwood floors—others didn't necessarily come out on top, and some were just plain missing (seriously, no mention of granite countertops? I'm shocked!).
Here's how the most popular design features fared against each other.
Marble Countertops vs. Quartz Countertops
The Winner: Quartz countertops—they're more expensive up front, but marble countertops require more maintenance by comparison, which can add up.
Soaking Tubs vs. Claw Foot Tubs
The Winner: Soaking tubs. Claw foot tubs may seem more luxurious, but soaking tubs were far more popular according to the data.
Hardwood Floors vs. Carpet
The Winner: Hardwood floors. According to Trulia, real estate agents frequently see a strong preference for hardwood floors from clients, because they're easier to clean and long-lasting.
Basketweave Tile vs. Subway Tile
The Winner: Subway tile—although Trulia admits the numbers for each were so close, it's nearly a toss-up.
White Cabinets vs. Dark Cabinets
The Winner: White cabinets, and real estate agents point out that lighter, brighter cabinets can make a kitchen look bigger.
Sub-Zero Appliances vs. Viking Appliances
The Winner: Sub-Zero appliances—although, like the tile style toss-up, Viking appliances were just barely behind.
Bay Windows vs. Floor-to-Ceiling Windows
The Winner: Bay windows. Another close call, but bay windows were still the more popular selling point.
Electric Stoves vs. Gas Stoves
The Winner: Gas stoves—while they're more expensive initially, they save money in the long run as gas in general is less expensive than electricity. Gas stoves were far more popular than electric stoves among listings.