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Must-Have Home Features for 2013

According to a recent “American Dream” survey done by Homes.com, homebuyers today are more interested in convenience than those of a decade ago. Homes.com gathered 455 responses from the site’s community of over 2,000–of these responses, the result was clear: amenities are everything.

43% prefer four bedroom homes
43% want three bathrooms
44.6% want a screened-in porch
51.7% say that an outdoor space (such as a patio or deck) is a must-have feature

With outside spaces being in such popular demand, it’s no wonder why there has been such an uptick in the awning business–something has to keep your deck shady during the dog days of summer. Retractable awnings are also becoming an increasingly popular home feature, especially in weather-extreme areas like Utah, where the summers are hot, but awnings have the tendency to collapse under the weight of snow.

Another big contender for outdoor amenities is the eternal swimming pool with twenty-eight percent of votes saying that it’s a must-have feature. Hot tubs, outdoor fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens barely make it on the survey at all with four, seven, and eight percent respectively.

Also in the survey, almost forty percent of the responses indicated a preference for the country as compared to a neighborhood, gated community, golf course, city, and suburban areas. The people’s ideal vacation home? A lake-front cabin, of course, with thirty-five percent of the votes, with a Caribbean villa coming in close second.

An overwhelming number of responses selecting a detached home as the best home type, rather than a skyscraper condo, townhouse, or lakefront cabin (though, I guess it’s acceptable for a vacation home). And, as always, size does matter: forty-four percent of the vote went to a home two to three thousand square feet.

As far as in-home amenities, most of us are concerned with whether or not there are walk in closets. In fact, almost seventy-five percent of those who responded said that was an amenity they “couldn’t live without.” Also high contenders: en suite bathrooms (64.2%), stainless steel appliances (46.9%), and granite countertops (42.7%). It looks like attics aren’t getting much love anymore, securing less than ten percent saying that there’s a must-have feature.

For those interested, the vast majority of those who responded were women, making up eighty-five percent of the vote. The most common age amongst votes was the demographic between thirty-six and forty-five, though age was more spread across the board.

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