While mortgage rates have been at or near all-time lows recently, home prices continue to climb. The National Association of Realtors1 (NAR) estimates the annual median home price will increase by 8% in 2021, and Zillow predicts they will go up by 11.4% through February 20222.
As buyers recalibrate their budgets to obtain a new home, they want to make sure they're getting the most value out of their purchase. Here are three in-demand features that could attract more potential buyers and put you ahead of the competition.
1. Upper-end and undercounter appliances
According to an AIA design survey3, the popularity of upper-end and undercounter appliances increased by 36% between 2019 and 2020, and the demand could continue as homeowners start to entertain more in 2021. An undercounter refrigerator like the KitchenAidⓇ 24" Undercounter Refrigerator would come in handy in a kitchen, living area or basement where guests gather and hosts practice their bartending skills.
2. The right pet-friendly features
Thanks to the flexibility of remote work, nearly 900,000 animals were adopted4 in 2020. Owning a pet greatly influences the home search, as about 95% of buyers5 consider their pets' needs when buying a home, and 68% of pet parents6 would pass on a house if it didn't accommodate their furry counterparts. Some of the top pet-friendly features buyers are looking for include:
- Fenced-in backyards: This is one of the most desired7 home features by every generation.
- Pet-friendly flooring: Vinyl and laminate flooring are popular choices8 for pet owners because they resist scratches and stains.
One thing pet owners don't necessarily want in their homes? Pet washing stations. According to Realtor magazine, 47%9 of home buyers rated this feature as undesirable.
3. Separate laundry room
A separate laundry room tops the list of the National Association of Home Buyers' (NAHB) 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want10 report, with 87% of buyers11 considering this feature essential. Incorporating a laundry room close to the bedroom12 means homeowners don't have to haul loads up and down stairs, which can be especially attractive to aging buyers. Laundry room elements such as counter space, cabinets for storage and energy efficient appliances can also add value13 to a build. For growing families, the Energy StarⓇ certified MaytagⓇ Smart Front Load Washer with Extra Power is an ideal option for fighting tough stains, while the WhirlpoolⓇ Smart All-in-One Washer and Dryer is perfect for compact spaces.