A rapidly changing world and changing behaviours mean that the things that home buyers are looking for in new homes are changing too.
We’ve spoken with hundreds of home buyers to find the features that will match their lifestyles today and into the future.
Home office space
“Working from home” has become as common a thing as, well, working from the office used to be. Even as some of us begin to trickle back into the office, it’s become increasingly likely that working from home is going to be somewhat of a permanent fixture – at least in some capacity.
Most of us have now experienced working from home, and those who have will know the value of having a private, quiet workspace, free from pets, kids and all manner of other distractions.
Anyone who’s had to squeeze onto the end of the kitchen bench, take client meetings in the bathroom, or sit on a rickety wooden dining chair for 8 hours a day will be wanting a home office space as their top priority when looking for a new home.
On the plus side, a small but suitable workspace isn’t overly hard to create. If you have multiple bedrooms, consider placing a desk, lamp and a comfortable office chair in one, rather than the standard bedroom setup. People who still want to use it as a bedroom can easily imagine what that would look like, but people looking for a home office will be particularly impressed.
If you don’t have a spare room, consider setting up a desk in its own little corner of the living room or dining room – perhaps by a window – to create some separation from the rest of the home.
Despite our best efforts to declutter and to lead minimalist lives, we all still have “stuff” that needs to be stored. Anything from treadmills to prams, from boxes of old clothes to that pottery set that’s still waiting to be used – it all has to go somewhere. It’s no surprise then, that storage space is invaluable for new home buyers.
Having the space to store our peripheral bits and pieces is what allows us to create an airy, space-filled environment throughout the home.
Storage spaces don’t have to take up entire rooms – they can be carved out of existing spaces, such as under the stairs.
For those with particularly limited space availability, consider installing temporary, flat-pack storage solutions. This will show buyers that, even if there may not be a dedicated room for storage, they will still be able to keep their prized treasures out of sight and stored neatly.
If space permits, walk-in robes and built-in cabinetry are the ultimate attraction for buyers with lots of stuff… which is almost everyone!
Whatever storage space you have available, make sure it is well organised and neat, so that it shows off your home’s full potential.
Exercise and wellbeing space
Just as work from home has become the new norm, so too has exercising from home. For many people, it has opened up a whole world of wellbeing opportunities that weren’t available during a routine containing commuting to work, school runs or extracurricular activities.
While some of us are itching to get back into the gym, many have found comfort in the privacy of exercising at home, and many more have simply settled into the routine of doing so.
For a lot of us, doing our daily YouTube workout, or trying out the latest Instagram health challenge, has been the only thing keeping us from becoming permanently glued to the couch. As a result, having the space to sit, squat, stretch or bliss out is among the top wishlist items for new home buyers.
Much like with home office spaces, we don’t all have enough space to dedicate an entire room to exercise, but that’s ok – we can get creative! A carefully positioned yoga mat with some neatly organised weights or medicine balls is enough to show potential buyers that a home wellbeing space is possible to carve out.
You can also think about converting a garage or carport into a more well-equipped exercise space. Or you could, of course, create the space outside.
As we spend more time at home and less time outdoors, home outdoor spaces have become a little slice of paradise on our own doorstep. Whether it’s for finding a bit of zen, exercising or entertaining friends and family, outdoor space is one of the most coveted features of homes this year.
Outdoor spaces can vary from small balconies to large, grassy yards. Whichever you have, make sure you maximise its potential and show it off – even small spaces can add significant value to a property and leave positive impressions on prospective buyers.
Not everyone loves gardening, but most people would appreciate a carefully curated and well looked after garden outside the home. If you only have a balcony, you can still arrange some tasteful plants or flowers in pots along the edge.
If space permits, creating an outdoor dining area is very likely to impress. After all, everyone loves having friends over for a barbecue!
As we become increasingly environmentally conscious, energy efficiency is very much at the forefront of the decision-making process for new home buyers. Everything from light bulbs to whitegoods to heating systems is given an energy rating and smart buyers know to look out for inefficient homes.
Even if some are not environmentally conscious, we’re all conscious of the ever-growing electricity bills, and energy efficiency has the added benefit of being cost-efficient as well.
As we work, study and generally spend more time at home, it’s more important than ever to have energy-efficient electrics. The rapid increase in the prevalence of smart home devices means that energy-efficient power and connectivity are not just highly sought after today, but also signs that a home is future-proof.
If you’re not sure how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, check out the Australian Government Your Home website. Here, you will find many tips and instructions on how to create an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient home.
Pro tip: The Your Home Free Home Designs list detailed specifications for achieving at least a 7-star energy rating, with advice on everything from floors to ceilings, walls and windows.
Exterior lighting serves multiple purposes. It can be used to create different moods or environments, especially if you’re entertaining outdoors.
With the ability to connect exterior lights to a smart home system and operate them from a smartphone, they have become one of the most popular and most obtainable add-ons for savvy homeowners.
Lighting the spaces around the outside of a home also acts to improve the home’s safety, which is where it becomes a really prized asset for home buyers.
Not only does exterior lighting illuminate dark paths and driveways, making it safer to get in and out of the home, it can also ward off intruders.
Lots of kitchen space and a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry
Let’s be honest – in the last year, we’ve all had a go at baking banana bread or sourdough bread. We’ll put our hand up to having tried them both (with varying degrees of success)!
Whether they’re MasterChef contenders or just amateur foodies, home buyers are increasingly drawn to large kitchens with lots of space for preparation and experimentation.
The key thing here is to create a room or a space where potential buyers can see themselves spending time – whether eating, cooking or just having a quiet morning coffee before braving the day.
A walk-in pantry may be difficult to create without ripping out the entire kitchen, but if you don’t have one, you can still showcase the space that is available. Another option is to install portable storage units into the kitchen.
Give buyers what they want
Now that you know what buyers are looking for, think about how you can tick these things off their list.
Remember, sometimes you have to get a bit creative to maximise the space and facilities you have available.
To see how we can help with your transformation, get in touch!