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Women are a big part of the housing market and usually the decision-makers when it comes to the design of the home. (AP Photo/file)

What women want: Six must-haves in a home

Women are a big part of the housing market and usually the decision-makers when it comes to the design of the home. Consequently, more real estate professionals, designers, and marketers are taking notice of women's home preferences.

What do women want in a home? Consumer research experts from Coldwell Banker Real Estate, John Burns Real Estate, and others weighed in to women's home preferences in a recent article at MSN:

* Big closets

* A special kitchen: That entails "big open kitchens that include space for dining, entertaining, doing homework, using computers, watching TV, and hanging out together," the article says.

* Terrific location: Women usually care more about location and less about home size, according to Mollie Carmichael, consumer research expert at John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

* A comfortable place for socializing: It could be a kitchen island or counter, a comfortable den, or a corner with some chairs and sofa in front of a fireplace.
" Low maintenance, such as "no-paint exterior siding, no-fuss landscaping, and homes that are new or recently renovated," the research article noted.

* A two-car garage

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