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Homebuyers are showing some willingness to pay more for certain amenities in a home, according to the latest PulteGroup Home Index Survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 25 to 65. (AP Photo/File)

Biting the bullet: 'Must haves' in a new home

Homebuyers are showing some willingness to pay more for certain amenities in a home, according to the latest PulteGroup Home Index Survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 25 to 65.

What's surprising is that buyers say they'd give up some pretty alluring draws about a property for certain amenities: Forty-four percent surveyed say they're willing to give up a location near public transportation in exchange for certain amenities, and 35 percent say they'd give up better schools and proximity to entertainment and shopping.

So what are these amenities that homebuyers want so badly? Fifty-one percent surveyed say they want their next home to be larger than their current residence, and 64 percent say they prefer a move-in ready home.

Among the most important features homebuyers identified:

  • His-and-her closets in the master bedroom (31 percent) and spa-like master bathrooms (23 percent)

  • A large eat-in kitchen area (23 percent) and a kitchen island (22 percent)

  • At least one bathtub in a home (54 percent)

  • In addition to the more common home options, we're starting to see regional trends emerging among home buyer preferences," said Ryan Marshall, PulteGroup Inc.'s executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing and sales. "Shoppers are increasingly discerning when it comes to home features that could be the deciding factor in their next move."

    The most important areas to homebuyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29 percent), bedroom (22 percent), and living room (18 percent).

    "Consumers today aren't just looking for the biggest house on the block," Marshall said. "They're looking for more efficient use of space and a greater area allocated to 'workhorse' spaces, like the kitchen. Homebuyers want unique features and amenities and will do what it takes to find the home they truly want, even if they have to pay more for a move-in ready home."

    Tom Kelly, Real Estate Today
    Tom Kelly has been a professional journalist for 36 years. He served The Seattle Times for 20 years, many as Real Estate Editor.
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