7 of the Most Essential Home Features Buyers Look For

essential home features house exterior

Many homeowners like to keep up to date on the latest housing trends, even if they’re not planning to buy or sell a home anytime soon.

Aside from just general curiosity, staying informed about what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to our homes and the features they include can be beneficial.

Perhaps you’ll get some ideas and inspiration for updating a room or two in your home. Sometimes getting a wider perspective on what’s currently popular with other homeowners and homebuyers can give you a fresh perspective on whether areas of your own home are up to snuff.

And if you’re planning to make some home improvements, educating yourself about which renovation projects will provide the best return on investment is also smart.

Which essential home features do buyers prioritize?

We decided to take a look at some recent notable studies that found out which home features homebuyers prioritized most.

A couple of studies were done by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). They’re one of the United States’ largest trade associations, representing over 800 local and state organizations affiliated with the housing industry.

We also used the illuminating 2018 Homebuyer Preference Study from the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA). It surveyed over 3,000 buyers of newly constructed homes about the features that mattered most to them when making their buying decisions. 

Let’s break down (in no particular order) seven of the most essential home features for anyone looking to buy a house nowadays.

Laundry room

It might surprise you to learn that laundry rooms topped a few essential home features lists for buyers. And the appeal of laundry rooms spreads across generations.

The NAHB’s 2016 Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation study found that Millennials, Generation X, and seniors named a dedicated laundry room as their most-wanted home feature. Baby boomers rated it their second-most important feature, behind home energy efficiency.

The following year, another NAHB study that looked at homebuyer trends also found that laundry rooms were a top priority among those surveyed.

Laundry rooms on a home’s main or upper floor were also coveted, as were laundry rooms that also incorporated a mudroom.

Garage storage

It wasn’t a surprise to learn that “ample storage space” ranked highly on any list of essential home features.

Homeowners and homebuyers can never get enough of it and the latter specifically wanted more of it in their garages, according to multiple NAHB studies.

Hundreds of realtors were polled for a Braun Research survey and they said the garage ranked higher as a desirable storage space for homebuyers than the basement or attic.

Homebuyers apparently recognize the value in maximizing a garage’s storage space in order to minimize clutter in the rest of their living space.

Simply having enough space in the garage for storage, parking vehicles, and extracurricular activities was also important to homebuyers. Two-car garages were named as another of the essential home features for buyers.

essential home features, man reaching into garage cabinets

Hardwood floors

Houses with wood flooring were viewed more favorably by those looking to buy a home. This is a trend that seemingly never goes out of fashion.

Most homebuyers are willing to pay more for wood floors because of its contemporary look, durability, and how easy it is to keep wood floors clean.

Authentic hardwood flooring was especially preferred over engineered wood flooring. Having hardwood on a home’s main floor was also specifically mentioned as an attractive feature to homebuyers.

Interestingly, younger buyers seem to favor wood flooring more than seniors, who prefer the coziness of carpeted floors.

Excellent energy efficiency

essential home features energy star logoA home with excellent energy efficiency is valued more than ever by homebuyers. Any home on the market with these energy efficient features stands out:

  • energy efficient smart appliances and fixtures
  • low flow toilets
  • energy efficient windows and doors
  • high efficiency HVAC systems

Solar-powered energy isn’t yet seen as an essential home feature for most buyers.

And while preservation of the planet was a consideration for those attracted to more eco-friendly homes, cutting down on their utility costs was a bigger motivating factor for buyers looking for energy efficient homes.

Open concept kitchen

Modern, open concept kitchen designs are seen as a selling strength for anyone who has their home on the market.

Buyers with growing families are particularly enamored by open concept kitchens because of their ability to function as a versatile space and a home’s social hub.

Kitchen islands that can provide extra storage space, an additional food preparation area, and an inclusive eating area are singled out as an open concept kitchen’s most desirable feature.

Stainless steel appliances, double kitchen sinks, a walk-in pantry, and granite, marble, or quartz countertops were also listed as features that homebuyers would love their kitchen to include.

Walk-in closet

A walk-in closet (also known as a “dressing room”) ranked #5 for first-time homebuyers and #3 for second-time (or more) buyers on the NAHB’s most recent essential home features report.

Canadians apparently love spacious closets even more, because walk-in closets topped the CHBA’s list of essential features for homebuyers.

That Braun Research survey finds that just about all (97%) of the 500 realtors that were polled believe homebuyers view the closet as the most desirable storage space in a house.

Based on this data, once can assume that a home without a larger wardrobe storage space featuring stylish décor is a home that many buyers will simply take a pass on.

essential home features walk-in closet

Master bathroom

Anything bathroom-related usually makes any essential home features list and we found master bathrooms to be highly prized by homebuyers.

A master bathroom may also be referred to as an “ensuite master bathroom” or simply “ensuite”. Whichever name you choose, it’s essentially defined as a bathroom that includes a bathtub, shower, and sink that’s accessible from the home’s largest bedroom.

Master bathrooms that feature a separate shower enclosure and freestanding tubs and vanities (preferably with two sinks) appear to be in vogue nowadays.

Make better use of your garage for home storage

This list of essential home features gives you a good idea of what today’s buyers value most when looking for a house.

Are you getting the most out of your garage as a home storage space? Could it use a few modern touches and better storage systems that can make it look nicer and be a lot more functional?

Garage Living specializes in helping homeowners maximize their garage’s storage capabilities and design potential.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to learn more about transforming your garage into a beautiful space any homebuyer would be impressed by.

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7 Amazing 2019 Luxury Vehicles We’d Love to Park in Our Garage

There’s no shortage of incredible 2019 luxury vehicles currently available or arriving soon.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the newest and finest luxury vehicles that we’d love to have parked in our garage. Prices are in U.S. dollars with Canadian prices (CAD) in parentheses.

Lexus LC

Consumer Reports magazine rated the Lexus LC as one of the most reliable vehicles in their “Sports Cars Over $40,000” category. Lexus also ranked as the #1 auto brand in overall reliability based on the magazine’s testing.

The rear-wheel drive LC coupe, which Motor Trend magazine called “arguably the most desirable Lexus yet”, is available in both a 471 hp model and a 354 hp hybrid model.

Starting from: $92,000 ($102,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles Lexus LC

Lamborghini Urus

25 years after Lamborghini produced the last of their short-lived LM002 SUV model, they re-enter the crowded SUV market with the impressive Urus.

“The world’s first super sport utility vehicle” may not look as imposing as Lamborghini’s Huracán or Aventador models, but it’s definitely no slouch in the power department. The Urus’ redesigned V8 bi-turbo engine has a maximum power output of 650 hp.

Starting from: $200,000 ($232,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles Lamborghini Urus

Audi A8

Audi’s flagship A8 sedan gets significantly revamped for its fourth generation. In addition to a redesigned exterior, new driving features include an automatic braking system and the ability to remotely pull the A8 in and out of your garage.

The car’s interior certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to having the latest high-tech features, either. Naturally, the A8 includes the newest infotainment technology. Other new luxury features include rear massaging seats with heated massaging footrests and a center console and arm rests that are also heated.

Starting from: $86,000 ($97,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles Audi A8

Porsche 2019 Cayenne Turbo

Autowise.com include Porsche’s redesigned Cayenne Turbo on its “10 Expensive SUVs Worth Their Price Tag” list.

The sporty SUV provides the ideal combination of ample cargo space, high-end infotainment features, and pure, raw power with its twin-turbo V8 engine that can produce up to 541 hp.

Starting from: $124,000 ($140,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Tesla Model S

Introduced six years ago, Tesla’s Model S is currently in its third generation. The second half of 2019 will bring a major overhaul to the interior of Tesla’s flagship electric car. U.S. News & World Report ranked the 2018 Model S as their #1 luxury large car.

It can take several months to actually get a Model S after ordering and it’s not difficult to see why. It has the longest electric range of any car on the road (up to 335 miles/539 kilometers) and the most powerful model boasts a 0-60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds.

Starting from: $76,000 ($95,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles tesla model s

BMW 8 Series

The 8 Series returns after a 20 year absence and takes the reins as BMW’s flagship vehicle. For buyers considering comparable 2019 luxury vehicles like the Lexus LC 500, Audi R8, or Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, the revived 8 Series gives them another attractive option.

The car launches in coupe form with a twin-turbo 523 hp engine. Some options include upgrading to a carbon fiber roof and the ability to upgrade the standard 16 speaker Harman Kardon sound system to a premium Bowers & Wilkins sound system. 2019 will see additional four-door and convertible 8 Series models released.

Starting from: $112,000 ($123,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles BMW 8 Series

Bentley Continental GT

The sporty Continental GT gets a thorough redesign for its third generation model from the British automaker, which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

Significantly lighter with a new aluminum body and improved fuel economy, the Continental GT features a wealth of custom interior options. Bentley claims the vehicle can hit a top speed of 207 mph. 

Starting from: $220,000 ($285,000 CAD)

2019 luxury vehicles Bentley Continental GT

Park your luxury vehicle in the luxury garage it deserves

We’d love to park any of these incredible 2019 luxury vehicles in our garage.

A high-performance luxury vehicle deserves to be parked in a beautiful garage with equally high standards when it comes to looks and performance.

2019 luxury vehicles, black Lamborghini parked in garage

Garage Living specializes in luxury garage designs that provide a fitting home for parking the finest luxury vehicles available on the market today.

Schedule your free in-home design consultation with us to create the perfect space in which to store your luxury vehicles.

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Don’t Miss These Exciting Fall South Florida Car Shows

fall south Florida car shows ford mustang

There’s no shortage of fun fall South Florida car shows taking place over the next couple of months.

Here are just a few of the automotive showcases worth checking out.

Mustang, Shelby & Ford Roundup

Where and when: Tampa (November 3rd)

Mustang and general Ford lovers will be in their element at the 37th edition of this annual event.

More than 150 classic and modern Fords will be on display and judged at this show, which has free admission. Special Olympics Florida and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Event website

Supercar Saturdays

Where and when: Davie (November 10th and the second Saturday of every month)

South Florida car lovers can check out the finest in luxury, sports, classic, and exotic cars at this show. Lamborghini Broward hosts this monthly free event, which is held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Event website

Exotics on Las Olas

Where and when: Fort Lauderdale (November 11th)

This show is free to attend and will feature a collection of special cars on display on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard.

Organizers of this first-time event promise a “showcase of some of the rarest, most luxurious, and coveted automobiles from around the world”. A portion of the show’s benefits will go to the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund.

Event website

Diamonds and Donuts

Where and when: Boca Raton (November 18th)

The Diamonds by Raymond Lee jewelry outlet in Boca Raton hosts this popular showcase of unique cars.

Along with jewelry giveaways, a barbecue will follow the car show with proceeds benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. Thanksgiving Food Drive donations will also be welcomed.

Event website

South Florida Car Swap Meet & Car Show

Where and when: West Palm Beach (November 18th and the third Sunday of every month)

This monthly event is held at West Palm Beach’s South Florida Fairgrounds and caters to the classic car crowd.

There will be a swap meet for finding antique automotive parts and accessories, the “Car Corral” for selling classic cars, and a car, truck, and motorcycle show.

Event website

South Florida Car Swap Meets

SWFL Fall Nationals Car Show

Where and when: Fort Myers (December 8th)

Hundreds of classics and contemporary vehicles will be showcased at this big event.

Jet Blue Park, which is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox, hosts the show. Some of the proceeds will benefit the United Cerebral Palsy organization of Southwest Florida.

Event website

Get a free in-home consultation to upgrade your garage

If you’re planning to attend any of these fall South Florida car shows, you’re obviously someone who appreciates beautiful cars.

Any auto aficionado with a special vehicle of their own deserves a beautiful and organized garage in which to park it in.

Garage Living of Miami can transform your garage into a stunning, highly functional space. Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to make it happen.

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5 Amazing South Texas Car Shows to Attend This Autumn

south texas car shows red classic

As 2018 winds down, there are still a few South Texas car shows taking place that auto enthusiasts won’t want to miss.

Plan your weekend now and take in one of these events showcasing the finest old and new vehicles around.

Heroes & Hot Rods Car Show

Where and when: Bastrop (November 9th and 10th)

You won’t even have to leave the Greater Austin metropolitan area for this big event on Veterans Day weekend.

Over 400 beautiful cars were on display at last year’s show. Now in its 13th year, this event will also feature a Veterans tribute. Proceeds will benefit both Veterans support and local community organizations.

Event website

South Texas car shows heroes and hotrods

Antique Gallery Car Show

Where and when: Round Rock (November 10th)

Fittingly, this showcase of muscle cars, trucks, hot rods, sports cars, and other classics will take place at the Antique Mall.

Proceeds from the event, which started in 2016, will benefit the Texas Baptist Children’s Home.

Event website

Veterans Day Car Show & Parade

Where and when: Kerrville (November 10th)

This annual car show and parade will take place for the 17th year, with all proceeds supporting local Veterans programs and hospitalized Veterans.

Event website

San Antonio Auto & Truck Show

Where and when: San Antonio (November 15th-18th)

When it comes to big South Texas car shows, they don’t get much bigger than this one.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, “the largest showroom in South Texas” will feature the newest and most exotic vehicles and the latest cutting-edge automotive technologies.

Event website

South Texas car shows san antonio auto show

Hutto Professional Firefighters Car and Bike Show

Where and when: Hutto (November 17th)

This will the first year of this car and bike show, which is being put on by Hutto Firefighters IAFF Local 4707 at Hutto High School.

Come check out the array of unique cars, trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, and classics that will be showcased at this family-friendly event.

Event website

Beautiful cars deserve a beautiful garage

If you appreciate beautiful cars, it only makes sense to park your own four-wheeled treasures in a garage that’s clean, organized, and stylish.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with Garage Living of Austin to learn more about how we can transform your garage’s looks and functionality.

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Garage Living Featured in the Miami Herald

Garage Living of Miami was featured in a recent article in the Miami Herald’s weekly South Florida Home section.

Linda Fiore Ceolin, Garage Living’s creative director, was interviewed for the article, along with several South Florida garage makeover professionals. The article focuses on the challenges of keeping garages organized and includes some strategies to help homeowners maintain a garage space that’s clutter-free.

Miami Herald article on garage organization featuring Garage Living of Miami.

Click on the photo to read full article.

Some of the garage organization solutions recommended by the professionals include adding storage cabinetry, overhead storage racks, and slatwall panels, which makes better use of a garage’s typically underutilized wall space.

Fiore Ceolin and the other garage makeover experts also emphasize the importance of ensuring a garage looks as great as it functions, in order to create a real home showpiece. Their suggestions include getting a fresh new garage floor coating and choosing cabinetry colors to effectively complement a home’s décor, or even the color of a favorite vehicle.

Download a PDF version of the Miami Herald article.