What Features are Buyers Looking for in a Home?

April 30, 2024
Modern homebuyers are looking for less square footage but more customized features in a house.

Who knew having an office at home was so essential?

Recent years have changed so much of the real estate landscape. With many updates to technology and processes, not only does the homebuying process look a little different these days, but the features homebuyers are searching for are unique, too.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released the 2024 edition of their “What Home Buyers Really Want” report, which showed that homebuyers are looking for slightly less square footage in a home: just over 2,400 square feet — which is the smallest desired home size in over a decade.

On the other hand, buyers also have more specific preferences when it comes to choosing a home. They tend to overlook the “cookie-cutter” homes in favor of houses with custom or personalized features.

Here are just a few of the features and finishes that prospective homebuyers are looking for in their first or next home.

Home Offices

Buyers across the country are springing for homes with an office space. With many people working remotely or with a hybrid schedule, a dedicated office at home has become a higher priority.


Even those who aren’t working from home find value in having an organized space to set up a desk, computer, and file organization.

More Room(s)

While an open floorplan is great for entertaining and can provide a larger feel, many homebuyers now desire a variety of separate living areas (like a home office/media room, closed off living room, separate den, etc.).

A closed concept still presents the option of family time and togetherness, but allows some space for everyone to do their own thing. This could especially come in handy if any household members are working from home or are doing virtual school or homeschool work.

Finished Basement

Having a finished basement has become more desirable than ever; it’s an extra space for family members to spread out in.

For families with young children, a finished basement is an ideal play space. For those with teenagers or older children, a finished space on the lower level offers more privacy and serves as an ideal hang-out area. Plus, it can be a great space for entertaining in the long-term.

Energy Efficiency

“Energy efficient features” has just been bumped up from the “nice-to-have” list to the “must-haves” for many homebuyers. Energy efficiency is a win for a homeowner’s wallet, and a win for the environment as well.


NAHB’s 2024 report found that buyers are looking specifically for Energy Star windows and Energy Star appliances when considering a home. Tankless water heaters and LED lighting are a few other energy-saving options that homebuyers might seek when looking at properties.  

Outdoor Space

The trend of over-the-top outdoor spaces doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Homebuyers are on the hunt for a house with a nice front porch and/or patio, exterior lighting, and good landscaping (according to NAHB’s report). Some are also looking for more elaborate features, such as outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.

Many are also looking for a good home improvement project to take on. Homes with a customizable outdoor space that the new owner can really make their own are more attractive than ever before.

Home Renovations

Home improvement projects are super popular right now. Current homeowners are fixing up their spaces, and homebuyers are looking to customize their new homes.

The good news is that we offer a variety of renovation financing options. If a homebuyer is looking to renovate immediately, they can take out a loan to cover the renovation costs and the permanent mortgage all in one. This is a great option for those who find a house that has almost everything on their list, but might be missing one or two must-haves.

More Storage

The more time we spend at home, the more we realize how important it is to keep everything organized and clutter-free. A few of the sought-after storage features named in NAHB’s survey included extra garage storage and a walk-in pantry.

Other Desirable Home Features

Some other features that are highly sought-after in a home include:

  • Hardwood floors
  • A full bath on the main level
  • A laundry room
  • Ceiling fans
  • Plenty of kitchen table space or built-in kitchen seating
  • Exposed beams
  • Smart technology such as lighting controls, home security, programmable thermostats/HVAC, and video doorbells

Getting Started on Your Search

In the current real estate environment, it’s important to work with a lender you can trust. Find a local home loan expert in your area to get started or learn more today.