The 20 Most Popular Home Features of 2015

Posted by Laine Smith on 12/26/15 1:22 PM

Topics: Home Renovations Real Estate Agents Home Design Selling A Home First Time Home Buyer DIY(Do it Yourself) home buying american dream Mortgage Goals Homeowner Tips Millennials Curb Appeal Energy Efficiency 2015 Home Value

Think of the biggest home décor and design trends from last year, five years ago, three decades ago, etc. Home features are constantly evolving to meet the demands of homebuyers. Yes, at one point pastel bathtubs and shag carpeting were in high demand.

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The data experts over at Realtor.com wondered what home qualities are in high demand right now and which are phasing out, so they sifted through millions of listings dating back five years to see which items are most commonly featured in listing descriptions.

Though Realtor.com analyst Javier Vivas said the list is not meant to serve as a “barometer of trends”, it does show the cycle of how long it takes a home feature to go from a trend to a mainstream home feature.

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The Most Popular Home Feature Is…

The fireplace. A gas fireplace is the most commonly listed home feature, which plays into the desires of the energy-conscious homebuyer. Regardless of cutting down your home heating costs, fireplaces are a nostalgic, classic necessity for many homeowners and homebuyers.

What Trends We’re Seeing

Open floor plans, formal dining rooms, vaulted ceilings, finished basements, and covered patios indicate two things: space and entertaining. Now with the Millennial generation representing the largest share of homebuyers, don’t expect to see these trends going anywhere when it comes to home design.

Homebuyers, especially Millennials, want their homes to be an extension of the rest of their lives, not just a place to go after work. Casual, flexible spaces in a home that can be customized to fit their needs are a must in Millennial homebuying “wants”.

You’ll also notice that five of the top 20 home features are related to the kitchen. Kitchens (and bathrooms) are usually what sell a home, and right now, listings are featuring open kitchens for entertaining while they prepare meals with high-end appliances.

What’s Not So Surprising

Wood floors are likely to always trump other flooring types in home features. It’s hypoallergenic, durable and gains character with age. But surprisingly, laminate didn’t make the cut, as it’s one of the most popular flooring choices. HGTV refers to it as “the chameleon of the flooring world”, because you can mimic any flooring look, such as hardwood, tile or stone.

Separate shower and tub units have been gaining in popularity for quite some time as homeowners transform their bathrooms in to spa-like entities. But apparently, these “home spas” are nixing the idea of the Jacuzzi tub and introducing the garden tub (#20 on the list). A garden tub has a wide definition but generally refers to a wider, deeper bathtub with steps but no jets. It’s not only easier to clean and maintain but is easier on a renovation budget.

From Luxury to Necessity

A one point, walk-in closets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and formal dining rooms were an added benefit in a home purchase, but now you can expect to see at least one of these selling points mentioned in a home listing.

Thinking of doing some major renovations or home improvements? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for options on financing the costs of renovation into your mortgage loan.

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