NAHB: What Home Buyers Are Looking For These Days

Home builders from across the U.S. have revealed what they consider the most important features to include in a typical single-family home this year, with convenience, livability and energy efficiency topping the list, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The association says home builders are including features that are practical and functional for the daily lives of today's buyers: Features that are most likely to be included in a typical single-family home this year are a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low thermal emissivity windows, a laundry room and a great room.

Energy efficiency is a common desire, with Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows at the top of the list – which can help make the home more comfortable and save the homeowner significant money over the long term, notes NAHB.

On a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent $0.78/square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spent $0.65/square foot per year, according to data from the 2009 American Housing Survey.

Builders also list features such as granite countertops, a double sink and a central island as winning elements in new-home kitchens – and a linen closet and a private toilet in the bathroom. Additional features likely to be included throughout the home include first-floor ceilings at least nine feet high, a front porch, outdoor lighting and a patio.

"Newly constructed homes can suit the specific requirements of today's home buyers," says Kevin Kelly, chairman of NAHB and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "And now is a great time to consider buying a new home, as consumers can take advantage of competitive home prices and low interest rates to find the perfect new home for their families."

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