New Homes Deliver the Top 10 Features Home Buyers Want

A room with a covering that lets in the sunlight. The room as a couple of sofas, chairs, and tables neatly arranged.

Slats in the pergola above provide shade for this outdoor space. The Avalon by K. Hovnanian Homes. Peoria, AZ.

What do our neighbors to the north have to teach us about the Top 10 Features home buyers want?

Plenty, it turns out. It's clear the preferences of Canadian home buyers closely match those of American home buyers.

The award-winning interior designers from Rooms in Bloom shared their experience in a recent blog post. As the 2012 Home Staging firm in Canada, they should know. These experts help real estate professionals and home builders "stage" or decorate homes currently for sale. Like many top designers, Heather Cook and Alana Merrit find the challenge of staying one step ahead of the latest trends when they're staging new homes for sale to be of great value in all of their interior design work.

As you search for a home, watch for the trends below. You'll find today's new homes deliver on the features that buyers like you want most. And when you've found your new dream home, keep these ideas in mind as you feather your new nest.

Let's take a look at how today's new homes compare to resale homes in delivering:

The Top 10 Features Home Buyers Want

1. Open Concept Homes New homes offer spacious, flowing floorplans and high ceilings that older houses don't provide.

2. Smaller Homes — McMansions are expensive to heat, cool and maintain. The wide array of new homes make it easy to find the size just right for you.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces — True in Canada and even more so in the many temperate areas of the U.S. For example, the 2011 Design Driver Survey from AvidBuilder found that 31.4 percent of move-up buyers (people moving to a larger home) said they either must have or really want an outdoor fireplace.

4. Neutral Decor — Probably best for selling a home. However, as a new home buyer, don't be afraid to display your true colors. As we've reported in our blog, whether it's hip designer Jonathan Adler bringing bold colors back to the kitchen with his line of vibrant sinks for Kohler or furniture and bedding in the current Color of the Year (tangerine) more and more homeowners are bravely adopting brighter hues.

5. Modern Kitchens — The heart of every home. This is where new homes shine with the latest and greatest design, cabinets, countertops and lighting -- to say nothing of state-of-the-art appliances.

6. Smart Growth — Many of today's master planned new home communities offer community clubhouses and pools, protected nature areas, hiking trails, playgrounds and more. Larger new home communities often contain carefully planned retail options and even schools inside the community. It's also not uncommon to find master-planned communities that water common areas with reclaimed water . Which leads us to....

7. Going Green — Hands down, new homes win here, too. The Home Energy Rating System (also known as a HERS Score) is an industry standard that rates the energy efficiency of homes. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. As the people behind HERS point out on their site, the U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical new home is 30 percent more energy efficient than a typical resale house.

8. Linen Closets & Smart Storage — New homes take the win in this category, too. Simply compare the much larger walk-in closets of today's new homes with the cramped closest of old homes.

9. Energy-Efficient Fixtures & Appliances — Our new vs. resale home comparison is turning into a rout. Today's new homes feature enormous energy efficiency in appliances, HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling equipment) and throughout the house. As we saw, a typical new home of today is 30 percent more energy efficient than one built just five years ago. Compare a typical new home built today to a 10-20 year old home? Game over!

10. Double Car Garage with Organized Work/Storage Space — You'd be hard-pressed to find a new home that doesn't score a "10" on criteria number 10. Many builders also offer three-car garages (or larger) that offer enough storage space to make the man of the house grow weak in the knees.

Add it up and it's a landslide win for new homes vs. used in delivering the features that buyers want. The odds are good a new home is your best bet to realize your dream. And while you may plan to stay put for many years, your new home will be much more likely to meet a buyer's needs should you ever wish to sell it compared to a used home that's already out of date today.

To learn more about the award-winning designs and designers at Rooms in Bloom on their blog.

To shop for your Perfect 10 home on the scale above, take advantage of the unmatched selection of new homes and communities here on
Jay McKenzie heads up content and social media for and Builders Digital Experience. You can find him on Google+.

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