What Features Are Home Buyers Seeking?

If you’re in the process of purchasing a home, you likely have a list of must-have features you’re seeking to find. Maybe it’s a breathtaking water view, infinity pool or even plentiful storage space. 

To find out the No. 1 features home shoppers in each state are seeking, Realtor.com examined keyword home search data between April 2019 and December 2019 to determine regional must-have features when searching for a home. The result for environmentally conscious California? Solar power, of course.

Data also shows that folks in Maine want cottages and cabins, while Oklahomans are looking for storm shelters. In Hawaii—where real estate prices are sky-high—home searchers are looking for “fee-simple” homes to ensure they own their own building and land. D.C. residents, meanwhile, want to be near the Metro (local public transportation system), Pennsylvanians want parking, and in New York, where outdoor space can be difficult to come by, residents would love to have a balcony.

Heres, a little more about the most popular features according to the analysis:

• Topping the list of most popular home features are opportunities for man-caves, she-sheds, workshops and granny pods. Popular search terms in this category include in-law apartment, barn, accessory dwelling unit (or ADU) and casita. Alternative living spaces also are popular in several states. Whether buyers are pursuing additional rental income, looking for a workspace or prefer to be near their relatives, separate spaces are a top must-have item. 

It’s probably no surprise that people in many states love their privacy, with acreage, fenced yards, room for horses and a country setting all ranking in the top searched feature list. Home shoppers in many states want plenty of room to roam and some real separation from the neighbors as well. 

With a large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age, America seems to have fallen out of love with having to climb stairs. Residents in numerous states don’t want anything to do with multi-level homes, with top searches including first-floor masters, ranches, ramblers, and single-level homes.

Local getaways with beautiful views also were popular in many states, with home buyers searching for locales on a lake, canal, dock, as well as lakeshore and river access. For others, it’s all about looks. In states with a lot of older homes, for example, people are looking for contemporary style, traditional brick facades, and a modern aesthetic.