10 Features Today's Homebuyers Are Looking For

By: , Contributor

Published on: Dec 18, 2019

Thinking of doing a house flip? Here’s where you’re best off spending your money

Many prospective homebuyers aim to purchase their dream homes, or at least get close. If you're about to embark on a house-flipping project, it helps to know which features today's homeowners are prioritizing. That way, you'll be better positioned to put your money to good use -- and sell that house for top dollar once your work is done.

To this end, home services company Porch conducted a survey to see which features top homeowners' most-wanted list. Here's what it came up with, in order of priority.

1. A back porch or deck

Today's homebuyers are eager to enjoy some outdoor space, and would be willing to go up to $3,377 over budget to get it. If you're flipping a home without a dedicated back porch or deck, it could pay to invest in one.

2. A newly renovated kitchen

It's not surprising to see kitchens make this list. A home's kitchen is typically its heart, and upgrading this particular room could result in a much easier sell once your house flip is complete. In fact, homeowners say they're willing to go over budget by $4,570 for a property with an updated kitchen

3. Hardwood flooring

Apparently, carpet and laminate are out. These days, buyers want genuine hardwood, and they're willing to pay an extra $2,532 to get it. If you're able to self-install that flooring, you'll reap a higher profit when you go to sell.

4. A finished garage

Some people think of a garage as a place to store junk (or, more ideally, junk plus an actual vehicle). But having a finished garage opens the door to more options (including, but not limited to, possibly renting out that space), and so buyers are willing to spend an extra $3,435 to have one.

5. An open floor plan

Open floor plans are extremely desirable nowadays, so if you're able to break down some walls, a more fluid interior could translate into higher resale value. In fact, buyers today would spend $4,243 above their budgets for an open living space.

6. A finished basement

Having a finished basement means gaining access to an entire added level of living space. Homes with finished basements can often be rented out, so buyers may value them more for that reason alone -- and pay an extra $4,506 for that feature.

7. Natural light

Buyers today prefer classic sunlight over lamps and lighting fixtures. Now not every property is naturally suited to maximize outdoor light, but if it's possible to install some extra windows, or break down a wall or two to increase sunlight exposure, you could score a higher sale price on your house flip (though it's worth noting that in the aforementioned survey, homeowners didn't actually put a price on what they'd pay for natural light).

8. Renovated bathrooms

Bathrooms are something we use multiple times every day, so it makes sense that homeowners would want theirs updated. And they're willing to go $3,549 above their budget to get them. If funds are limited for your house flip, you may want to focus on the master bathroom -- the one your buyers will likely be using the most.

9. Energy efficiency

Utility costs can make homeownership less affordable, which explains why buyers are looking for energy-efficient features. If you're replacing old appliances with updated ones, finding energy-efficient alternatives isn't hard to do these days, as most models are made with this objective in mind.

10. Renovated bedrooms

The final feature homeowners today are really keen on is updated bedrooms. Often this can be achieved via a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, and attractive window treatments, all of which are relatively inexpensive. And since buyers are willing to pay an extra $3,175 to better enjoy their sleeping space, that could be money worth spending.

Knowing what features today's homeowners are focused on could set the stage for a successful house flip. Keep these in mind as you go about your renovations so you're able to walk away with as high a profit as possible.

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