Homebuyers are drawn to certain features more than others, but it goes beyond individualized personal tastes. Our desires and preferences actually vary from generation to generation.
That said, all generations prefer two kitchen amenities more than any other. Side-by-side double sinks and walk-in pantries are the most popular of 30 kitchen features, found the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in a nationwide survey of 3,247 recent and prospective home buyers conducted in the summer of 2020.
Eighty-one percent of buyers rated the side-by-side double sink and walk-in pantry “essential or desirable,” according to the What Home Buyers Really Want survey.
The side-by-side sink is so desirable that nearly half of every 10 buyers wouldn’t buy a home without it.
The survey was conducted during the heart of the pandemic that caused kitchens to become central to our lives. People cooked and ate at home far more than pre-pandemic and were inspired to improve their cooking skills. Those at-home cooks wanted a better space for all that cooking and baking so kitchens were improved with better countertops and appliances, in addition to more pantry and cooking space.
Those needs are aligned with the list of desired features. Following the top two most popular features of side-by-side sinks and more pantry space, the next most desired features are wanted by more than 70 percent of buyers:
• table space for eating at 78 percent a central island at 77 percent
• drinking water filtration at 76 percent
• granite or other natural stone countertop at 73 percent
Next up in desirability, at just under 70 percent, are recessed lighting – 69 percent, customized backsplash – 69 percent, and pull-out shelves – 68 percent.
And it turns out that kitchen features are separated by a generational divide. Survey results varied significantly according to generation.
Millennial and Gen X buyers as a group more likely to want a steam oven, trash compactor, wine cooler, central island with range and a double island than do Baby Boomers – greater than 50% of Millennials and Gen Xers desired these features compared to a range of 19 to 37% of Boomers.
That’s a significant difference in likes and wants between the youngest and oldest buyers. In addition, these generational differences remain statistically significant after controlling for income, race, geography, and household composition of the buyer, reports NAHB.
The age groups in this study are Baby Boomers, born 1946 to 1964; Generation X – also known as Gen X – born 1965 to 1979 and Millennials born 1980 to 1996.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.