These are the features homebuyers actually care about

buying a house

By Julie Scagell
March 5, 2022

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If you are in the market to buy a home, you know that inventory is at an all-time low in most markets. Home prices are increasing because the demand is at a fever pitch, but are homebuyers resetting their expectations for a home and what they’ll settle for based on this new market? HomeAdvisor recently issued a study on what homebuyers are currently looking for and what would be deal-breakers to find out if there have been any significant changes in the last few years.

One thing HomeAdvisor found is that nearly “three in four recent homebuyers reported a stressful homebuying experience,” whereas just 60% described the process this way before the COVID pandemic began. Because decisions need to happen so much more quickly now, homebuyers don’t have the luxury of waiting around and haggling on certain items, and they may instead agree to home remodeling projects to fix what’s needed down the road. So, what does matter to them in this market? The answers may surprise you.


What matters most to homebuyers?

Price still rules the day when it comes to buying a home. But today, people are much more likely to go over budget to get the house they want. In fact, the study showed that 63% would go over the asking price for the perfect home, and a whopping one in four would go $100,000 over to seal the deal.

Following close behind in the top four priorities are home size, an updated kitchen, and outdoor space. The importance of useable outdoor space is unsurprising since people have been entertaining more at home over the last couple of years. Having indoor/outdoor space to relax and welcome guests is important. Also unsurprising is that, with the pandemic and working from home becoming more and more common, 76% answered that they’d need dedicated office space in a new home.

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What didn’t matter to homebuyers?

Most surprising to us in this study is that the old “location, location, location” adage seems to have lost a bit of its luster. Location factored in at the bottom of the list, with just 39% of respondents saying a home’s location mattered to them. Right above location, the neighborhood a home is in got a similar response. This is a big change from the past when a neighborhood and its proximity to schools, retail, and restaurants mattered a lot. Perhaps this is partly because people aren’t commuting to work as often and are content living further outside the city.

What did matter in terms of location?

While location didn’t come in high on the list of must-haves in a new home, there were nuances in what a home was located near. When asked about businesses like schools, police stations, hospitals, and fire stations, a “majority of respondents said they would be willing to buy a home nearby, most often at market value.” While they were most likely to buy near a school, respondents were least likely to buy a home near a busy road or interstate (just 23%)…

Read the full article by Julie Scagell at

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