From the Canadian Home-buyer Preference Study (Spring 2015), the top 10 home features and design preferences of home buyers across Canada:
- Walk-in closets: 92.5%
- Energy-efficient appliances: 89.9%
- Open-concept kitchen: 89.3%
- Overall energy-efficient home: 89.2%
- Kitchen island: 89.2%
- Linen closets: 89.2%
- High-efficiency windows: 88.6%
- Large windows: 87.4%
- Two-car garage: 84.7%
- Air-exchange system: 84.7%
According to the study, carried out during 2014 and early 2015 by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and Avid Ratings Canada Ltd., the survey was sent to over 12,000 homeowners and had a high response rate. Its findings are considered accurate plus or minus 3.1%.
Preferences were ranked as “must have”, “really want”, “might be nice” and “not important”.
In Ottawa, 40% of respondents indicated they’d sacrifice size for a lower house price. Large windows are very desirable; more natural light makes a house look better. Soaker tubs in the master en suite were less sought after in Ottawa and Toronto, perhaps due to a busy lifestyle. Double sinks in the en suite were highly desirable. And, not surprisingly, storage space was the single most wanted feature in the interior space of a property.
So, if you have a home that is not a new property, take these findings into consideration before you put your place on the market. Dealing with a reputable real estate agent and an experienced home stager will help you compete from a stronger position with new builds.