10 home features buyers would sacrifice location for

Bath tubThe golden rule in real estate has always been “location, location, location.”

But apparently, a few modern home features—sprawling master bathrooms, luxurious outdoor lounges and his-and-hers closets—can make buyers forget about location.

A study released from homebuilding company Pulte Group, found that all but 1 percent of respondents would be willing to sacrifice some aspect of their home’s location for a more modern abode. A whopping 44 percent would sacrifice close proximity to work; 35 percent would sacrifice better schools; 34 percent would sacrifice proximity to entertainment and shopping; 31 percent would extend their commute; 29 percent wouldn’t mind being further away from family; and 28 percent would sacrifice being close to parks and other outdoor areas.

These results break away from traditional real estate wisdom that location tops all other considerations when buying a home. Of course a home builder’s survey would place emphasis on features over location, but I think the results tap into something current homeowners should think about when remodeling.

Price premiums on homes that are in good locations–close to public transportation or in the best school districts–are starting to price many people out of those areas. And if they’re sacrificing key location aspects to find an affordable home, they still want a better, more efficient house for their money.

So for home sellers who know their location alone won’t bring in the buyers, pay attention to these desired features. There’s not a lot you can do to change your home’s proximity to public transportation, better schools and shopping and entertainment, but you can upgrade some of these features to entice buyerswho don’t mind a longer commute, as long as they have an island and an eat-in area in the kitchen.

Here are the top 10 features buyers are willing to sacrifice location to get.

1. Bathtub in one room

If your remodeling plans include eliminating all bathtubs, you may want to think again. Bathtubs are apparently an important feature, because 53 percent said they wanted them.

2. Landscaping/garden

3. Brick-paved patio

Outdoor living spaces continue their upward march in popularity. These features are especially popular for young buyers and older buyers who value having some outdoor entertaining space to relax and enjoy their backyards.

4. His-and-her closets

When remodeling, consider at least installing enough space to have bars on two separate sides of the closet, giving the owners a sense of his space and her space.

5. Large eat-in area

Urbanites don’t really expect this, according to the data, but suburban and rural homeowners are looking for a place to eat in the kitchen.

6. Spa-like master bathroom

Having a master bathroom—one attached to the master bedroom—is a good first step, but enlarging it and offering some space to relax and add extra storage may be beneficial to buyers.

7. Kitchen island

Suburbanites expect this feature more than anyone else. Nearly a quarter expect them in their homes.

8. Separate toilet area

This is another feature of the spa-like master bathroom, providing privacy for those using the toilet while someone else can utilize the rest of the bathroom.

9. Oversized pantry

Pulte Group says these are “Costco-sized” pantries, meant to store items purchased in bulk. These spaces increase storage and efficiency.

10. Open kitchen

You can’t go wrong with an open kitchen; it’s one of the most popular features for buyers who like the kitchen to be a multi-purpose space where you can cook, entertain, watch the kids and enjoy a meal.


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About Ilyce Glink

Author of 13 books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. Writer of the nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters.” Top-rated radio host in Atlanta. Writer for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Managing editor of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
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