Inner Page Background


Home » Home Improvement » Page 2

Home Improvement

Most Important Features to Homebuyers

2021 has thus far presented a very interesting real estate market causing many people to ask themselves: “should I sell my home? ” Have you ever thought about selling while the market is hot? If so, I bet you wonder, What features are most important to homebuyers? What can you as a sellers do to your homes to make it more desirable to the most buyers?

If you are looking to take advantage of the 2021 real estate market, but aren’t quite sure which angle to take, here is a list of the 10 most likely amenities first-time homebuyers are going to prioritize:


What do new homebuyers want? The answer is simple: updated kitchens and bathrooms. Millennials and first-time homebuyers have made their intentions known. Updated kitchens and baths are a must. According to a recent survey conducted by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., 81 percent of respondents recognized updated kitchens and bathrooms as the most important feature when considering whether or not to purchase a home.

If your budget warrants it, I highly recommend upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms. What’s more, you don’t need to break the bank to attract first-time homebuyers.


What are homebuyers looking for, if not for more living space? The whole idea of moving into a first home is to upgrade from the previous living arrangements, after all. Outside of modernized kitchens and baths, first-time homebuyers have expressed their desire for open floor plans. Not surprisingly, 59 percent of first-time homebuyers were expected to place a priority on less-confined homes, or those that facilitate functionality. Sellers should consider their current floor plan and determine whether or not it would be worth knocking down a wall or two before they put the property up for sale.

If at all possible, eliminate any walls that separate the kitchen from the living room. People of all generations, not only millennials, have come to favor the open kitchen concept, as it allows for a more conversational flow to the property.


The cost of purchasing a new home is enough to keep a large amount of millennials from actively participating in the housing market. Even those that finally manage to take the leap must do so with cautious optimism, as prices are surpassing their pre-recession levels in more and more cities every month. For what it’s worth, first-time homebuyers are finding it difficult to come up with a down payment and monthly mortgage payment, let alone the funds to maintain the property they just bought. First-time homebuyers simply don’t have the expendable funds to worry about too many costs that follow the actual purchase itself.

Most first-time buyers cringe at the thought of spending more money after having recently made the largest purchase of their life, so it only makes sense that they will prefer a “move-in ready” home over one that requires a lot of maintenance. That said, sellers are advised to reduce the amount of post-purchase work as possible.


Not unlike limiting the amount of maintenance a property will require once it is purchased, energy efficiency has caught the attention of first-time homebuyers for the soul purpose of saving money. However, energy efficiency has the added benefit of compounding savings over time.

Sellers are advised to include as many energy efficient upgrades in their homes as they can if they want to attract the interest of first-time buyers.

According to Remodeling’s Cost Vs. Value report, the addition of fiberglass insulation in your attic can set you back about $1,268. What’s more, that same project coincides with an average resale value of $1,482, or a return of 116.9 percent on the initial cost of the project; it actually adds to the value of the house.

If you are looking to sell your home, don’t hesitate to highlight any energy efficient amenities you may have. First-time homebuyers are interested in anything that will save them money in the long-run, not excluding, low-flush toilets, attic insulation, double-paned windows and anything else that will reduce both their carbon footprint and energy consumption.


No other generation is more aware of what today’s technology is capable of than millennials. That said, it is safe to assume that their inherent dependency on technology will affect the way millennials buy homes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all first-time buyers (20%) are expected to place a priority on homes with strong cell phone service and Internet connectivity (smart home features).

Never before has the need for strong cell phone service and WiFi connectivity been more important to buyers, and those looking to sell in 2021 should take note. Be proactive and address any issues your property may have with connectivity. For less than $100 you can buy a signal booster and eliminate any concerns your future buyers may have.


Often overlooked, but never unappreciated, laundry rooms have found themselves at the top of almost everyone’s priorities list. According to a Kiplinger article, in fact, 91.0% of buyers want laundry rooms in their new homes, and first-time buyers are no exception. Perhaps it has to do with need more space, or maybe its because they are tired of using shared, communal laundry rooms at their previous apartment complexes, but first-time buyers have expressed the need to have a laundry room.

As a result, today’s sellers would be wise to give it to them. With an investment ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, sellers can install a small-scale laundry room that will attract more buyers. The added attention will surely drive up competition, and perhaps even offer prices.


With many first-time buyers moving up to a home, a top priority will be more space. More often than not, new buyers are coming from cramped living spaces, and moving up is more of a need form ore space than anything else. That said, it shouldn’t surprise sellers to learn that patios are wanted by about 87.0% of today’s buyers. Since most first-time buyers are used to using a balcony, a patio makes a lot of sense; it’s a relatively simple upgrade that can make a world of difference.

Once again, most first-time homebuyers are looking to replace their current living situation with more spacious accommodations. Sometimes the whole reason someone wants to buy a home is for more space, which would explain why about 85.0% of today’s buyers demand garage storage space.

As any homeowner will tell you, it’s easy to accumulate too much stuff. Homeowners have a knack for abundance, and garage storage space is a must. More specifically, however, is the value of efficiency. Garage storage space allows homeowners to buy the things they need/want without taking up too much space in the living area. On top of that, garage storage is usually more accessible than an attic or shed, which allows homeowners to store things over the course of a year without forgetting where they put them.


Exterior lighting is a great way to add both curb appeal and functional lighting. On the one hand, a properly lit home is much more attractive and welcoming to anyone passing by or stopping in for a visit. On the other hand, exterior lighting is almost necessary for anyone looking to host outdoor activities. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, exterior lighting is an added safety feature. A few minor installments can make a home safer for its occupants. Whether it’s barbecuing or hosting a game night, exterior lighting can make all the difference, and homebuyers are starting to take notice. For a relatively low cost of entry, exterior lighting can be installed for as little as $50.00 a fixture. Of course, the cost can increase with more luxurious fixtures, but the point remains the same: the project can be done for an affordable price.


What features are most important to homebuyers? I can’t stress this enough: more space. And, as it turns out, walk-in pantries are a great way to add more space to a home. The cost of a walk-in pantry will vary from the inexpensive to the exorbitantly expensive; the price will be dictated by the style of home. For example, luxury homes will require nicer pantries to suit the new owners’ needs. Luxury walk-in pantries can run owners upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. However, mid-range homes can get away with something more affordable. Consequently, about 83.0% of today’s buyers will want to see a walk-in pantry, which makes the investment worthwhile. Typically around five square feet, walk-in pantries are what first-time homebuyers are looking for in a new place; again, they want more space than the place they are moving from.

Your Edge…

The rest of 2021 will certainly draw the interest of first-time homebuyers on a massive scale, which leaves sellers having to answer one important question: What features are most important to homebuyers? What do new homebuyers want, and what can today’s sellers do to accommodate the needs of their customers. Outside of offering a listing in a relatively competitive market, sellers should take note of the amenities listed above. Not only will today’s best new home features help sellers find buyers, but they should simultaneously award their owners with higher returns. If for nothing else, buyers in today’s market appear ready and willing to pay up for the features they want; it’s up to the sellers to make sure they deliver.

Favorite Room in the House?

The family room has long been the favorite room in the house—it’s where homeowners get to spend quality time with other family members. However, as the significant increase in time spent at home during the pandemic has changed preferences, homeowners now favor quieter and more private areas in the home.

In a survey of more than 2,000 Americans, the new favorite room in the home: the master bedroom. In the survey, conducted by Ally Home, some respondents said it’s their new favorite spot because it’s where “they can hide from family members.”

Here are the five favorite rooms in the house, according to the Ally Home survey:

  1. Master bedroom: 27%
  2. Family room: 14%
  3. Kitchen: 10%
  4. Master bath: 9%
  5. Man or woman cave: 7%

Spending so much time at home over the last year has also sparked a wave of house projects among many homeowners. Eighty-eight percent of the 2,000 homeowners surveyed say they’re considering improvements to their homes to make it more “staycation-ready.” The most popular projects center on the outdoors:

  • 38% are considering installing an in-ground or above-ground pool or spa.
  • 35% are considering building an outdoor athletic court.
  • 29% are considering improvements to their porch, deck or patio.

Your Edge

Wondering whether making improvements to your current house is the right things to do? Call an agent who is familiar with your area. They’ll be able to help you determine the best course of action.

6 Small Steps You Can Take Today to Get Organized for Good

The thought of getting (and staying) organized spurs a variety of reactions in different people. Some consider it a quick but necessary chore, while others see it as an insurmountable obstacle. However, organization isn’t just a way to get your physical belongings in order. It can also help build confidence, add fulfillment to your life, and foster a positive mindset (something many of us need these days more than ever).

1. Toss Out Fear and Guilt

Decluttering can also bring about feelings of shame and guilt, which are usually manifested because we assign emotional attachments to our possessions. As you consider getting rid of something, your thoughts might turn to the family member or friend who gave it to you, which can make you feel guilty even if the object is outdated or broken. Guilt can also arise if you have clothing you bought for a special occasion, such as a honeymoon, that you will never wear again because it’s not your style or doesn’t fit right anymore. Toss items that no longer suit you. Or, if you feel like the item could have a potential life with someone else, consider donating or consigning the clothing.

2. Set a Schedule

Although many of our schedules have changed recently, we still need structure in our days. Humans naturally crave a sense of accomplishment, whether that’s achieved through completing a crossword puzzle, learning a new skill, or tidying up around the house. Sticking to an organizing schedule can boost feelings of productivity as you check items off your to-do list. Remember that your plan doesn’t have to be strict or detailed to be effective; it can simply be used to create a better sense of control over your day.

3. Do Daily 15-Minute Projects

To conquer a disorganized home in quick daily bursts, pick a short task to do each day. Finishing one to-do will give you a sense of accomplishment that can help motivate you to take on another small project tomorrow. These small tasks can be as simple as sorting mail, organizing your sock drawer, cleaning out your medicine cabinet, or conquering that dirty sink.

4. Break Larger Projects Into Sections

Start small to avoid getting overwhelmed by sizeable tasks. For example, if you want to organize your kitchen, start by cleaning out your pantry. Focus first on throwing away expired items or donating shelf-stable items you won’t use, then work on arranging like items together the following day (store breakfast foods, condiments, and grains on separate shelves, for example).

If you want to tackle your closet, start by evaluating what your lifestyle is like today and if your wardrobe reflects it. Acknowledge that styles, our bodies, and even our work environments can change over time. Only hang on to things you love and those that are meaningful to you. Try not to get stuck on aspirational thoughts about the clothing you’re going to wear someday. Instead, celebrate who you are today by letting go of judgments, she says. Remember that it’s OK to let those pieces go so that someone else can enjoy them.

5. Get the Kids Involved

Whether you have kids, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews around the house, it’s never too early to teach children how to organize. Encouraging kids to get involved can help you let go of perfectionism, appreciate their efforts, and value the input of young ones. The more you can involve kids and get them to think creatively, the more they will be willing to participate.

6. Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

Now that you’ve cleaned out your cabinets and closets, the final step to staying organized is parting ways with your old stuff. To get rid of unwanted items, start with your inner circle. Ask friends or family if they want anything, spending extra attention to family heirlooms. Another option is to find a charity you want to support. Donating to a cause that is meaningful to you will make it easier to part with something since you know that you’re helping someone in need. If you want to sell it, try Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or consider online consignment shops like Poshmark and ThredUp or TheRealReal for luxury items.

As you start organizing, remember that creating a functional home that works with your lifestyle is key. It should be a reflection of who you are and what you love. A good way to keep that up is by organizing seasonally so you can evaluate what you typically wear and what is or isn’t working in your home. Just remember to start small!

BHG | By Christie Galeano-DeMott | June 18, 2020

Landscaping Trends that are OUT!

Home decor styles and tastes change all the time. Even casual interior design fans can easily identify, with just a handful of clues, when a home’s signature style was last updated.

Decor fads don’t stop at the back door, either. Landscaping styles can also come and go as people’s tastes (and needs) change. And with the year we’ve all just had, a lot of our needs have moved more towards having outdoor spaces that feel like an escape. That’s why real estate pros predict we’ll soon be saying goodbye to these formerly popular landscaping choices. 

Outdoor spaces that can’t be enjoyed

Gone are the days where outdoor spaces were designed primarily to look at and had no function. Trends have shown that younger property owners want to utilize their outdoor space with particular interest in her gardens, water elements, reclaimed cobblestone gardens, and modern-looking outdoor furniture. No more ornament designs that you can’t relax in.  

Non-green greenery

Landscaping trends have gone the way of low maintenance and climate-friendly. Flowering plants such as hydrangeas and rhododendrons have fallen out of favor because they demand constant watering and maintenance. Homeowners are opting for native plants and pollinator gardens over anything that puts further strain on the planet’s natural resources.

High-maintenance gardens

This one is easy: high-maintenance gardens are OUT! We may be spending more of our days at home, but that doesn’t mean we have more time on our hands. Homeowners want landscaping options that don’t pile onto their already heavy workloads. 

It’s all about the “feel”

People are spending much more time at home these days – both for work and play. Homeowners are now looking for yards that work well with our lives: be it, a space to work from home or an occasional after-hour cocktail event with friends. Everyone wants a place that “feels” good rather than just having it look good. Comfort is key!

How to Upgrade Your Home Office

An efficient home office relies on smart planning and storage. Purposeful design changes can help signal you’re in a dedicated working space and not just another room in your home. Take your office to the next level with savvy upgrades that maximize style and function, while also centering you in your work. These simple additions easily transition to home decor, too, if you need to repurpose your office for guests or your work-from-home status is temporary.

Reduce Stress with Plants

Just one small plant at your desk can help alleviate stress and even encourage you to keep your surface clutter-free. If that’s not reason enough to make room for a botanical buddy or three, studies also suggest plants improve productivity in an office setting. Decorate your home office with houseplants for fresh texture and color. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, today’s faux plants provide the convincing look of your favorite varieties without the upkeep.

Upgrade Your Work Surface

One benefit of working from home is that you can choose the look and feel of your work surface. Say goodbye to coffee rings and ink stains by trading your desktop for Black Bardiglio Formica Laminate from the Living Impressions Collection. This easy-clean material creates a durable work surface with the luxurious look of stone—without the high price tag or required maintenance. Plus, you can customize the material to fit your furniture and space.

Opt for Supportive Flooring

You might have considered converter kits that transition your desk from sitting to standing. Or maybe you even have a fully adjustable sit-stand desk. But what about the surface below you? Anti-fatigue floor mats can reduce discomfort and provide support while standing at a desk. A variety of sizes and materials are available so you can find the best choice for your home office. An area rug with a plush rug pad can also provide cushion underfoot. For a more significant upgrade, consider installing cork flooring, an antibacterial surface with cushioned support that’s perfect for a standing desk.

Divide a Room to Encourage Focus

Room dividers are an easy way to separate a workspace from a larger room, hide clutter, and present a less distracting background for virtual meetings, all without making permanent or structural changes. Thanks in part to today’s work-from-home boom, room dividers are more popular than ever, and there are many options for getting the right look, size, or added features. Consider a folding style that you can easily pack up and store if your home office converts to a living space when the work day ends. For a more permanent solution, freestanding bookshelves or cube storage can divide a room while providing plenty of space for office supplies. 

Hang Eye-Catching Art for Inspiration

Adding art to your home office has both personal and professional benefits. A few thoughtfully chosen pieces can result in a quick office update that helps you feel more motivated and productive. Adding visually interesting imagery or decorative objects near your computer and around your desk you work can also provide a place for tired eyes to land, combatting the strain and fatigue that comes from staring at a screen for extended periods. 

Improve Lighting with Color-Changing Bulbs

If your workspace wasn’t originally designated as an office, you might lack adequate lighting. Ideally, your home office should have natural light as well as task lighting, which provides focused lighting to a particular area, and ambient lighting. When choosing office lighting, consider an adjustable desk lamp with multiple color temperatures. Studies show that warmer light (skewing more yellow) enhances creativity, while cooler light (shades of blue) increases concentration. There’s even evidence that lighting can play a role in decision-making. And if your home office isn’t permanent, don’t worry! Many of these light fixtures are cordless and chargeable so you can take them wherever you like to work.

Utilize Wall Space for Planning

Although a lot is accomplished on computers, it’s not the only place we make plans, store files, and find inspiration. Sometimes only a hands-on approach will do. Combine sheet metal and a picture frame to create an inexpensive hanging magnetic board perfect for updating to-do lists, keeping project details at hand, and displaying inspiring imagery. 

Better Homes & Garden | By Kristina McGuirk  | February 25, 2021

TREC Consumer Protection Notice
Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Service
Required DMCA Notice