A Double Oven
These days, stone countertops and a dishwasher are pretty much standard in better-quality homes, says David Worters, a broker for Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty in Raleigh, N.C. who was on REAL Trends’ “America’s Best Agents” List in 2017. To put your kitchen over the edge, install a double oven. “If the new owner enjoys cooking and wants to host family gatherings around the holiday, these are a must-have!” he says.
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You can't go wrong with white cabinets—42% of millennials prefer the trend, which is still on the upward swing, according to research by Houzz. Grey paint is also trending upward, while wood tones (darker versus lighter) are still holding strong.
A Center Island
“The bigger and more beautiful the better!” says Worters. Buyers are no longer interested in peninsulas or breakfast bars—it's all about islands. “A cooktop on the island is bad, but a farmhouse sink in there is great—especially if the island helps the kitchen interact seamlessly with a larger room,” he says.
Where square footage allows, walk-in closets are a given these days, but in the age of Costco, the walk-in pantry is a must, too. Where else will you (or your home’s next owners) store your cases of LaCroix and bulk packs of paper towels?
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A Main-Level Guest Room
While fewer and fewer buyers are looking for a formal dining room, more are looking for a guest room on the main floor. Youngers buyers are imagining less-agile parents who come to stay—or may even live with them in the not-too-distant future, says Worters.
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Built-in Drop Zone
Mudrooms are a hit on Pinterest and in real life, too. Buyers with kids, especially, are looking for well-designed drop zones to corral clutter on their way in and out the door. “Think, benches with storage and hooks for backpacks, sports equipment, and all that stuff constantly entering the house,” says Worters.
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A Butler’s Pantry
Carving out a space between the kitchen and the dining areas for barware and other entertaining gear is a real bonus for buyers who like to have guests.
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A Private Backyard
While fancy landscaping may actually hurt your chance of a sale (“People see it and just think it looks like work,” says Worters), having adequate fencing and plantings around the edge of the yard to have some separation from the neighbors is a big bonus.
An Office Nook
That desk area in the kitchen? It’s out, says Worters. “What people like now is a little office nook—it doesn’t have to be big—either off the the kitchen or a loft space at the top of the stairs to do the occasional work from home,” he says.
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A Shower with a Built-in Bench
Unless buyers have young kids, having a tub in the house is less and less of a priority—but buyers do look for a shower stall that’s large enough to accommodate a built-in bench, ideally with a frameless enclosure.
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To jumpstart your holiday season, check out Bob Vila's favorite affordable stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!