If you have a small budget to spend on home improvement projects this year, you’ll want to make sure you use it wisely, especially if you plan to put your home on the market soon. It’s important to stay on top of basic home maintenance, buy beyond that, it can be difficult to determine which features to add or update in your home. One way to tell if a certain feature is desirable is by looking at real estate listings online. See what descriptive words are being used can give you an idea of what they see as a selling feature of a home. Here are some that made the cut for 2015.
1. Quartz countertops: The new kid on the block. For years, granite counter-tops were a must-have in any modern kitchen. But in 2014 we started to see quartz popping up all over the place. -Quartz comes with a few benefits over granite; its is not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance and it is less prone to staining and is better to withstand abuses during its lifetime.
2. Smart Home: Smart Choice-Smart home features are still only mentioned in a small fraction of real estate listings, but we’ve seen a large rise when you look at how often they’re mentioned over last five years. ” Smart home systems that control security alarms, heating and cooling, lighting and more are starting to become more popular in homes. But a word of warning ! – its best to choose a system with software that can be updated as new features come out. Otherwise, the system will be out of date within a few years.
3. Stainless Steel Appliances- A Safe Bet-The data shows that mentions of stainless steel appliances have increased every year since 2011. While new appliance finished like slate are starting to gain traction, stainless steel is still the gold standard for kitchens these days.
4. Fire Pits-Fire pits soared in popularity from 2012-2013 and remained a popular feature in listings in 2014.
5. Tasting Rooms: A Smart Addition to a Wine Cellar: In luxury homes, it used to be that a wine cellar was sufficient. Now, those cellars come with a tasting room that has a dining table and chairs. We’ve seen the word “tasting” appear more often in listings every year since 2011. Wine cellars are no longer a cold dark place in the basement” Now homeowners are making them into comfortable living areas, where they can host tastings with friends.
6. Outdoor Kitchen: Elevating the Backyard Cookout: Perhaps it’s the HGTV effect but outdoor kitchens have gained popularity ever since 2011. Backyards are becoming places to lounge during the summer, with full kitchens, fireplaces and televisions. Having a place to host friends for a barbecue has become important for many high-end buyers.
7. Freestanding Tub: A luxury Bathroom Must -Have: Having a combined shower and tub is an excellent space safer. But if you have a large enough bathroom, you might want to consider adding a free-standing tub. Since most people take more showers than baths, they want to have a stand-alone shower with multiple shower heads. But when people want to relax , they want a freestanding tub, which is starting to become the norm in newly constructed high-end homes.
(Excerpt taken from Redfin writer Christin Comacho)