The configuration of the home is more important to buyers with children these days, Jeff Martel, a real estate professional with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, told MarketWatch.
“Ten years ago, the only thing families were looking for was square footage and a large yard,” he says. But now more family home shoppers are placing an open floor plan high on their list rather than separated rooms.
“Everything happens in the kitchen,” he says. “Kids use the islands now for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Here are other house features that parents desire the most, according to real estate professionals:
Office nook: Martel sees a declining interest in having a separate home office. Instead, he has more clients asking for an office nook off the main living space so that parents can better monitor their children while the kids are online. “You want a family office that’s very visible with a direct sightline to the kitchen,” he says.
Garage access: Location of the garage is also important, adds Lindsay Alteri, who works for BHGRE in Raleigh, N.C., and is also a mother of two young children. “If there are stairs to and from the garage, are you going to be willing to go up and down them carrying a child” in from the car? she notes.
Mud room: Also, a garage that walks into an area in the laundry room is desirable, adds Stacy Barry, a real estate professional at Century 21 Scheetz in Indianapolis. “You want a ‘mud room’ that has a bench and some storage for boots that’s done in a hardwood or laminate where you can drop everything like backpacks and jackets,” Martel adds.
Built-in storage: “Kids come with clutter,” Martel says. Parents are wanting a lot of built-in storage in bedrooms, attics, spaces under stairs, and even hidden storage behind bookshelves.