There’s a big difference between a good home and a great home. A good home is clean and dry. But a great home comes with a bunch of extra features that make it unique. The question is, what are those features?

Recently the Demand Institute looked at that exact question. They wanted to find out exactly what it was that Americans most wanted from their homes. Each participant was asked to rank the features that they most wanted to see in order to show what people in the home market are actually looking for. Do you want any of the following features to be in your home?

More Space
As people, we tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the course of our lives. But there’s a problem: there never seems to be enough space to store it all. We end up with overflowing cupboards and things like bikes unceremoniously stored in hallways and bedrooms. As a result, most people said that they’d like extra space in their homes when pressed by the Demand Institute. According to the study, more than half of all people questioned stated that they had to find space for two or more refrigerators and nearly half, 48 percent, said that they needed space for extra televisions.

In total, around 55 percent said that storage space was important while only around a third said that the storage space in their own home was adequate. For homeowners today, getting extra storage spaces means looking for any available space to exploit. Things like vertical storage are becoming increasingly popular, as is building outdoor decking with hidden storage compartments for all your outdoor gear (a great way to free up the shed).

Privacy is important to the vast majority of people. Most want a space that isn’t overlooked by the neighbors. Finding such a property is easier said than done. According to the survey, only 42 percent of people said that they were happy with the current level of privacy afforded by their plot. Nearly 58 percent said that they would like to have more privacy in the future.

best house features
Wikimedia Commons

One of the reasons for this is hypothesized to be the fact that people are spending more time at home. Not only are most people poorer than they were ten years ago and so can’t take as many trips, but many are also working from home. This means that privacy is becoming a bigger concern, especially among millennial buyers just entering the market. The data revealed that 54 percent of people were spending more time at home than in the past and that only 9 percent were spending less – a massive difference.

Looking after a home is expensive. But with incomes flat or declining for many folks, many are looking for cheaper options. Forty percent of people said that they were dissatisfied with their current home upkeep costs, complaining that they are too expensive. One way around this is to look for opportunities to save money on home fittings. Some Americans are turning to sites like to get money off IKEA products for their homes. According to the data, more than 40 million people spend more than 30 percent of their income just on housing expenses, meaning that there are ample opportunities to save. Renters are suffering most, especially in booming cities, because of all the government incentives to keep the price of having a mortgage low.

A Good Place To Invest
Homes aren’t just bought on the basis of their livability. They’re also bought because people want somewhere to store their money says With banks offering practically no interest on savings, many are turning to buying properties, since property values seem to go up every year (even though their value should decline as they get older). Over 65 percent of people in the Demand Institute survey said that they were looking for a property that would double up as a long term investment. More than 47 percent admitted that they didn’t think that their current home was a good investment. But even with the temporary dip in the growth of house prices after the recession in 2009, many households are still bullish about the housing market. House price to earning ratios are steaming towards their previous peak before the recession in 2008.

Features For Senior Citizens
As a country, we’re getting older, and that’s something that is being increasingly reflected in our choice of housing. More and more people are looking for homes with so-called age-in-place features that will allow them to live in their current residence, even as they get older.

By George