What do home buyers want for the holidays? 

In a release from Chicago-based real estate and home builder marketing firm Taylor Johnson, local builders highlighted top home aspects that make a house really feel like the best "home for the holidays." From the perfect floor plan layout with the right amount of room for guests to party-ready pantries for entertaining, these design features will delight buyers this season, ensuring that they spread holiday cheer and experience some themselves.

Here, with some advice from Chicago builders and some of our own past BUILDER expertise, we look at the top holiday-friendly touches buyers are putting on their wish lists this year: 

The More the Merrier: Main-Level Master Suites and Guest Rooms

It’s not just Santa Claus that’s comin’ to town this year, but the whole family is soon to arrive, too. With out-of-town relatives on their way to spend the holidays together, buyers’ homes can quickly start to resemble a B&B. To make the stay more bearable, Jerry S. James, president of Edward R. James Homes, suggests choosing layouts with first-floor master suites, like these plans with main-level suites from Frank Betz or these master-on-main move-up options.

Main-level master suites are popular, like this one from plan HWBDO11991. See more images, information, and the floor plan. Photo by Carolyne Raney, Simply Irresistible Photography.
Main-level master suites are popular, like this one from plan HWBDO11991. See more images, information, and the floor plan. Photo by Carolyne Raney, Simply Irresistible Photography.

"The first-floor master suites provide convenience for the homeowner year-round, but this is especially true during the holidays when their home is filled with guests," says James. "While the homeowner remains comfortably in the first-floor master suite, guests have all the privacy and space they need to be comfortable on the second floor."

Even if owners don't have hordes of extended family coming to visit, the main-level master suite has become an increasingly popular trend among buyers. But, there are still numerous floor plan option with flexible guestrooms, like these selections from Donald Gardner. For families looking to get away for the holiday, multi-gen vacation homes will do the trick

Party-Ready Pantries and Kitchens
Everyone loves a festive get-together, and during this time of year schedules are packed with dinner parties, family gatherings, and lively open houses. But before the party, there's a lot of cooking and preparation. To create a home that's the best fit for entertaining, butler's pantries and wet bars are a hot item on buyers' lists. 

A
butler’s pantry, such as this one from Meritus Homes’ Greenbrook at Highland
Woods community, is a convenient feature for holiday entertaining.  
A butler’s pantry, such as this one from Meritus Homes’ Greenbrook at Highland Woods community, is a convenient feature for holiday entertaining.  

“The function of a butler’s pantry is twofold,” says Brian Brunhofer, president of Meritus Homes.  “When homeowners are entertaining, they can use the extra counter space as a serving buffet or set it up as a beverage station. And when the party is over, the butler’s pantry has plenty of cabinetry for storing all that glassware and serving dishes that only get brought out for a party.”  

Layouts with really open kitchens, such as these impressive selections from Donald Gardner, put kitchens at the center of the action and utilize counter space with islands—perfect for buffets filled with holiday treats. For when the night wraps up, homeowners will appreciate homes with ample storage for stowing party items. 

It’s hard to imagine a layout more
open than this one, with the kitchen flowing without interruption into the
dining room, the breakfast nook, and even the more-formal living space.
Keesee and Associates, Inc. It’s hard to imagine a layout more open than this one, with the kitchen flowing without interruption into the dining room, the breakfast nook, and even the more-formal living space.

A "Santa's Workshop" Space Fit for Elves
Hiding holiday gifts or finding spare minutes alone to wrap them can be a challenge during the holiday season, especially for parents with small children who are anxious to sneak a peak at their presents. Homes with useful special function rooms and bonus rooms, which provide extra space year-round for homeowners, can easily be turned into a gift wrapping nook during the holidays. 

“Whether it’s having a place to hide gifts or for a quick clean-up when impromptu guests drops by or having an area with plenty of space to also spread out and wrap gifts, these private spaces are extremely beneficial during this busy time of year,” says Brian Hoffman of Red Seal Homes.


  Photo by Larry
  Taylor
Photo by Larry Taylor

Deck the Halls: Decoration-Friendly Entryways
Come holiday season, houses are glistening with lights strung up in trees and around doorways. But, some buyers want to add cheer to an already outstanding entrance. Dan Sater's memorable arches and entryways will kick up the curb appeal as they sparkle with holiday lights.