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Laundry rooms, ceiling fans, exterior lights, and side-by-side kitchen sinks rank as the most popular items among first-time home buyers, according to the NAHB’s What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition study. The study generated responses from 3,247 recent or prospective home buyers nationwide on more than 200 home and community features.

Four of the features most wanted by first-time buyers are kitchen features: a double kitchen sink and walk-in pantry (each rated essential or desirable by 80 percent of first-time buyers), drinking water filtration (78 percent) and table space for eating (77 percent). Two are outdoor features: a patio (rated essential or desirable by 78 percent) in addition to exterior lighting. Rounding out the top ten are hardwood flooring for living spaces on the main floor (80 percent) and security cameras (78 percent).

The most noticeable difference between the features most wanted by first-time buyers and buyers in general, however, is the absence of energy saving features on the first-time buyers’ top ten list. Among buyers in general, ENERGY STAR rated windows ranked as the #4 most wanted feature and ENERGY STAR rated appliances ranked #9. A front porch also made the top ten list among buyers in general. On the other hand, drinking water filtration, security cameras and a kitchen table for eating failed to make the top ten list for buyers in general.

An elevator ranks as the single most unwanted feature, explicitly rejected by 46 percent of first-time buyers, followed by a golf course in the community, not wanted by 42 percent. At least 40 percent of first-time buyers are also unlikely to buy a home with glass walls or cork flooring on the main floor living spaces.

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