Ever make a wish-list for what you’d want if you could build a new home? Do you ever look at open houses for newly-built homes and wonder why that home was built the way it was? Of course economic, technological and societal changes influence how homes are designed and built today. But there is some economic research that goes into understanding what, beyond a roof and 4 walls, people want in their homes.

The National Association of Homebuilders regularly conducts surveys to understand the economics of home building and study the choices and desires of homeowners. Their most recent 2013 study of what homebuyers want revealed an interesting top-11 list of must-haves:


What’s interesting is the “essential/must-have” items as these indicate a homeowners reason to not purchase a home. For example, 57% of the respondents said that they would not buy a home if it did not have a laundry room, 48% said the same about a ceiling fan.

The study also revealed the types of rooms homeowners would prefer when buying a new home. 47% wanted three bedrooms and 32% want four bedrooms. And there was a preference (65%) to have 2 or 2 1/2 bathrooms. Surprisingly, 66% want a basement and 53% want a 2-car garage.

The type of house also showed interesting results. Over half (57%) preferred a one-story home with 31% desiring a two-story home. For those who wanted a two-story home, 48% want the master bedroom on the second floor and a good majority (70%) want the washer and dryer to remain on the first floor.

Tell us, do you agree with this top-11 list of must-have home items?

Top image credit: Alcova Architecture