Judie Docs, Executive Officer, North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA), CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

Today’s savvy home buyers are paying more attention to kitchen and bathroom features, and new homes are reflecting their preferences. A kitchen is not only a cooking area – it is a space where people gather to create and share meals. Similarly, function and design are characteristics home buyers are looking for in bathrooms. With a variety of finishes and amenities in kitchens and bathrooms available, which features stand out for home buyers?

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders reveals what kitchen and bath features are among the most wanted this year. The survey asked first-time buyers and existing home owners to rank several kitchen and bath features based on how essential they are to make a home-purchasing decision.

When asked about kitchens, more than half of home buyers ranked walk-in pantry as the top desirable feature in the kitchen. The second most wanted kitchen feature was a double sink, followed by a table space for eating, central island and granite/natural stone countertop.

The preferred finishes for cabinets varied. More than a third of home buyers preferred a white kitchen cabinet color followed closely by medium and dark brown. Unlike kitchen cabinets, home buyers have a strong preference for type of appliance. Two-thirds of buyers say stainless steel is their preferred color. Home buyers were also decisive when it came to kitchen countertop material. A majority say granite or other natural stone is their favorite.

When it comes to the bathroom, home buyers say having a linen closet in the master bath is the most desired feature. The second most wanted feature was having both a shower stall and tub in the master bath. Other top preferences include a double vanity and private toilet compartment in the master bath.  Home buyers increasingly say they want a white toilet, tub and sink.

Unlike kitchens, there were stark contrasts in bathroom feature preferences among different generations. More than a third of older home buyers age 65 or older do not want a whirlpool tub in the master bath, compared to only eight percent of buyers under 45. Similarly, a third of older home buyers do not want a skylight in the master bath, compared to 14 percent of buyers under age 45.

To learn about the latest kitchen and bath features available in homes contact the North Coast Building Industry Association.  We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).

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