What do consumers want in a new home?

According to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems top the list of features consumers say they would like in their next home, with 89 percent of those polled making this a priority. Eighty-five percent want high-efficiency appliances; 84 percent, a deck or patio; 79 percent, a private backyard, and 78 percent desire nicer finishes, everything from wood flooring to granite countertops and fancy trim.

When it comes to living spaces, 81 percent want a separate laundry room; 79 percent, extra storage through dedicated storage spaces, larger closets or built-ins; 67 percent, a home office space or tech center, 67 percent, an outdoor living area; 65 percent, at least one additional bedroom with a private bath, and 64 percent wish for an everyday eating area close to the kitchen.

Although the size of the average new American home has been declining, four out of 10 consumers indicate that, should they purchase a new home, they want it to be slightly larger, not smaller. The median-sized home these buyers are looking for is 1,914 square feet, about 50 feet larger than the median size of their current homes. The average new American home built in 2010 was 2,377 square feet, compared to 2,438 in 2009.

The Cottages at Newport Cove, offered at our waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes near Antioch, IL, are on target with these consumer desires. Sized from 1,625 to 2,300 square feet, the coastal-styled Cottages have high-efficiency heating/cooling systems and appliances, decks or patios, small backyards and top-notch fnishes  (basements with nine-foot ceilings, concrete fiber siding, Pella windows, eight-foot-tall interior doors, standard oak flooring, upgraded kitchens and more). All Cottages come with laundry rooms, plenty of storage, tech centers (see photo), guest suites, plus eat-in kitchens. And, all have first-floor master suites – two of the floorplans are ranch style and two are story-and-a-half homes.

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