Your home-buying wish list

48205517_MWhat are you looking for in your next home? A big yard? A top-rated neighborhood school? A great space for a home office? A short commute to work? The National Association of Realtors surveyed home buyers nationwide on the home features that are most important to them and found that home buying needs and preferences often vary by age.

According to the survey, family needs are the biggest factor in prioritizing home amenities for home buyers under the age of 55. For many families with small children, for example, features such as the number of bedrooms, school quality and yard size can be important considerations. Proximity to schools — walking distance being a priority — is another item on most parents’ wish lists. For those 55 years and older, privacy—having a space solely their own such as a home office—is often the main goal. In that age group, the number of bedrooms and lot size are not as important for many home buyers.

Contemporary and colonial homes are the overall preference of Millennials, while ranch-style homes, which typically have a single level and no stairs, are the most popular home style for buyers 55 and older. Many home buyers in that age group are also looking for properties that can accommodate adult children and/or elderly parents. Lastly, while many home buyers age 55+ are moving from other homes, many Millennials are moving from rentals and purchasing or building their first homes.

Some home-buying preferences are the same among all age groups. Among those who work, a reasonable commute is a priority. Most people don’t want to be too close from a grocery store and other shopping options. A safe neighborhood is another top priority. People of all ages love parks and walking trails.

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