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10 Most Popular Home Improvements That Buyers Will Pay More For

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If you've tried to sell a home in the last few years, you know how hard it can be to get the price you're asking for. Even now as the housing market heats up, it's still an uphill battle selling for the right price. If your home has the right features, that can help score a higher bid from buyers.

According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the top 10 home improvements that homebuyers are willing to pay more for. Many of these features center around the kitchen, and some of these improvements could snag a seller thousands more. Of course, these features aren't necessarily the most important deciding factor for homebuyers. The location is also a major factor influencing a buyers decision. However, having some of these features inside the home can't hurt:

10. One or More Fireplaces - Strong appeal to 40% of buyers

Some 40% of homebuyers without a fireplace said they would spend additional money for at least one. These people find the fireplace a good place to cozy up and enjoy their homes.

9. Eat-In Kitchen - Strong appeal to 40% of buyers

The people who are most interested in an eat-in kitchen tend to be in the 35 to 54 age range, with 30% of those prospective home buyers indicating this is “very important†in a house. Meanwhile, just 21% of those under 35 years of age and 20% over 55 feel the same way. More people want kitchens that look into family entertainment rooms for a more inclusive environment.

8. Stainless Steel Appliances - Strong appeal to 41% of buyers

Like most features, stainless steel appliances are most important to people between the ages of 35 to 54, with 23% considering them to be a “very important†investment, compared with just 16% of those under the age of 35 and a mere 11% of those over the age of 55. From a cost perspective, stainless steel appliances are not necessarily the best investment. Stainless steel wears out far easier than most other common materials. Also, the children in the house can get their fingerprints on the appliances, requiring more cleaning (club soda works beautifully on fingerprints!). However, people are primarily driven to buy stainless steel appliances because they look more attractive.

7. Kitchen Island - Strong appeal to 48% of buyers

Kitchen islands are most important to people ages 35 to 54, with 24% of them indicating that it is a “very important†characteristic. Just 19% of people under 35 and 13% over 55 considered this feature important. They provide additional room to put out food for family and entertaining plus allows the kitchen to become more organized.

6. Ensuite Master Bath - Strong appeal to 49% of buyers

The ensuite master bathroom tends to be more important to people ages 35 and older. It goes to the ‘home is my sanctuary’ mentality. This, along with a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, has become more important in the past 10 years or so. The fact that many master bathrooms have two sinks is also an appealing option for married couples.

5. Hardwood floors - Strong appeal to 54% of buyers

53% of buyers up to the baby boomer generation, considered hardwood floors “very important†when looking for a home. In previous generations, carpets were considered better for conserving energy. Even today, older people are more likely to feel more comfortable with carpeting because the insulation makes the home a little bit warmer. For everyone else, hardwood floors are desirable because they are easier to clean and hold less allergens than carpet.

4. Granite Countertops - Strong appeal to 55% of buyers

Although just one in every five prospective home buyers, (locally the percentage is much higher) said granite countertops were very important, 55% of those who bought a home without such a countertop said they would pay extra for it. Granite countertops seem to be more of a style issue than anything else. There has been more emphasis on the beautiful kitchen these days, and granite countertops are an integral part of that.

3. Walk-In Closet in Master Bedroom - Strong appeal to 60% of buyers

A whopping 60% of homeowners were willing to pay extra for a walk-in closet in the master bedroom for two main reasons: space and status. The space is very desirable for people allowing them to be more organized. Having a walk-in closet in the master bedroom is also a status symbol - especially when they are systemized.

2. New Kitchen Appliances - Strong appeal to 69% of buyers

About 69% of homeowners said they were willing to spend more money for new kitchen appliances. People do not want to have to deal with the stress of broken appliances. They don’t want to come home after a horrible stressful day at work and find the dishwasher isn’t working or the fridge is making noises.

1. Central Air Conditioning - Strong appeal to 69% of buyers

Nearly seven in 10 homeowners said they would be willing to pay more for central air conditioning - the same as new kitchen appliances and more than any other feature. Central air conditioning was considered “very important†by more than 60% of people in all age groups.

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