House hunting. It can be so much fun and so overwhelming at the same time. If you are out looking for your next castle, it is wise to create a wish list of what you personally desire for your home, including the interiors. While viewing different houses, take a camera and a notepad to document how each compares to your list. In today's real estate market, the features below are definitely on many home buyers' wish lists. — Michelle Jennings Wiebe, Special to the Times
The kitchen truly is the heart of every home and therefore has become the most important space for home buyers. Increasingly, buyers want a modern open kitchen with an informal eat-in area, for both meals and homework. Center islands are desired, for their added counter space and storage. Large sinks under a window always are a hit.
Appliances are one of the most expensive items in a home, so make sure to look at the condition, age (including energy efficiency), and overall appearance. If your budget permits, a lot of buyers are inclined to show status by having high-end appliances such as Wolf and Sub-Zero. As for countertops, natural stone such as granite is still popular, but quartz counters such as Silestone and Caesarstone are becoming more in demand.
What's out: Long narrow galley kitchens and separate dining rooms
Open floor plans, numerous windows, and high ceilings
In newer homes, buyers desire open spaces, such as the kitchen and family room having open access to each another. Superior natural lighting is on most home buyers' wish lists, so large and abundant windows achieve this. High ceilings also create spaciousness and give good lighting and decorating options.
What's out: Low ceilings covered in popcorn or knockdown textures
Durable hardwood flooring and tile
More and more, buyers are opting for homes with hardwood flooring and/or tile due to the resilience and maintenance. These floors also can give style and beauty to any room.
In older homes, original hardwood flooring may be hidden under old carpet. It's important to see what is underneath, and see if the hardwood can be refinished. Broadloom carpet may still be considered for bedrooms.
What's out: Different flooring in every room, dirty carpet
Buyers typically want at least two full bathrooms, preferably with windows for natural lighting and ventilation. They also desire walk-in showers instead of shower/tub combinations. However, at least one bathtub should be in the home.
In the master bathroom, most buyers wish for two sinks, a freestanding tub, a shower with a myriad of water features, and a separate water closet for the toilet.
What's out: Whirlpool tubs with expansive tub decks
INSIDE: More features home buyers are looking for. Page 3