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May 09, 2022

Question 3: What Feature Did You Not Know You Needed?

This is the last question in our three-part series.

What things do you have in your house that you unexpectedly love? Or put a differently way, the things you didn’t know you needed! These are powerful insights into new home features that new home sales consultants can use to help sell homes. In a business with so many options, understanding the significance of these features is huge.

Dog Shower

Often, one person in the family really wants the feature that the other doesn’t care for, but doesn’t object to. That is the case with my dog shower. I really wanted it but my husband thought it was silly. We located it inside the garage and now he loves it.

Surprisingly, the dogs do too! Kevin also loves his dog shower. Located just outside the garage at waist-height with warm water and a high-powered blow dryer, what used to take an hour per dog now takes 30 minutes for both! Imagine your potential home buyers’ faces light up when you tell them that!

Warm Up the Bathroom

Another feature desired by the spouse – in this case, the wife – and now loved by both, is the bidet. “I thought my wife was crazy but in her country that’s what they use so we had to get one and surprisingly they are pretty handy”. Heated bidets have become increasingly popular and are almost as customizable (and in some cases, expensive) as refrigerators!

Another friend of mine really wanted heated floors in her bathroom. It gets cold where she lives in the winter. But what surprised her is how much she loves it – even in the summer with the air conditioning blasting. Let’s face it, no one loves cold feet. She also got a heated towel bar to fight off the winter chills. But what she discovered is how effective the heated towel bar is at drying out her towels.

We received plenty of comments about the oversized showers in lieu of a tub and shower. No surprise, the tub isn’t missed.

Smart Home Tech

Moving out of the bathroom, Gene loves his touchscreen front door deadbolt. “We bought a spec home, so it came with upgrades already and we didn’t get to pick any colors/upgrades etc. At first, I said, ‘what a waste of money’ and I wish it was used somewhere else. Now that we have it and experienced it, we love the convenience of leaving the house not fumbling with keys and having to not bring keys when we walk around the neighborhood.”

Another friend hooked up his entire house, yard, and even his 400′ dock with surround sound that can be controlled by room/zone via his phone. Having Wi-Fi throughout the property means you don’t have to walk the length of the dock to change the music.


Owner’s Laundry?

Several commented on including a stacked washer and dryer in the owner’s closet. Obviously, this cuts down on trips to the laundry room, but it came with other strategic advantages. Debbie says it has changed the way she and her husband do laundry. The appliances are in a shared walk-in closet instead of the previously separate closets in her last house. When the laundry baskets get full, it is super easy just to toss in a load – meaning no massive laundry day (like I do most every weekend.) Tony located a second set of appliances on the second floor close to his girls’ bedrooms. Now that they are older, their laundry never comes downstairs – a game changer! And when it is time to wash sheets or towels, they use both sets simultaneously so they get done quickly.

Storage – Of Course

In the kitchen, many really love their messy kitchen with the second sink and under counter refrigerator. Perfect for making coffee and great additional storage. Combine this with a large walk-in pantry, and your kitchen has an awesome support system behind it.

Other storage solutions included a broom closet in the laundry room and attic storage with second-floor access.

A Return to Formality?

A couple of respondents listed their formal rooms. Wait, what? “I know I am in the minority here, but I love my formal living and dining! We eat in the formal dining room every night and we have game night with extended family around this table a couple of times a month. We use the formal living as a quieter place for my husband and I to watch tv in the evenings away from the noise of the kids.”

Another uses his living room as a space to not have a TV. Instead, the room is set up like a lounge to display artwork with a record player and adjacent wine cellar. “I wanted the space to have a different feel than the other more casual spaces. Friends love to pick out a time capsule like an old record or a bottle of wine.”

While formal rooms aren’t exactly sales-worthy, how can we bring some of that magic into our new homes? This is where a flex room can appeal to a wide variety of buyers – whether they want a den, dining, living, or even a wine room!

As we look towards the future in design, it can be valuable to see how homeowners are currently using their homes. Asking simple questions to find out what they use, what they don’t, and what they wish they had can help guide us towards designing a better home for tomorrow.

There were a few common threads in everyone’s responses and a couple of surprises. Thank you so much to everyone who responded over the past three weeks!

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This post was written by Housing Design Matters