Top Kitchen and Bath Features Home Buyers Want

Today’s savvy home buyers are paying more attention to kitchen and bathroom features, and new homes are reflecting their preferences. A kitchen is not only a cooking area – it is a space where people gather to create and share meals. Similarly, function and design are characteristics home buyers are looking for in bathrooms. With a variety of finishes and amenities in kitchens and bathrooms available, which features stand out for home buyers?

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders reveals what kitchen and bath features are among the most wanted this year. The survey asked first-time buyers and existing home owners to rank several kitchen and bath features based on how essential they are to make a home-purchasing decision.

When asked about kitchens, more than half of home buyers ranked walk-in pantry as the top desirable feature in the kitchen. The second most wanted kitchen feature was a double sink, followed by a table space for eating, central island and granite/natural stone countertop.

The preferred finishes for cabinets varied. More than a third of home buyers preferred a white kitchen cabinet color followed closely by medium and dark brown. Unlike kitchen cabinets, home buyers have a strong preference for type of appliance. Two-thirds of buyers say stainless steel is their preferred color. Home buyers were also decisive when it came to kitchen countertop material. A majority say granite or other natural stone is their favorite.

When it comes to the bathroom, home buyers say having a linen closet in the master bath is the most desired feature. The second most wanted feature was having both a shower stall and tub in the master bath. Other top preferences include a double vanity and private toilet compartment in the master bath.  Home buyers increasingly say they want a white toilet, tub and sink.

Unlike kitchens, there were stark contrasts in bathroom feature preferences among different generations. More than a third of older home buyers age 65 or older do not want a whirlpool tub in the master bath, compared to only eight percent of buyers under 45. Similarly, a third of older home buyers do not want a skylight in the master bath, compared to 14 percent of buyers under age 45.