Backed up by exclusive realestate.com.au data, these are the home features Australian buyers are seeking out right now.
1. The ideal layout
Open-plan homes are no longer being sought-after in the way they used to be. According to Alexander, the modern buyer is actually looking for a home with more than one living zone and a seamless flow.
“If you’ve got children, one open-plan living space can mean you’re living on top of each other; a family today will outgrow that space in a shorter amount of time than if they had multiple living areas to inhabit,” says Alexander.
He says the ideal floor plan for a modern family includes two living spaces and three bedrooms on one level.
A formal living room means room to move and grow into. Picture: Note Design Studio
2. Sun-filled aspect
Buyers aren’t necessary seeking a skyline or beach view above other features, but being able to see as much blue sky as possible is important to anyone considering purchasing a home.
“Even if the home is south-facing (which isn’t always the most desirable aspect), if the home feels open and allows plenty of natural light in through windows and skylights, it will be popular with buyers,” says Alexander.
Natural light is key and will make any space appear more desirable. Picture: Ross Campbell
3. Quality finishes
In most cases, buyers are happy to make small changes to a home after purchasing, but the idea of having to replace cheaper finishes can serve as a deterrent for some.
If your budget permits, choose finishes like tapware and joinery that are made to last, in addition to just looking good.
Quality finishes will impress buyers. Picture: Norsu
4. No over-renovated homes
It’s advised that sellers make small adjustments to update their homes before listing it on the market, but Alexander says there’s a fine line between making your home more appealing, and taking the renovations too far to completion.
“It’s a deal breaker for some buyers when a home has been renovated to a point that it’s close to what they want, but they’d still have to make changes after buying.”
“A home buyer essentially doesn’t want to pay for the seller’s renovation if it’s something they’ll later be undoing,” says Alexander. “Make touch-ups, yes, but don’t overdo it.”
5. Practical elements over luxurious extras
Luxurious extras like statement tiles, benchtops and pendant lighting can easily be added after purchasing a new home.
If a home is not practical, a buyer may have to consider making structural changes by renovation, which may be enough to turn them off buying a home.
Don’t worry about installing lavish extras. Buyers want to be able to look at a home as a blank canvas for personalisation. Picture: Maree Homer
6. Swimming pools are back
Data from realestate.com.au shows swimming pools as the number one feature Aussie buyers are searching for when on the property hunt.
“Swimming pools have become more desirable in the last 10 years because of the way people live. Aussies lead busy lifestyles, and can be time-poor – even on the weekends,” Alexander says.
“A pool allows a family to enjoy all there is to love about summer and outdoor living, without having to pack up and go down to a beach or a park, which can feel like a big excursion when you have young children.”
Pools are desirable for time-poor families. Picture: James Geer/Thomas Archer Homes
Our exclusive data also shows garages to be a desirable feature among Aussie buyers. Between 2017 and 2018, garages jumped up from the seventh most searched-for feature, to the second highest.
According to Alexander, it comes down to convenience and re-saleability. “Buyers are aware that the market can change, and they want to have more boxes ticked for the next buyer.”
Garages are important to buyers. Picture: Getty
8. Solar panels
As Australians become more conscious of their environmental footprints, as well as their financial positions, the prospect of owning a house with solar panels already installed is becoming more desirable.
“Solar panels reduce power bills, and the chance to own a positively geared house is important to buyers. We’ve found more and more buyers have been asking about solar panels and sustainability aspects of a home in the last three years, and we expect this to continue,” says Alexander.