As we slowly creep toward the end of 2022, let’s look at trends from this year that have impacted the real estate market. Today, we’re looking at the most popular home features of the year. 

You can use this list to help you decide on your next home renovation project or see how your home ranks in terms of how many “must-have” features you already have.

Coming in at #1 – A Laundry Room

It may not be the most glamorous of features, but it is the most highly sought after.

A survey of thousands of buyers concluded that 87% want a laundry room. (And no, having your washer and drying shoved in the corner of your basement doesn’t count.)

Not only are buyers looking for a dedicated room for their laundry, but the survey also suggests that the best place for a laundry room is on the ground floor.

If you don’t already have a laundry room, you may want to consider where you might put one. If adding one isn’t possible, try to spruce up your current laundry area by adding custom storage or using strategically placed furniture to create a separate laundry space.

If you already have a laundry room, you can add value by:

  • Adding custom storage solutions
  • Applying a fresh coat of paint
  • Upgrade your washer & dryer to High-Efficiency models (use stackable ones if you’re also looking to increase space for countertops & storage)

#2 – Outdoor Lighting

When people consider renovating their property, outdoor lighting isn’t usually on their list.

But, in 2022, 87% of buyers surveyed said they were looking for outdoor lighting.

There are two significant benefits of outdoor lighting. First, it can dramatically increase your property’s curb appeal, especially in the fall and winter when days are shorter, and we spend more time in the dark. Secondly, outdoor lighting is a great security tool. In some studies, it was shown that crime rates were reduced with ample lighting on a property. 

If you feel like your outdoor lighting isn’t sufficient, you can do a few relatively inexpensive things to improve it, including:

  • Upgrading your current light fixtures to be more modern & functional
  • Swap out old light bulbs for LED bulbs
  • Utilize solar-powered garden lights to highlight walkways

#3 – ENERGY STAR-Rated Windows

Again, this isn’t the most glamorous feature, but upgraded Energy STAR-rated windows are a great selling feature.

83% of buyers surveyed said this is a feature they look for.

ENERGY STAR-rated windows include a special coating that:

  • Protects your home from the heat in the Summer months
  • Acts as a sunscreen for your home by blocking harmful UV rays from damaging valuables such as floors
  • Provide exceptional energy savings (lowering your electricity & gas bills)

ENERGY STAR ratings are based on climate zones, so ensuring you purchase the correct windows for your zone is important. Ottawa is a Zone 2.

#4 – Decks & Patios

This one may seem quite obvious, but since the pandemic, usable outdoor space has increased in popularity, making decks and patios a must-have for many buyers.

Having usable patio space means it’s large enough for entertaining, looks well-maintained, and meets all safety requirements. Before building a deck or patio, ensure all safety requirements are adhered to.

If you already have a deck or patio, you can increase its value by:

  • Restaining wood surfaces
  • Installing modern features like railings and lighting
  • Fixing any cracks in your patio by replacing tiles or repouring concrete
  • Adding features that allow the space to be used year-round

Unfortunately, in Ottawa, we suffer through some pretty intense winters that sometimes creep up on us earlier than we’d like. If you can make your outdoor space usable year-round by installing heaters or a custom patio enclosure system, you can further increase your home’s value. 

#5 – A Walk-In Pantry

We’ve talked about this feature before, but it still stands as one of the most in-demand features for homebuyers.

If you ask any homeowner what one thing they wish their home had, they’ll often say a walk-in pantry. It makes sense because having ample & accessible food storage is a struggle for many people. Homeowners without walk-in pantries often store food in odd places like linen closets, laundry rooms, basements, and garages.

If your home includes a walk-in pantry, just ensure you maintain it. If it needs a fresh coat of paint or more efficient shelving, it is a worthwhile investment to do those things. If you’re trying to sell your home, having a clutter-free pantry will help buyers see more value in the space.

Have you been counting which features you already have?

If you have all of the above features in your current home, you might be sitting on a gold mine in the eyes of potential buyers.

If you’re worried because you don’t have any of these features, don’t panic. Your home will have additional features that also add value; these are just some of the most sought-after features of the year.

Don’t go running out to the hardware store or call your contractor to get started on renovating your home to include all of these features. You definitely do not need all of these things to list your property successfully. 

If you do wish to complete some renovations on your property, starting with one of these features could be helpful for resale value. It’s best to consult a realtor to see what features are most sought after in your specific area.

If you live in the Ottawa area and have questions about how to improve the value of your property, give us a call or send us a message! We’d be happy to provide you with some personalized advice about your property.