What Americans Want In a Home: The Housing Satisfaction Gap

In a recent survey conducted by the Demand Institute, 10,000 households were asked if their current homes met their lists of must-haves. The survey found that many homeowners are going without some important features. Home buyers and renovators should take heed; these are the features that should be on every must-have list.

Energy Efficient
Spending on home electricity has climbed 56 percent since 2000, leading 71 percent of households to think energy efficiency is important. Yet only 35 percent are satisfied with
their own home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners are making simple improvements to save on energy, like changing bulbs to LEDs and sealing leaks around windows and doors.

Move-In Ready
Since 2010, Americans have been spending more on home renovation smart investments, since 67 percent of those surveyed felt a fully renovated home was important. Only 41 percent were satisfied with the repairs done on their own home; when asked which jobs they will be likely to tackle over the next five years, painting and replacing worn flooring topped the to-do list.

Upgraded Kitchens
Of all the rooms in a home, the kitchen comes out on top, with 62 percent of households declaring it an important space in their homes. Yet only 38 percent of households are happy with their current kitchens. Top-of-the line appliances seem to be on many must-have lists, with 49 percent of homeowners thinking about purchasing a smart appliance.

Space and Privacy
Whether it’s space around a home to afford a little privacy from neighbors or space inside a home for more storage, homeowners want more room. Privacy was important for 63 percent of the surveyed households, but only 42 percent were satisfied with the distance between their house and the neighbors. And while 55 percent felt storage space was important, only 35 percent felt they had enough room in their closets. Over the next few years, large single-family homes in suburban communities. are expected to grow in popularity to meet the demand for more privacy and space.

Age-In-Place
Over the next five years, the number of households helmed by someone over 65 is expected to grow exponentially. These aging buyers place a greater emphasis on single story, low-maintenance homes with accessible features. But many households feel their homes won’t be compatible with their aging bodies; 76 percent think aging-in-place is important, but only 53 percent are satisfied with their home’s ability to meet their future accessibility needs.

Good Investment
Despite the recent housing crisis, 65 percent of households still think a home is a good long-term investment. However, only 47 percent are happy with their current home, a group largely made up of renters; 53 percent of renters hope to purchase a home one day.