What Women Want: 11 Must Haves in a Home
A growing segment of the housing industry is studying what in a home matters most to women. Real-estate agents, designers, marketers and researchers say some of women’s home preferences are purely functional: Moms like dining areas with easily wiped hardwood or tile floors, not carpeting, for example, and the location of a laundry room is likely to matter deeply to a female homebuyer. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, and they’re the major influence in the purchase of 91% of new homes. Women respond most to a home’s aesthetics, such as paint and flooring, interior design, appliances, layout and functionality. Men,seem more interested in a home’s space and dimensions. What are the top 11 must haves for women?
Female homebuyers walk into a home for sale and, invariably, after first inspecting the kitchen, will make a beeline for the bedroom to check out the closets. Women say they want a home that helps manage a family’s accumulation of stuff. That means cupboards, drawers, cubbies and organizing systems. But above all, it means great walk-in closets.
Jetted tubs might sound ’80s retro, but, odd as it sounds, they are a big attraction for female buyers. Moms love them because kids love them. The bubblier the better. Life’s hard enough without having to drag kids kicking and screaming into the bathtub.
Location, Location Location
Wait a minute — doesn’t everyone care about location? Sure. But for women it’s an even higher priority.Women generally care more about location and less about size. A small home with great architectural character or a beautifully built little jewel box will fulfill many a woman’s dreams better than a megahouse — provided she loves the location.
Feeling safe at home is crucial to everyone, but women rank it as an extra-high priority. Qualms about safety will break a deal, particularly for single women.
A Great Place for Socializing
A party space is nice, but an even bigger priority, women tell housing experts, is a comfortable environment for sitting around and sharing. Preferably with food. It could be a kitchen island or counter, a comfortable den or a corner with a couple of chairs and a sofa pulled up in front of a fireplace.
A Dedicated Laundry Room
A lot of people — a lot of women — don’t want to see a laundry room when they enter the house through the garage. They don’t want to have a pile of laundry greet them at the end of a long day. Women say ‘It’s like I’m coming home to a second job”. Trooping down basement stairs with a laundry basket to reach the washer and dryer is another huge turn-off. A simple utility closet near the bedrooms or off the kitchen is a whole lot better.
When they’re asked what matters most in home design, women consistently say that a low-maintenance home is a very high priority. Female homebuyers love no-paint exterior siding, no-fuss landscaping and homes that are new or recently renovated.
Separate Master Bath Shower and Tub
Women care deeply about the master bathroom.Many would like to send bathtubs to the dustbin of history. A spa shower with multiple heads is the big master-bath must have instead.
Two- Car Garage
Even single women clients want a two-car garage. Even if they have just one car? Hello? It’s storage!!
A Great Kitchen
Women love a great kitchen and so do men. A third of agents say a kitchen is the most important feature of a home for their clients. Research finds that 68% of women say they’re the primary chef for their household, while 23% of men say cooking is primarily their job. Both genders love big open kitchens that include space for dining, entertaining, doing homework, using computers, watching TV and hanging out together.
A Smart Layout
Women are critical of home plans that don’t allow life to flow smoothly. A home needs to be planned for the lives of real people. That means that there should be plenty of electrical outlets and that they should be located where you need them, near where you’d use a hairdryer or shaver, for instance. Other functional preferences include weather-tight, energy-efficient homes that are easy on the pocketbook to heat. Hard-surface floors are ranked higher than carpet. Other favorites include two full baths and a place for dropping things when you walk in the door.