Most Popular Home Features by State

October 6, 2020

What are the most popular home features buyers look for? This state-by-state breakdown shows how regional differences influence homebuyer wants.

All homebuyers have their wish list when looking at for sale properties. From eat-in kitchens to extra bathrooms to a big backyard, it’s hard to know what really attracts buyers. Tastes vary by region and even by state, so how do you know what to upgrade to stay competitive on the market? Knowing the most popular home features in each state can help you prioritize improvements if you’re ready to make a few changes to your home.

Top of the list of most popular home features

Across the country, each state has its own most searched feature based on information tabulated by The most popular home features tend to align with space.

Not only do homebuyers want room for their whole family but they want access to the outdoors. This is even more relevant in the post-COVID-19 world.

Homebuyers look for man caves, “she-sheds,” in-law suites, and home office or workshop space. They want a home with room to give everyone personal space. Whether attached to the home or a separate space on property, these types of requests are gaining in popularity. Residents in 13 states put alternative living spaces on the top of their wish list.

Once everyone has a room of their own, the desire for space moves outside. Homebuyers are looking for acreage. This not only gives them space but more privacy.

They aren’t as willing to compromise on how close they are to their neighbors. Homebuyers don’t want to see inside the house next door from their kitchen anymore. Putting a lake or access to water on this expanded property makes your home more appealing to buyers. Lots of land and beautiful views go hand-in-hand.

Read more: What Do Homebuyers Really Want?

A surprisingly in-demand feature

One surprising ask that topped the list in nine different states was a lack of stairs. In other words, baby boomers don’t want to climb them. And parents with young kids don’t want to run up and down them.

Stairs are falling out of favor across the generations and around the country. Residents in Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and North Dakota all prefer one-level living. These states, along with Delaware, Kentucky, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia, are on the hunt for first-floor masters or ranch style homes.

Regional preferences

While every homebuyer is looking for a different combination of features in their perfect home, some trends are visible.

In the South, homebuyers most often search for brick houses, big enough to include a mother-in-law suite. There is also a huge preference for homes with a lake view or access to a canal or creek.

Up North, it’s houses with a contemporary feel that get the most attention. Single level homes or those with the master on main are also hugely popular.

The Midwest is all about land. Homebuyers want acreage, barns and a perfect country house.

Out West, space is important, but it’s mostly about finding a home with the right extras. Homebuyers want properties with a secondary building on site, such as a casita. These make great workshops or guest houses.

Related: How to Decide on the Best House Size

Some home features are super specific to the state

Most states averaged pretty regular preferences when it came to homebuyer requests, but a few had some unique list toppers worth mentioning.

  • In Oklahoma, storm shelters are a key amenity. It makes sense considering the state is at the center of Tornado Alley. Oklahoma averages 62 tornadoes per year, with May being the busiest month.
  • Wyoming residents want homes with space to keep horses. Considered one of the most horse-friendly states in the country, Wyoming boasts a 5.1 ratio of people to horses. It’s also home to the first ever Dude Ranch. Horses matter to homebuyers here.
  • Up at the tip of the country, Maine homebuyers want camp. A term that doesn’t mean much to outsiders, this refers to a cabin or cottage on the property.
  • In Idaho, a space for an RV helps homebuyers decide whether or not they want to make an offer. With over 450 RV parks and campgrounds in the state, RV camping is popular with residents.
  • It’s no surprise that California residents want homes that utilize solar power. Homebuyers in this environmentally friendly state would probably like any features that conserve energy from solar panels to smart thermostats.

A preference in every state

Can you capitalize on the top amenity homebuyers are searching for in your state? Here’s the complete list.

StateTop Feature
AlabamaGas stove
ArizonaGas stove
ArkansasLake view
ColoradoMain floor master
District of ColumbiaMetro (transportation)
DelawareFirst-floor master
GeorgiaFirst floor master
HawaiiFee simple
IllinoisFenced yard
IndianaPole barn
KansasReverse (water filtration system)
KentuckyFirst-floor master
MichiganPole barn
MontanaADU (accessory dwelling unit)
New JerseyMother-in-law
New MexicoCasita
New YorkBalcony
North CarolinaBrick
North DakotaRambler
OhioFirst-floor master
OklahomaStorm shelter
OregonADU (accessory dwelling unit)
Rhode Island1-level
South CarolinaBrick
South DakotaAcreage
VirginiaFirst-floor master
WashingtonADU (accessory dwelling unit)
West VirginiaRiver access

Source:’s Most Popular Features by State

When you don’t have the feature everyone wants

It’s nice to know what the most popular trends are in your state. Unfortunately, a lot of these features aren’t ones you can add onto your home.

You probably can’t add acreage. It’s difficult and unreasonable to take a two-story home and smash it all into a single level.

While there are some things you can control, the situation may arise where your home isn’t selling fast enough. Rather than invest in making upgrades, or waiting it out, one alternative is to work with an off-market buyer.

At Sundae, we connect sellers to investors who will buy your home as is, whether they have the most popular amenities or not. The benefit of listing your home on Sundae’s marketplace is that you will be able to choose from a range of potential offers from a list of hundreds of trusted investors in your area. Not only can investors not change their price, but they cannot back out either. No price reductions, no surprises.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.