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What Makes Buyers Fall in Love with a Home?

Survey: Buyers want things in a home but fall in love with unexpected perks. In Fla., canals are the big love, but man-caves, she-sheds and workshops top the U.S. list.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – What makes someone fall in love with a home? Across the U.S., people swoon over fabulous pools, stunning water views and ever-sexy storage space, but a new analysis attempted to find out the things that make home shoppers’ hearts skip a beat. To do that, realtor.com analyzed keyword home search data in each U.S. state to determine regional must-have features.

In Florida, the top “love” was a water view in the backyard, according to the data.

Mainers want to go “upta camp,” a local term used for a cabin or cottage. Oklahomans look for storm shelters, and California loves solar power. In Hawaii, home shoppers are searching for “fee simple” homes to ensure they own the land and the building in their little piece of paradise. Additionally, D.C. residents want to be near the Metro, the city’s local public transportation system, Pennsylvanians want parking, and in New York, residents would love to have a balcony.

“While some of the country’s most-loved home features, such as accessory dwelling units or lakefront properties, will likely fetch a premium on the open market, others are more matters of the heart,” says George Ratiu, senior economist, realtor.com. “Maybe you grew up in a certain style of home or have always dreamed of having a big yard – everyone’s vision of home is unique and being able to search for what makes a house perfect for you can help you find true love in a new home.”

It’s all about the shed

Nationwide, man-caves, she-sheds, workshops and granny pods topped the love list. Popular search terms in this category include in-law apartment, barn, ADU, casita and RV parking. Residents in 13 states want alternative living spaces – a top must-have item.

Don’t come a-knockin’

People in many states love their privacy – acreage, a fenced yard, room for horses and a country setting all make the top searched feature list. Home shoppers in six states want room to roam and some real separation from the neighbors.

Take my breath away

With baby boomers aging, America has fallen out of love with climbing stairs. Residents in nine states don’t want anything to do with multi-level homes. Top searches in these states include first-floor master, ranch, rambler and single-level.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

For some, the old adage rings true that real estate is all about location, location, location. In six states, including Florida, a heavenly location with beautiful views topped the must-have list. Home buyers in these states are searching for a lake view, canal, dock, lakeshore or river access as their favorite features.

For others, it’s all about a house’s looks. For example, in states like Connecticut and New Hampshire that have a lot of older homes, people are looking for contemporary style, while South Carolinians love traditional brick facades and Texans prefer a modern aesthetic.

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