Finance Property Property wish list: The top 10 things buyers want in a home

Property wish list: The top 10 things buyers want in a home

Home with a view: a spectacular outlook, like that of this riverfront home in Yeronga, Queensland, is a top selling point. Photo:
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Does a light-filled house with big bedrooms, smart finishes and a sprawling open-plan living and kitchen area that flows seamlessly into an entertainer’s backyard sound like the ideal place to call home?

For many house hunters those characteristics are top of their wish list, new research by the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) has found.

After years of soaring prices in the two major housing markets, the old adage of ‘location, location, location’, while still desired, is becoming less important as buyers compromise on streets and suburbs in order to find their ideal home, REBAA president Rich Harvey said.

“We’ve certainly seen a recent period of unprecedented property growth in many of Australia’s major capital city and regional markets and buyers have had to be willing to compromise on many of their ‘must haves’,” he said.

“More than ever home buyers have been prepared to compromise on location and move one or two suburbs out in order to find what they’re looking for.”

Homebuyers’ top 10 property wish list

1. Open-plan living areas

Open-plan living tops the list of must-haves for many buyers. Photo: Getty

2. Quality kitchen

A gourmet, open-plan kitchen like the one featured in this home in Yeronga, Queensland, is a huge selling point. Photo:

Quality, modern open-plan kitchens are appealing to buyers, Mr Harvey said.

One that flows through to outdoor-indoor entertaining space, and has a direct view to the backyard, is ideal.

3. Natural light

4. Location close to amenities, shops and transport

5. Large sized bedrooms

Spacious bedrooms are a big plus for buyers. Photo: Getty

Big bedrooms are back.

“The recent boom in home renovation shows has shifted the focus back onto the bedroom and it seems the bigger, the better,” Mr Harvey said.

6. Properties close to school catchments

An address in a school catchment zone is a boon for many families. Photo: Getty

7. Good floor plan

A good layout goes a long way, the REBAA found. Photo: Getty

8. Functional back yard

This home in Bridgewater, SA boasts an impressive backyard. Photo:

9. Renovated properties with quality finishes

This renovated Victorian terrace in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond is asking $1.175 million. Photo:

Renovations can add significant value to a home, the REBAA research found. Buyers won’t pay for a shoddy DIY job, though. They want finishes of a high professional standard.

10. Properties with an outlook/view

A scenic outlook, like the ocean view enjoyed by this three-bedroom home in Coledale, NSW, is on many buyers’ wish lists. Photo:

Property dealbreakers

Even if a house ticks all the boxes, undesirable surroundings can be off-putting for potential buyers.

Nearness to busy roads, railway lines and flight paths were the biggest deterrent for home buyers, the REBAA survey found.

“Ugly streets, proximity to public housing, derelict houses with unkempt or uncared for gardens and those streets that give the sense they’re unsafe, do not bode well for vendors,” Mr Harvey said.

Bad neighbours are also a major dealbreaker, considered even worse than structural defects.

“While buying a home is a very personal thing and all about lifestyle, it’s important to remember that emotions can easily cloud decision making,” Mr Harvey said.

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