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Survey: Which Home Features Do Americans Value the Most in 2021?

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated September 9, 2021
mother and daughter in kitchen baking

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Our home feature survey reveals which home features and spaces Americans value the most in 2021

Throughout 2020 and for the first half of 2021, homes in the U.S. flew off the market. In fact, U.S. housing stock gained nearly $2.5 trillion in value in 2020—the most in a single year since 2005. 

With such a hot housing market, we wanted to know which home features Americans simply can’t live without. We also looked into which luxury home features they value most. 

We asked 1,499 Americans over the age of 25 what living spaces and luxury home features they appreciate the most and which basic features they can’t live without. The results might surprise you!

Here are some of our key findings:

  • 34% of Americans value having a large kitchen over any other living space.

  • 1 in 5 Americans refuse to live in a home without outdoor space.

  • Only 12% of people value smart home technology the most as a luxury feature.

We also compared how men and women and varying age groups differ on which home features matter most to them. Keep reading to discover what these demographics agree and disagree on.

A Large Kitchen Area Is the Most Valued Living Space

living space survey

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Nearly one out of every three Americans list having a large kitchen as their most valued living space. Americans are cooking more than ever in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic—which could have influenced the value of having a larger kitchen.

According to a survey conducted by Hunter PR, 51% of Americans cooked more often during the pandemic, and 41% baked more often. The vast majority (71%) of those who cooked more plan to continue doing so post-pandemic. 

People also highly value having outdoor space. 27% of Americans listed having an outdoor space as their top-valued living space. 

Here are the other top living spaces:

  • Entertainment room: 15%

  • Extra storage space: 13%

  • Home office: 7%

  • Guest bedroom: 4%

Almost Twice as Many Women Value Having a Large Kitchen Than Men

desired home features men vs women infographic

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Women place much more value on having a large kitchen than men. More than 44% of women rate a large kitchen as their most valued living space, while only 27% of men feel the same way.

Men, on the other hand, are much keener on having an entertainment room than women. In fact, the percentage of men (20%) whose most-valued living space is an entertainment room more than doubles that of women (9%).

There are some living spaces that both men and women feel like they need and others they can live without. The need for an outdoor space is more equal among men and women, with 31% of men and 23% of women valuing it the most. Only 3% of both men and women value the guest bedroom most.

The Death of the Guest Bedroom

guest bedroom survey infographic

Women and men both agree that guest bedrooms don’t hold that much value in their homes today. Neither group particularly values guest bedrooms. Only 3% of men and women list guest bedrooms as their most valued living space. 

When looking across age groups, 4% of those ages 45 to 54 state having a guest bedroom as their most valuable living space—the highest among any age group. Surprisingly, those 65+, who are more likely to have children and grandchildren, put little value on possessing a guest bedroom. Only 3% of those 65+ and those 25 to 44 listed a guest bedroom as their most appreciated space.

The reason why guest bedrooms are so undervalued is unclear since we didn’t ask that in our survey. It could simply be that people value other areas of their house more than guest rooms. 

Another possibility is that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased people’s wariness of having guests stay with them. This hesitancy plus the increased access to fully furnished houses or lofts via services like Airbnb or Vrbo could be why guest rooms are less valued.

Most Valued Luxury Features

luxury features survey infographic

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For most Americans, updated appliances and hardwood floors are absolute musts. 30% of Americans stated that updated appliances are their most valued luxury home feature. Coming in as a close second are hardwood floors, with 28% of Americans naming them as their most valued luxury feature.

men vs women luxury features survey infographic

Men and women value hardwood floors nearly equally, with 27% of men and 28% of women listing them as their most valued luxury home feature. The two groups also fall in line with their value on updated appliances—31% of women and 30% of men want updated appliances in their homes.

The main difference between men and women on luxury features is their view on having a walk-in closet. 24% of women value a walk-in closet the most as their luxury feature, while only 16% of men feel the same.

Only 1 in 10 Americans List a Home Gym as Their Primary Luxury Home Feature

woman using rowing machine in home gym

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Despite the pandemic, which caused millions of people to stay at home more often, home gyms are not highly valued. Only 10% of Americans list having a home gym as their primary luxury home feature. 

Similarly, smart home technology is not the top high-value luxury home feature for most Americans. Only 12% of Americans value smart home technology above other luxury home features. And it comes as no surprise, those ages 25 to 54 make up 58% of the 12% of Americans who value smart home technology above all other luxury home features.

Americans Demand Laundry Rooms

laundry room home feature stats infographic

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A laundry room is the most desired home feature. 34% of Americans state they can’t live without one. When digging deeper into this group, we found that women feel strongest about having a laundry room. 39% of women stated they need a laundry room, while only 29% of men feel similarly. 

The other two home features Americans feel they can’t live without are an outdoor space (24% of men and 20% of women) and a large kitchen (19% of men and 21% of women).

There is little to no variation between age groups when it comes to which home features they can’t live without. All five age groups listed having a laundry room as their top home feature and an outdoor space as their second.

Home Features Americans Can Do Without

Despite an increase in the number of Americans working from home due to the pandemic, only one in 10 people feel like they need a home office. Women especially feel they can live without a designated home office, with only 6% stating they absolutely need one in their home.

The Future of Home Designs and Renovations

According to NAR Realtor, in 2021, those ages 22 to 40 make up the largest share of homebuyers at 37%. The second highest homebuying group was those ages 41 to 55 and consisted of 24% of 2021 homebuyers. Those 22 to 55 consist of 61% of homebuyers. 

Based on our survey results for those 25 to 54, homebuilders, contractors, and renovators should prepare for these home features in future designs and renovations:

  • 35% need a dedicated laundry room.

  • 29% listed updated appliances as their top luxury feature and 25% stated hardwood floors.

  • 34% value a large kitchen area over any other living space.

  • 27% value an outdoor space as their top living space.

For more information on homebuying trends, check out our 2021 millennial homebuying statistics.

Methodology

The findings of Angi’s 2021 home feature survey stem from an online Google Consumer Survey. The sample consisted of 1,499 respondents who live in the United States. We applied post-stratification weighting to ensure a reliable representation of the total population. Post-stratification weighting adjusts the weighted demographic totals (sex, age, location, etc.) to the known population. We conducted the survey between July 15 and August 16, 2021.

Sources: Zillow | Hunter PR | CNBC | NAR Realtor | Survey Practice