Despite current market challenges, there are some housing attributes a borrower just isn’t willing to give up. In the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey conducted in the last week of October 2017, the survey asked potential homebuyers what they are least willing to give up in a new home.
The first attribute is a nicer home that needs fewer upgrades or renovations—with 31 percent of all first-time and upgrades homebuyers reporting this is the one value they won’t give up.
It makes sense that a newly renovated home would make up the majority of what a borrower wouldn’t sacrifice, especially considering the potential cost of upgrades. One part of the house a borrower should look out for is a newly modeled garage, as the cost to remodel a garage can be high.
According to data from Fixr.com, a provider for cost guides, comparisons, and term cheatsheets for hundreds of remodeling, installation, and repair projects, the national average to fix up a 600 square foot two-car garage could cost up to $6,500.
Fortunately, recent data released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that for new single-family completions in 2016, 63 percent offered a two-car garage, while another 22 percent of homes had a garage large enough to hold three or more cars.
The second housing factor a buyer doesn’t want to give up is capacity, with 18 percent of respondents saying they wouldn’t compromise on having a larger home with more rooms and space.
The garage offers valuable storage and potential living space that can often be more effectively used with a remodel, and if the borrower is looking to buy in a location where that additional space is more probable, the West North Central region—including North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri—could serve well.
The NAHB data found that majority of new single-family homes that completed construction in this division included three or more car garages that were associated with 50.1 percent of all completed homes in this division, while two-car garages were a part of 43 percent of the homes—creating some extra room.
However, the South Atlantic division, including Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, had the highest share of two-car garages with 71.9 percent.
Borrowers looking for more space might want to avoid the areas where one-car garages were most popular—the Middle Atlantic division—which includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The data finds that carport, off-street parking, and other parking facilities were the largest share in New England, a location potential buyers might want to avoid.
As for the last few attributes, 17 percent are least willing to give up a nicer outdoor area and more land, 13 percent of respondents reported they are unwilling to give up a more prestigious neighborhood, and 10 percent don’t want to give up a shorter commute to work.
It isn’t surprising that American homebuyers’ preferences are filled with diversity, but the survey notes there is one thing they all have in common: they all feel the need to give something up in order to achieve their homeownership goals.