Ashley Lockyer —
The Canadian dream home has a new laundry list of “must haves”
Utility bills can cost a homeowner even more when they go to sell their property according to the Century 21 Canadian Home Critics Survey. the results, which expose purchasers’ motivations and turn offs, shows Canadians overwhelmingly report that they would select a home with energy efficiency upgrades (41%) over updated finishings like granite countertops or hardwood floors (22%).
“It’s well-known that home buying is an emotional process, so understanding the shifts in where buyers place value is key to a sellers’ success,” said Todd Shyiak of Century 21. “Location is still important to today’s home buyers, but the sheer volume of information available has made them more aware of how a home’s features can impact their lifestyle.”
So, how are Canadians judging your home?
Home buyers want “Layout, location, location.”
Canadians say that layout is the most important consideration when selecting a home (27%), even over location factors such as the desirability of the community (26%) or commute distance (12%). Layout also has the strongest impact on their first impression of a house (39%) while a home’s size carries much less weight (11%).
The survey also uncovers that buyers are willing to renovate for looks but not for repair.
Only 13% of Canadians view the need to renovate rooms as a major home buying deterrent. Yet, 30% will walk away from a purchase if they notice just a small amount of water damage, even when the costly issue of outdated plumbing or electrical facilities (29%) is considered.
When it comes to homes, Canadians are clean freaks.
If your house has old flooring, just make sure it’s spotless. Uncleanliness tops home buyers’ turn off list (60%), whereas dated flooring (40%) or bold paint colours (18%) have much less impact.
The Goldilocks’ effect: Buyers most driven to find a home that fits just right.
40% of Canadians say their number one motivation to buy a house is to “better fit a new life stage,” followed by the desire to “have a home of their own” (29%) and “because it’s a smart investment” (just 10%).
Size matters to millennial home buyers, boomers have bigger concerns.
Millennials look more at the face value of houses, including square footage (millennials 9%, boomers 4%) and room count (millennials 12%, boomers 3%). In contrast, boomers are more concerned with lifestyle factors, such as how well the space is laid out (millennials 18%, boomers 34%) or if it’s located in a desirable community (millennials 18%, boomers 30%).
For boomer buyers, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Boomers are less likely to be turned off by a home’s cosmetic features, such as dated flooring (millennials 51%, boomers 36%). This demographic, who may be settling in for retirement or downsizing, seek homes that won’t cost them time or money in the long run. Boomers prefer homes with energy efficiency upgrades (millennials 29%, boomers 54%) and are more likely to avoid ones with outdated plumbing or electrical facilities (millennials 23%, boomers 32%).
Canadian home buyer desires from coast to coast:
* Why buy a home? Atlantic Canadians view homeownership as a smart investment.
* “Home of my own” instinct tops Quebec residents’ motivations to buy property.
* Dated décor turns off Ontario home buyers.
* Prairie home buyers seek neighbourhood and house to fit their families.
* Albertan home buyers focus on “layout over location.”
* BC home buyers are property psychic, avoiding costly future expenses.
“Knowing your buyer can mean the difference between getting the best price for a home or missing opportunities,” said Shyiak. “In-depth knowledge of each community’s unique needs has distinguished our agents’ service and their clients’ success.”
What motivates, attracts, and turns off Canadian home buyers? The survey was conducted to go beyond housing statistics and reveal home buyers’ mindsets. The survey was conducted online in September 2014 by Pollara Strategic Insights among 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over. As a guideline, a sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.