A Complete List of Home Amenities and Features for Home Buyers

woman looking at checklist on clipboard at kitchen table
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When the time comes for a first-time home buyer to tell a real estate agent what they desire in a home, will they know what to say besides simple things like a two-story home with a walkout basement in a quiet neighborhood.

There's much more to a home than that. One of the really great things about giving your agent a list of amenities and features is that your agent can utilize technology to find that perfect home for you from that list.

Using a List to Search Properties

Most MLS systems that agents use to find homes contain search parameters. Some will let you exclude certain types of criteria, which might be more helpful to you than you may first think. If, for example, you absolutely do not want to buy a home with carpeting, your agent can exclude all homes with carpeting from your search requirements. You might want to consider carpeting only for the bedrooms and installing hardwood-like floors elsewhere.

The more closely you define parameters, the fewer homes you may find that are available to you. If you include too many parameters, you may not find any homes at all. If is best to be more general and less specific. Plus, bear in mind that information exported is only as good as the information imported, and some agents might leave blank certain fields.

Location, Location, Location

This is the first rule of real estate. Location is the most important yet the most often overlooked rule. If you have to choose between a home with all of the amenities you want in a bad location or a home in a good location with only some of the amenities, choose the home with the good location. You can always add amenities, but you cannot change a bad location.

Narrow your list to your top 3 to 5 neighborhoods. Talk to the neighbors to find out if these areas are indeed where you might want to live. Let your agent know the ZIP codes you would like, or define the area by street boundaries so your agent can draw a map search.

Examples of Types of Locations:

    • View of coast, city or hills
    • Waterfront: River, ocean, lakefront
    • Greenbelt
    • Golf course
    • Suburban
    • City
    • Raised elevation or mountains
    • Cul-de-sac
    • Dead-end street
    • Gated community

Construction, Exterior, Style, Roof and Yard Amenities

We all have some idea of what our perfect home would look like. But again, you'll get better results from excluding certain types than by choosing too many particulars.

Home Construction

    • Adobe
    • Brick
    • Concrete block
    • Log
    • Metal
    • Stone
    • Straw
    • Wood

Home Exterior

    • Brick
    • Cement siding
    • Lap siding
    • Metal siding
    • Vinyl siding
    • Shingle
    • Stone
    • Stucco
    • Veneer
    • Wood

Style of Home

    • A-frame
    • Bungalow
    • Colonial
    • Contemporary
    • Cottage
    • Dome
    • Log
    • Mediterranean
    • Ranch
    • Spanish
    • Tudor
    • Victorian

Roof

    • Composition shingle
    • Concrete tile
    • Metal
    • Rock
    • Shake
    • Slate
    • Tar
    • Tile
    • Wood

Yard

    • Size of lot
    • Swimming pool / sport pool
    • Spa
    • Sauna
    • Steam room
    • Fireplace or fire pit
    • Built-in BBQ
    • Outdoor kitchen
    • Courtyard
    • Patio: Covered or uncovered
    • Deck
    • Tennis courts
    • Trees and landscaping
    • Gardens
    • Lawn
    • Automatic sprinklers / drip / misting system

Basic Home Amenities, Types of Rooms and Flooring

Rather than picking a specific age of home, try choosing a range of years. If you do not want a newer home, you can ask your agent to limit your search to homes built prior to a certain year. Bear in mind that if your cutoff is homes built before 1990, you will not receive a home listing for a home built in 1991.

Type of Home (Single Family -- Attached or Detached, Duplex, Halfplex, Condo, Townhome, Manufactured Home)

    • Age of home / year built
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Number of baths
    • Number of stories or levels
    • Orientation (direction home faces)
    • Utilities: gas / electric
    • HVAC: Central heating & air conditioning, propane, gravity, floor or wall
    • Parking / garage
    • RV parking or boat storage

Types of Rooms

    • Number of masters / junior masters / ensuites
    • Loft
    • Den
    • Bonus room
    • Great room
    • Home office area
    • Home theater
    • Media room
    • Family room
    • Gym / workout room
    • Library
    • Butler's pantry
    • Sun room
    • Downstairs' bedroom
    • Basement
    • Guest quarters
    • Wine storage

Flooring

    • Carpeting
    • Concrete
    • Bamboo
    • Stone
    • Tile
    • Laminate
    • Cork
    • Vinyl / linoleum
    • Manufactured wood
    • Marble
    • Wood
    • Waterproof vinyl planks

Specific Home Amenities and Features

Home buyers often desire certain features in 4 areas of the home: the kitchen, master bedroom, baths, and dining room. In addition, a growing number of buyers prefer to have home energy features, including accessibility features. Although some of these can be added after purchase as a home improvement project, sometimes the cost to do so is prohibitive.

Here are more specific amenities and features to consider:

Kitchen Features and Amenities

    • Appliances: Built-in or free standing - stainless / colored / cabinetry match
    • Counters: Granite, marble, ceramic, stone, wood, laminate or synthetic
    • Islands and wet bars
    • Dining bars
    • Under cabinet lighting / recessed lighting / pendants
    • Farm-style sinks, dual or triple sinks, metal, steel, cast iron
    • Warming drawers, wine wefrigerators, trash compactors
    • Remodeled / updated

Dining Features

    • Space in kitchen / breakfast nook
    • Dining / family combination
    • Dining / living combination
    • Formal dining room
    • Outdoor kitchen

Master Suite Amenities and Features

    • Large vs. small
    • Balcony
    • Outside access
    • Private patio
    • Remote area or sitting room / office
    • Ground floor vs. second floor
    • Surround sound
    • Fireplace
    • Wet bar
    • Dual walk-in closets

Bath Features

    • Dual / triple tinks
    • Built-in dressing vanities
    • Vanity shelves & mirrors in showers / tubs
    • Jetted or sunken tubs
    • Separate shower
    • Rainshower heads
    • Stone / tile surfaces
    • Outside access
    • Skylights
    • Heated floors
    • Remodeled / updated

Home Energy Amenities and Features

    • Attic fans
    • Ceiling fans
    • Dual or triple pane windows
    • Programmable thermostats
    • Single flush toilets
    • Window shutters
    • Solar heat
    • Solar plumbing
    • Solar screens
    • Storm windows
    • Tankless water heater
    • Skylights or sky tubes
    • Whole house fan

Accessibility Features

    • Extra-wide doorways
    • Ramps
    • Grab bars
    • Lower counter heights
    • Walk-in tubs and showers

At the time of the story's initial writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, Cal BRE #00697006, is a broker-associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.