What Are Homebuyers Looking for in 2021?


The housing market is currently experiencing an unprecedented rebound. With demand growing, buyers are willing to invest in premium properties with quality features and finishes. This is prompting sellers to think twice about forgoing any serious upgrades before cashing in.

According to the latest report from Remodeling magazine, renovations render an increase in value of between 50% and 80% of the average project cost. What brings the best bang for your buck? This year, there are several elements that stand above the rest. Here’s what homebuyers are looking for in 2021.

Getting Started

It can be challenging to decide on a specific improvement. You need to consider your budget, as well as whether your remodel or replacement is worth doing if you intend to sell as soon as possible. This is vital, as the returns on almost any job seldom exceed the initial cost.

For perspective, the following list comprises the leading projects and median percentage of cost recouped in sales:

  1. Manufactured stone veneer - 96%

  2. Garage door replacement - 94%

  3. Minor kitchen renovation - 78%

  4. Siding replacement - 75%

  5. Wooden deck addition - 72%

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Home Offices

Let’s get back on track with a trend that skyrocketed in 2021 and will likely continue to attract buyers moving forward. Now that telecommuting is the norm, remote employees are seeking silent and permanent interior spaces for work. A dedicated office can lure in would-be homeowners who want more than an improvised kitchen table setup.

In their November 2020 analysis, the phrases “home office” and “Zoom room” were found in 48.5% more Zillow listings compared to the previous year. There was also an increase in search terms including “pool” and “waterfront,” which is no surprise in today’s vacation-less world.


The novel coronavirus also made it difficult to eat out and order in. Nearly everyone found themselves cooking more or at least as much as they did before the pandemic. This is particularly evident among families who gather around the table for dinner. Of course, that typically requires an eat-in kitchen, making them highly desirable.

Laundry Rooms

Perhaps the most surprising trend is demand for a guest bedroom to clean and store clothing. In fact, it’s so desirable that it tops the National Association of Home Builders list of most-wanted features. If your home lacks any kind of laundry room, the basement can serve as an easy and affordable solution.

Energy Efficiency

As buyers look to limit their utility bills and environmental impact, appliances that save power tend to add ample value. You stand to gain even more from energy-efficient windows that trim heating and cooling costs. Be sure to keep an eye out for the favored Energy-Star certification.

A few bonus projects include pantries, patios, exterior lighting, hardwood floors and garage storage. What will you invest in before selling your home?