Photo: Robert Clark

Staying comfortable year-round is the biggest want of today’s American homebuyer, according to a recent study by the online home improvement marketplace, Porch.

A home equipped with central heating and air overwhelming topped homebuyer’s wish list, with some buyers willing to pay an additional thousands to have it in their new home.

“Today’s buyers tend to prefer functional amenities such as central heat and air and walk in closets to aesthetic ones such as granite or marble countertops, or stainless steel appliances,” Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman tells Livabl.

Porch surveyed 1,000 homebuyers about which amenities were non-negotiable and how much they would pay to have easy access to things like stainless steel appliances and centralized air conditioning.

Some 82 percent of respondents said central heating and air were essential amenities. The amenity is so essential to Millennial buyers that are willing to spend over $6,000 additional on a home equipped with central air.

Gen Xers said they would pay an additional $5,000 for the must-have amenity.

Over half of homebuyers want private outdoor space like a yard or patio — and they’re willing to pay as much as $7,000 additional to have one.

A spare or guest bedroom rounded out the top three most sought after amenities.

Unsurprisingly, high-maintenance amenities like swimming pools fell to the bottom of the list as did aesthetic preferences like stainless steel appliances.

While taking a dip in a pool on a hot summer afternoon may sound appealing, the average in-ground swimming pool can cost nearly $30,000 for installation and thousands every year in upkeep and maintenance.

“Deciding how much house you can afford is always a good place to start, but it’s important to note the annual costs of maintenance and upgrades along the way,” reads the study.

And when it came to respondents upgrading their properties to be more environmentally friendly, Millennials were willing to pay the most for solar panels — nearly $5,500. Solar panels can be a pricey upgrade on the front-end but typically pay for themselves within a few years in annual energy bill savings.

Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials have very different perspectives on putting their money where their upgrades were.

“Baby Boomers place a particular high monetary value on amenities compared to other generations. By far they were willing to pay significantly more for amenities such as stainless steel appliances, views, and fitness centers than either Gen X or Millennials,” says Ehrlichman.

Porch found that the amenities people most valued seemed to be centered on these memories: a backyard, space for their pets, and room for guests. After all, home is where the heart is.

Click here to read the entire study.

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