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10 Trendy Features That Are Boosting Home Values

Happy homeowners dancing in their kitchen
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For much of the past two years, many Americans were sequestered in their homes — unable to go to work, eat out, travel or enjoy entertainment venues or much of anything else. Our homes became our offices, our gyms, our sanctuaries.As a result, we now demand much from our abodes. We want to work hard and play hard within our own walls, and enjoy all the comfort and functionality we can afford.

Many homebuyers are also looking for those same elements in 2022.

Recently, Zillow analyzed hundreds of features and design terms mentioned in listing descriptions for more than 3 million homes sold in 2020 and 2021, and identified those that tend to help homes sell for more than expected. Here’s a look at the top 10.

Steam oven

Steam oven
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Price premium: 3.7%

Unable to eat out much during the pandemic, many Americans had to fend for themselves in the kitchen. The steam oven has become a coveted culinary appliance, with several benefits that set it apart from conventional convection ovens.

Cooking with steam means foods retain more nutrients, require less use of oil and cook faster. The downside? Perhaps most notable is the price: A built-in steam oven can cost four figures, with a top-of-the-line model running $5,000, according to MarthaStewart.com.

But then again, if a steam oven increased your home’s selling price by 3.7%, it could easily pay for itself. That would add $11,100 to the selling price of a $300,000 home, for example.

Modern farmhouse aesthetic

Modern farmhouse
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Price premium: 3%

According to a 2021 survey from the publication Pro Builder and the New Home Trends Institute, 58% of architects and designers forecast the farmhouse to be among the top five house elevation styles in the next few years.

Welcoming front porches, board and batten siding and sharp, classic, gabled silhouettes are some of the many touches that make the modern farmhouse stand out.

New appliances

Kitchen with stainless steel appliances
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Price premium: 2.6%

Be careful what appliances you purchase if your goal is to increase your home value.

Real estate referral company HomeLight says appliances should be the same finish, brand and age. Stainless steel, energy efficiency, and widely recognized quality brands are also of utmost importance. Homebuyers expect quality appliances that are going to work perfectly and blend with the rest of the style of home.

Shiplap

Room with shiplap walls
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Price premium: 2.6%

Shiplap wood walls aren’t just trendy, often featured in the modern farmhouse aesthetic. They’re also a relatively simple and affordable way to appeal to prospective buyers.

Installation is easy enough as a DIY project, and HomeAdvisor estimates that it costs between $500 and $1,500 to install shiplap in a single interior room.

High-speed internet access

productive remote worker
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Price premium: 2.5%

The threat of COVID-19 forced Americans to work from home, and two years into the pandemic, many of us are still there. A recent Pew Research Center survey found 59% of Americans are working from home full-time or most of the time. Thus, access to broadband internet is vital for many.

Nautical style

Nautical theme bedroom
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

Price premium: 2.4%

Demand for homes in vacation areas has spiked during the pandemic, with most companies allowing their employees to work remotely from basically anywhere, a recent Zillow report shows.

Even if you can’t live at the beach, you can create your own beach house feel wherever you live. Think lots of white and blue, wood-paneled walls, simple furniture and, of course, the decorative ropes and anchors.

Seismic retrofit

Homes in San Francisco, California
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Price premium: 2.4%

For much of the West Coast, from Seattle to San Francisco to Los Angeles, earthquakes are more a matter of when than if. Thus, a big selling point for homes is retrofitting to prevent major damage.

In fact, Zillow’s analysis found that seismic retrofitting not only tends to help homes sell for more than expected but also can help homes sell faster than expected.

The cost of seismic retrofitting varies, though a brace-and-bolt retrofit costs $3,000 to $7,000, according to the California Residential Mitigation Program.

Metal roof

Construction worker installing a metal roof
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Price premium: 2.4%

A sleek metal roof, with a variety of colors and styles available, can give your home that contemporary wow factor.

Aside from the aesthetics, metal roofs have myriad other benefits. They can last decades, are resistant to all sorts of nasty weather, are recyclable and can reflect much of the summer sun’s heat with the application of a special coating.

If you’re in the market for a new roof, check out “7 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a New Roof.”

Heated floors

Worker installing heated flooring
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Price premium: 2.4%

Radiant floor heating is a great way to save energy and keep your feet warm on cold winter mornings.

Hydronic systems, the most popular installation, pump heated water through tubes under the floor, whether made of ceramic, vinyl, wood or carpet. These systems are more efficient than forced-air heating systems, which lose a substantial amount of heat via ducts.

Radiant heating ranges in cost from $6 to $20 per square foot for hydronic systems, on average, according to HomeAdvisor.

Pet house

Doghouse
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Price premium: 2.3%

A whopping 78% of current pet owners acquired a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Forbes Advisor survey. And 66% of owners said they had spent more on their pets than usual in the past six months to help them adjust as their “parents” spend more time away from home.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that homebuyers are willing to pay a little more for a home with a pet house.

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