Home buyers dream of presence, plenty of space

What would you say constitutes a dream home? Let’s see what the majority tells us … and the survey says …

According to architects and real estate sales people, a thing called “street presence” has a big influence on homeowners and buyers. As you approach the home, are you attracted to it? Does it have eye appeal? Would you be proud to own this house? This ambience is achieved through proper landscaping, an attractive facade on the building and even an impressive driveway.

Let’s see what the perfect interior should be. Starting with the foyer, it should seem large, but again not take up too much space. Why? Because the foyer is rarely used, so why waste precious square footage. The largeness should come from openness of this space such as a lack of dividing walls.

Most popular on the buyer’s wish list is an informal family room that is visually open to the kitchen but with some sense of separateness. A step up or down between the rooms can give that room-defining feeling. A change of floor covering can do the same such as tile in the kitchen and carpet in the adjoining family room. Another idea is a change of ceiling height between the kitchen and family room. Decorative columns can also define without dividing the rooms.

The kitchen itself should be ample enough for two people to share the cooking experience. The family room should be big enough for the entire family to gather. How about parties? The family room should definitely be big enough for parties.

Most everyone requests that the master bedroom and the master bath be large with plenty of closet space. What’s large? That question needs to be addressed with another question: What can you afford? You take it from there.

If the home is two stories, the preference for the location of the master bedroom is on the first level. Too bad, because we need to exercise and going up and down those stairs a few times a day could be healthy.

The survey responses on the guest bedrooms were too varied to come up with a real preference. Some want ample secondary rooms for growing children while others prefer to use the space elsewhere and keep the guest bedrooms smaller for the occasional guest or visiting family members. Bathrooms adjacent to the guest rooms are consistently high on the wish list, though.

Three- and four-car garages are being requested often. Even condominium dwellers are requesting at least two covered spaces as opposed to the popular one covered and one not.

One more thing that appears repeatedly on the “I want” list is windows, lots and lots of big windows throughout the house.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.”

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