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Farmhouse features are the most profitable trend in starter homes

by Claire Brennan

Starter homes with farmhouse-inspired features and craftsman designs are demanding the highest sales premiums, according to RealEstate.com.

In the study, RealEstate.com analyzed the listing descriptions of millions of entry-level homes (homes at the bottom third of the market) to determine which features and design trends would increase the value of these homes.

Entry-level homes with listings mentioning “claw foot tubs,” “farmhouse sinks” or “coffered ceilings” sold for up to 29 percent more than their anticipated value. Homes listed as craftsman style performed better than any other style analyzed.

First-time homebuyers are also paying more for environmentally friendly features. Listings including “solar panels” sold for up to 40 percent more than predicted, while the same feature sold only 13 percent more in homes in the upper two-thirds of the market.

“It’s important to keep in mind which features or amenities matter most to you in a home,” says Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow Group. “While a farmhouse sink or butcher block counters may appeal to many millennials and first-time buyers, not everyone may want to pay the premium those features may command.”  

See the sales premium for each of these home features in the chart below.

Home FeatureSales Premium Among
Entry-Level Homes
Sales Premium Among
Top-Tier Homes
Solar panels40%13%
Craftsman34%20%
Coffered ceiling29%20%
Clawfoot tub29%10%
Mid-century28%12%
In-law28%6%
Landscape/path/outdoor/deck lighting26%15%
Exposed beam or ceiling26%15%
Farmhouse sink26%16%
Wainscot26%13%
Fire pit25%12%
Central vacuum25%10%
Pergola25%4%
Mudroom24%13%
Tankless water heater24%7%

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