A survey of 3000 people by homebuilder Henley Homes found 31% say a private place to paddle is among the most desirable outdoor features. An alfresco or outside barbecue area is also on the list, with 33% saying a house needs the increasingly popular “outdoors room” for them to consider purchasing. A hardwood deck is essential for 30% of Australians. However, when it comes to the ideal backyard people are divided. Almost one third [29%] say they want a large garden; while 22% say they want a low-maintenance outside space or none at all. The contrast is not surprising to experts who say maintenance and lack of space in a competitive real estate market are influencing homebuyers’ and prospective home renovators’ desires. Overall, when asked what features a home must have to consider buying, Australians overwhelmingly agree space for family is essential. An impressive 42% of respondents are searching for a home with three or more bedrooms; and more than a third [39%] prioritise a garage or carport. Other top-ranking features include open plan design [36%]; a separate laundry [34%]; and two or more bathrooms [34%].
A backyard pool is floated as the great Australian dream and a third of Australians say it’s what they want in their home. But are people really diving in when it comes to the crunch? The Real Estate Institute of Australia advises that it’s a question of the kids being entertained at home. Pools are mostly aimed at the younger family; but as the kids get older it often becomes a nuisance. Alfresco space is more versatile. You can put heaters in there; and in the cooler months you can still use that space. In a lot of Henley’s homes the doors open fully, which helps to extend the entertaining and living areas from the kitchen all the way through to the alfresco area. It opens up the house. Australians have revealed when it comes to a “forever house” outdoors features are often just as important as what is inside and should not be overlooked when designing or renovating your dream home.
Expert commentary by Vicki Boburka, Henley Design Showroom Manager; and Malcolm Gunning, Real Estate Institute of Australia President.
Henley Homes [Melbourne]
T: 03 9574 5333