There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the Australian dream home, but recent research reveals some features have universal appeal. A survey of 3000 Australians, by homebuilder Henley Homes, uncovered people’s “must haves”, as well as their favourite indoors and outdoors add-ons. Topping the wish list for Australian homebuyers is a property with three or more bedrooms [42%]; followed by a garage or carport [39%]. Other priorities include an open plan design [36%]; a separate laundry [34%]; and two or more bathrooms [34%]. Meanwhile, an alfresco or barbecue area is considered essential for 33%; and 31% say they want a pool in the backyard.
The Kitchen. This space has been revealed as the heart of the home with 39% saying it is the top “must have” and should be modern with features such as an island bench or butler’s pantry. It doesn’t have to be large but it does have to be quality. Island benches are important and the bigger the better. Many people choose to upgrade their stone benchtop category to make the kitchen more of a feature in the home.
Open Plan. Gone are the dark, confined layouts of yesteryear with 36% saying their dream home has to have open plan living. Open-plan suits the growing family and the entertaining style for many Australians. Being able to sit in the kitchen or open the home up to alfresco dining as well creates a relaxed way to live. The open plan is what is most desirable because we no longer have the rumpus room and TV room. It is what the family room use to be.
The Outdoors Room. Maximising the use of outside living areas is a great way to enhance your dream home. According to 33% surveyed by Henley, an alfresco area or outside barbecue is a sure-fire way of making the most out of your home. In many of Henley Homes’ designs the doors open right up, 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.
The Garage. Forget the pool room – when it comes to the Australian castle, off-street parking is vital. Having a garage or carport was the second most popular feature, with 39% of respondents considering it a “must-have”. Double lockup garages are popular because people use them for storage and for doing hobbies. It has become a versatile area. You may park in front of the garage and keep your bike or boat in there.
Bathrooms. Multiple bathrooms are favoured in the Aussie dream home with 34% wanting two or more washrooms. People will settle for one bathroom, but an extra bathroom can add $20,000 to $30,000 in value. In the normal family unit there are usually two bathrooms including an ensuite; while many people also want a guest toilet or powder-room.
Expert commentary from: Malcolm Gunning, Real Estate Institute of Australia President; Vicki Boburka, Henley Design Showroom Manager; Neb Delibasic, auctioneer for Del Real Estate in Melbourne; and Siobhan Donoghue, from Siobhan Donoghue Design.
Henley Homes [Melbourne]
T: 03 9574 5333