Today’s homebuyer is different to those of previous generations. In the age of smartphones, apps and smart homes, the modern house hunter’s demands have changed dramatically. At the same time, in an era defined by fluctuating house prices, today’s homebuyer is more cost-sensitive than ever before.

As searching for the perfect property continues to evolve, global real estate portal Lamudi explores the top 10 most important factors for those looking for a home in 2014. From energy efficiency to the latest technology, these are the top demands of modern house-hunters.

1. Energy efficiency

Cost of living and the household budget have always been important factors for those on the hunt for a new property. But as the price of amenities such as gas and electricity increase, it is no surprise that buyers now want reassurance about a home’s energy efficiency.

2. Storage - and plenty of it

One word: built-ins. To satisfy the needs of the modern household and help homeowners stay well organised, an ample amount of storage space has become a high priority. Built-in storage - including linen closets, wardrobes and even walk-in kitchen pantries - are now a must to attract modern home buyers.

3. The latest technology

Technology is now part of all elements of our lives and our home life is no exception. This can be something as simple as LED lighting, or involve more complicated technology like automated thermostats. These days, many property seekers expect to have the latest gadgets and high-tech features installed before buying.

4. Top notch security

Home security has been completely transformed by new technologies. Features like glass break sensors for windows and doors, and motion-activated lighting for exteriors, are just some of the modern security solutions that are attracting buyers.

5. Open plan living

Bright, open living spaces have become a staple of the modern home. The trend has even reached the kitchen, which homeowners often prefer to combine with the dining area. In fact, a 2012 study in the UK found that the dining room was becoming a thing of the past, with one in three households featuring a combined kitchen-dining area.

6. A modern kitchen

Kitchen design trends have changed significantly in recent years, as popular features of the past decade have started to look dated. Granite is no longer in vogue, with marble countertops and a simple black-and-white color palette giving the kitchen a distinctly modern edge. Here too, buyers are looking for the latest state-of-the-art, energy efficient household appliances.

7. Entertainment options

The modern home is much more than a place to sleep and eat. It is now also a place to entertain and be entertained. As a result, features including game rooms, home theatre systems and outdoor entertainment areas are now highly sought after.

8. A dedicated laundry room

It sounds simple enough but several recent surveys have pointed to the importance of a laundry room for new home buyers. According to a recent study of the most popular characteristics for new homes from the National Association of Home Builders in the US, a laundry room is one of the top features of a typical single-family home in 2014.

9. Smaller homes in general

As buyers have become more cost conscious, the appeal of the traditional McMansion or large home has dipped. Instead, homeowners are willing to sacrifice space for other key features, such as high-quality appliances and overall energy efficiency, as well as easier upkeep.

10. Location, location, location

The desire to find the perfect home in an ideal location remains top of mind for most house hunters. Where a property is located is often the number one factor influencing a property seeker’s decision to buy. It seems some things about looking for your dream home will never change.

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If planned out properly your garage can actually become an extension of your house and provide you with a ton of storage space. Why not take advantage?

Here are five simple garage organization tips you can incorporate quickly and easily:

1. Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is a great way to help with organization. It comes in a variety of colours and saves frustration and money. With chalkboard paint if you outgrow the space, simply swap the contents; wipe off the outside of the cabinet or bin and re-label with chalk.

2. Vertical Height

Take advantage of the vertical height in your garage and place shelving on the ceiling. There are a few different options: you can use shelving or you can build a sliding track for bins. Whichever option you choose, it is best to use one that allows you the most visibility of the stored contents. The ceiling is also a great place to hide a ladder.

3. Magnetic Strips

Magnetic strips are an easy way to keep track of lots of different objects one has roaming around the garage. You can place items like scissors, wrenches, drill bits, etc. directly onto the magnetic strip to get items that are often used out into the open so that you can quickly grab them while working away. You can also buy small metal containers and place smaller items like nuts, bolts, nails, etc. into the containers and then the containers onto the magnetic strip.

4. Curtains

Curtains are perfect for hiding clutter. Place adjustable shelving or hanging solutions for storage and hang curtains in front to place everything out of eyesight. You could choose a plain colour to have them blend in or you could incorporate a nice pop of colour. Colour is not expected in the garage and makes a nice statement.

5. Walls

Covering an entire wall or a portion of a wall in pegboard or slatted wall panels allows you to adjust and move your organization system as you need to without the hassle and mess.

Consider painting your garage. This is often overlooked and can make a huge difference in the space.

What is your favourite garage organization tip?

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Tim Chicilo
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