Top Features to Look for in a New Home

Even amid rising interest rates, the real estate market has remained strong in 2022, with intense competition continuing to put upward pressure on home prices. So while you may feel compelled to jump at the first buying opportunity that presents itself, do yourself a favor and think ahead to which home features have staying power when the market eventually cools. To help in this regard, keep reading to find out more about 5 of the top features to look for in a new home.  

1. Innovative Roofing

Roofing is a home’s first line of defense against the elements. It must be able to withstand continuous UV exposure, prevent moisture from seeping into the home, and repel impact to avoid acute damage.

Unfortunately, commonly used asphalt roofing tiles are a poor choice along all of these lines. While they do a decent job when new, they are prone to expansion and contraction in the face of moisture and temperature fluctuations, leading to cracks on the surface of the shingles that provide an ideal point for moisture to converge. As damage starts to introduce itself, cheap shingles also become susceptible to raising or blowing away when confronted with strong winds. All told, you will likely need to replace asphalt shingles after only 10 to 20 years of use. 

Therefore, even if it means paying a little more for the property, it is better to consider a home that has a more innovative roofing solution. A concrete roof is a great option. Concrete tiles can be used in both hot and cold climates and will usually last at least 60 years with the proper care. Metal shingles and synthetic roofing tiles made from a composite of rubber, fiberglass, and recycled paper are a couple of other products with much greater longevity than basic asphalt. 

2. Durable Siding

Like roofing, siding is a critical element of securing a home’s building envelope. Popular products such as brick and wood planks have serious limitations in this regard. Brick must be regularly sealed to prevent moisture absorption, while wood siding must be painted or treated at least every other year to maintain its insulative properties. 

Modern products, such as steel log and fiber cement, do a much better job of securing the building envelope. Not only do they provide elite moisture and impact resistance, but their inorganic composition provides the highest rating against pest, fire, and impact damage. The result is a siding option that will likely outlast the lifespan of the home itself. And the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for elite protection. Stylish fiber cement board and batten siding provides the same rustic charm that has made its natural wood predecessor a favorite among homeowners throughout the decades. 

3. Modern Kitchen Designs

The kitchen in old homes used to be a utilitarian space meant for cooking and cooking only, with those in the kitchen sequestered from the rest of the house as they prepared a meal. This design no longer plays in 2022, with homeowners craving open kitchens that help tie areas of the home together. With walls coming down and modern kitchens blending in with living areas, some features to look for to help tie this look together include engineered hardwood floors, kitchen islands with durable quartz countertops, and open shelving.

4. Energy Efficiency Features

The development of passive, net-zero homes is a major trend in 2022 as the United States eyes a carbon-neutral economy. And while adding solar panels is usually the first idea that comes to mind when speaking of energy efficiency in homes, there are a number of design ideas that can help reduce the amount of energy a home consumes.

For example, while retrofitting storm windows for historic homes is one of the to-do items for bringing historic buildings up to contemporary codes, storm windows are a great idea for new builds to help keep the home airtight and moisture resistant. In addition, new windows can help improve the flow of natural light and reduce the reliance on electricity. And while the aforementioned roofing and siding ideas are a great place to start for securing the building envelope, be sure to check that the R-value of the insulation is high enough to keep the home comfortable in its climate. 

5. Functional Exterior Space

With the price of gas through the roof in mid-2022, homeowners are being forced to enjoy time at home more than ever before. To avoid becoming stir crazy, it is critical that the home has functional exterior space to allow residents to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Some features that can help homeowners maximize the outdoors include a deck addition, ashlar pattern pavers for patios, and pergolas to provide sun protection. 

5 Important Features to Look for in a New Home

In a competitive real estate market, it is arguably more important than ever to look for the correct home features that will hold their value even when things cool off. With this in mind, innovative roofing, durable siding, modern kitchen designs, energy efficiency elements, and functional exterior space are 5 features to look for when considering a new home. 

Sam Willis is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer. Sam is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.

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