When you’re in NYC the must-have apartment amenities are usually clear—it could be proximity to a great park (or, even, a Whole Foods…), subway access, walkability to your office, 24-hour doorman services, a pool or gym…
The list goes on and on. But make a move to the ‘burbs and many of those luxury amenities aren’t so lux anymore—anyone can hop in the car and head to Whole Foods. Everyone’s got laundry in their house. And if yours doesn’t have a pool? Maybe it’s something you can build out down the road or, instead, you can likely find a community, club or other private pool that’s nearby. There’s definitely some overlap—everyone wants an easy, comfortable commute, and urban and suburban parents alike are all about finding the best schools for their families—but in the ‘burbs there are a host of other go-to amenities newly minted suburbanites are clamoring for. Here’s our rundown of those have-to-haves:
Plenty of storage
It’s something you likely don’t have in NYC. Storage takes many forms in the ‘burbs, such as a basement, attic, garage or countless other designated spots. Make sure your new home has enough room to keep the winter coats, holiday decorations, photo albums and vacation gear safe, secure and dry all year long.
This is a big one, especially among millennial home buyers—do this home have a good flow and the right entertaining space for my family? Keep in mind, every family is different. You might throw a 100-person bash every Kentucky Derby, or you might simply like to host small family holiday dinners for 6. Think about how you entertain and make sure your home can accommodate.
Craft or hobby areas
Another fast-emerging trend is the craft or hobby space. Maybe you’re a lifelong DIY’er who wants nothing more than a spot to spackle, decoupage, paint and refinish. Or maybe your kids are burgeoning artists who need a space to create. If you’ve got a passion—or, even, just an interest—finding a home with a designated spot to dig in could be in order!
Good outdoor space
Like the entertaining space, think about your family and your unique needs. Are you home in the summer, or do you jet off to the shore or the Hamptons? Do you have—or will you have—a dog or other outdoor-friendly pet? Are you a passionate gardener or griller? Think about what you and your family need and want from an outdoor living space and go from there—and, remember, like NYC the ‘burbs are filled with parks and outdoor spaces, so even if yours isn’t as big as you’d planned, you’ll still find ample spots to play!
Smart, green homes
Energy efficiency meets high tech innovation in the latest crop of smart, green homes. For many buyers, a smarter home tops the list of want-to-haves, and with good reason. Many of these newer homes are loaded with a host of extras designed to save residents time, money and added stress—it’s the complete home automation system that can be controlled from a smart phone, the solar panels installed on the roof, the Energy Star-rated appliances and LED touchscreen displays throughout the house that mimic a suburban command center. Not something that’s already in place? Not to worry. Smart technology is growing by the day, and owners can retrofit their homes quickly and easily post-purchase.
Like NYC residents, suburban home owners crave a host of unique additions, amenities, services and access points that make their lives easier and, often, more fun! Like no two houses are alike, no two suburban families want the same things in their homes, so it’s key to sit down and determine what matters most, and then set to work creating your own must-have amenities list. Happy house hunting!