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The Top Kitchen and Bath Features that Buyers Crave

When it comes to key home amenities, double sinks and pantries stand out as “must have” items in the kitchen while a shower stall and tub are essential in the primary bathroom, according to NAHB’s recent study, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition.

Among the kitchen features, more than four of every 10 buyers think the double sink is so essential they would be unlikely to buy a home without it, making this the highest essential share of all kitchen features listed.

And while double sinks and pantries were the only two kitchen features rated as essential or desirable by at least 80% of buyers, four additional features are sought by more than 70% of buyers:

  • Table space for eating (78%),

  • A central island (77%),

  • Drinking water filtration (76%), and

  • Granite or other natural stone countertop (73%).

Not far behind are three features rated as essential/desirable to more than two-thirds of all buyers:

  • Recessed lighting (69%),

  • Customized backsplash (69%), and

  • Pull-out shelves (68%).

Overall, more than half of home buyers rated 20 of the 30 kitchen features either essential or desirable.


It’s no surprise that the survey shows that bathrooms — especially the home’s primary bathroom — tend to be very important to home buyers. Of the 18 different bathrooms features listed in the survey, 12 received an essential or desirable rating from more than 50%.

The four most-wanted bathroom features are all related to the home’s primary bath. At the very top of the list:

  • A linen closet in the primary bath, rated as essential or desirable by 76% of home buyers;

  • A shower stall and a tub (74%);

  • A double vanity (69%); and

  • A private toilet compartment (67%).

The shower and tub combination in the primary bath ranked as the most “essential” feature, with 36% of buyers stating they would be unlikely to purchase a home without this feature.

NAHB Senior Economist Paul Emrath provides more analysis on buyer preferences in these Eye on Housing blog posts regarding kitchens and baths.

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