Washington home shoppers, recently surveyed for Housing magazine are among the most affluent in the nation.
They are also:
Strong for colonial styling but considerably interested in contemporary architecture.
Willing to pay a premium for brick exteriors but unwilling to pay extra for heavy cedar shake roofs over standard shingles.
Solid for kitchen table space.
Looking for three bedrooms rather than four or two and hoping that the master bedroom would be removed from the area of the other bedrooms.
Demanding a family room.
Tight-fisted about options, particularly microwave opens and double-basin vanities, but interested in "greehouse" windows, a new favourite option.
Highly energy conscious-and even willing to accept less window area for that reason.
Interested in swimming pools, the first community amenity choice everywhere Tennis courts are a strong second choice.
The interviews of more than 500 house shoppers here was undertaken by housing market consultant Bruce Hanson of Bethesda for the McGraw Hill publication, which was formerly called House & Home.
The report in the magazine's October edition, pointed out that house shoppers in Washington, San Francisco, Sand Diego, phoenix, Miami and Chicago had "much in common but didn't always think alike." For instance, Tudot styling was favored in the Sun Belt area.
More than half of the shoppers everwhere were also looking a resale houses, Chicago excepted. Only Phoenix and San Francisco lookers preferred four bedrooms as a strong choice. There were enough elsewhere and Miamians would accept only two-a reflection of the retirement home emphasis there.
The fireplace was the most-wanted option everywhere, with Californias wanting two. Other popular options: bay windows, French doors and skylights. All the shoppers were interested in ungraded insulation and double-grazed windows.
Solar options were popular in only Phoenix and Miami. Californians wanted cathedral ceilings, no matter what the evergy cost was Chicagoans and Washingtons were willing to forego because of the energy cost.
Housing magazine surveys found that about two-thirds of all the shoppers for detached houses and half of the twon house shoppers already owned property. Most of the first-time buyers were two-income households. Generally, the shoppers, who were interviewed in early summer, said they felt no pressure to buy immediately but would buy before the end of this year.
"There reasons for moving were familiar," summarized writer Natalie Gerardi and Barbara Behrens Gerx. "Bigger house, better area, tired of renting. They also viewed a home as a dwell-in investment but would not stretch very far to buy one. Only in California and, surprisingly, Chicago, would they pay three times income for a new home. Most would pay no more than a conservative 23 times incomes."
In this area, where lookers were interviewed in Montgomery, Prince George's and Fairfax counties at housing projects, the survey showed that coughs with children made up 82 percent of the market of shoppers 38 to 45 years old but that 6 percebt of the young buyers were single. Buyers under 25 were more interested in contemporary house styling than were those between 25 and 45. Not surprisingly, a two-story house with basement was the most popular choice generally.
Only slightly more preference was shown for three bedrooms over four and 10 percent of those interviewed wanted five bedrooms. And 8 percent over-all wanted only two. Sixty-nine percent had family rooms as a 'must' whereas 31 percent would be satisfied with a den only.
Ninety-seven percrent indicated willingness to pay $1,500 more to have upgraded insulation and 91 percent approved spending $2,000 more for double-glazed windows. Seventy-nine percent approved a standard flat ceiling ove a high-sloped ceiling an a consequently higher heating bill. Bay windows were favorites of 40 percent of area shoppers.