What is the Washingtonian's dream house? According to Housing magazine, the Washington resident wants a two-story, four-bedroom home with a large dining room and spacious kitchen -- much like the colonial house that has been an on-going favorite here.
"Washington shoppers in general seem to want more rooms and larger ones than shoppers in other cities," the magazine said in its annual survey of home buyers preferences. It annually surveys shoppers, their incomes and household makeup and what features they most desire in new homes.
The surveys are conducted in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, Southern California and Washington. This year as last year, Washington shoppers have the highest median income -- $32,790.
The survey also said that extras aren't high priorities to Washington shoppers, although bay windows, wet bars and skylights are appealing to buyers here. Last year 40 percent of Washington stoppers wanted French doors, but only 23 percent do now. Built-in bookshelves are also popular, the magazine said.
The traditional two-story house was rated higher in Washington than other cities, but shoppers didn't favor any particular architectural style, but survey reported. Most Washingtonians want a front lawn and entry rather than a walled-in entry courtyard and they want landscaping and sprinklers to be installed by the builder, even if these features increase the house price, the magazine said.
Washingtonians also like brick, stone or shingle exteriors and don't consider enclosed garages very important.
To accommodate food processors and other gourmet conveniences, Washingtonians want big country kitchens with table space, ceramic tile countertops, double ovens, luminous celings and greenhouse windows. They prefer tile or wood parquet floors to vinyl or linoleum, the survey said.
Most shoppers in Washington are over age 35 and have children and are under 35, 23 percent are without children and under 35 years old, and 3 percent are single adults.
In Washington, shoppers are apparently aware of the high cost of housing here. They expect the median price of a house to be $73,926, the survey said and they expect to pay a medium monthly payment of $662. The 33 percent of shoppers who now rent pay a median of $352 monthly and the 66 percent who already own homes pay a median of $454 a month in mortgage payments according to the magazine.