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BY STEPHEN MELMAN on MAY 13, 2015 • (1)

Based on a December 2014 survey of builders, the Walk-in Closet in the Master Bedroom and the Laundry Room ranked as the top two features builders are most likely to include in new 2015 homes. Scored by a choice of Very Likely equal to 5 and a Not at All Likely choice equal to 1, these top two features rated at 4.9 and 4.8 respectively. Some 98% of the builder responses rated the Walk-in Closet as a 5 or 4, and a slightly smaller share of 96% rated the Laundry Room as a 5 or 4. Both features speak to improving organization and storage characteristics of new homes.

Among the most likely features for 2015, energy figured into four of the top ten. Low-E Windows rated 4.8, Energy-Star rated appliances came in at 4.5 and Energy-Star rated windows rated 4.4 along with the Programmable Thermostat.

The Great Room is a combination kitchen-family room-living room, and it continues as a favorite feature, coming in fourth with an average rating of 4.7, with 94% of the builder respondents giving the Great Room a 5 or 4 rating. Another top feature is a first floor Ceiling Height of 9 feet or more, rating 4.4 and a 84% share of 5 and 4 ratings.

Rounding out the top ten features with equal 82% rating shares of 5 or 4 are the 2-car garage and the Granite Countertop in the kitchen.

For the average new home, an additional organization and storage feature included the Bathroom Linen Closet, rated at 4.2. Increasingly popular, the Front Porch rated at 4.2 along with the Double Kitchen Sink and Exterior Lighting. The last feature enhances the appearance of new homes and improves security. Other popular organizational features included the Walk-in Pantry rated at 3.8, the Mudroom at 3.6 and Garage Storage rated at 3.5.

The least likely features builders plan to include in 2015 new homes include Outdoor Kitchens, laminate countertops, two-story rooms and carpeting. Outdoor Kitchens have cooking and refrigeration equipment as well as sinks. A much more popular feature prior to the recession, builders rated the Outdoor Kitchen only 1.9, with 76% assigning a 1 or 2.  The Outdoor Fireplace also rated poorly at 2.1 with 70% assigning a 1 or 2.

Laminate countertops rated 2.0, and the Two-story Family Room and Foyer rated 2.3 and 2.5 respectively. Specialty rooms rated poorly, with the Sunroom at 2.1 and the Media Room at 2.3.

Walking/Jogging Trails rated 2.6 with 52% assigning a 1 or 2. The Whirlpool in the Master Bathroom and Carpeting on the main level rounded out the ten least likely features expected to be incorporated into new homes built in 2015.