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Buyers want storage space

By ALLEN NORWOOD
Allen Norwood
Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.

Well, that didn’t take long. Just last week I mentioned that I’m leery of any survey that doesn’t rank storage at the top of the typical homebuyer wish list.

If you’ve sold a house, you know that closets, attics, basements and garages are just never quite big enough for potential buyers.

Last week’s comment was in response to a survey by Better Homes and Gardens that said buyer interest in extra storage is basically flat.

Now comes another survey that mentions storage, this one from the National Association of Realtors. It says that 97 percent of recent buyers were happy with their homes – but, you know, they really would like larger closets and more storage.

Now, that rings true.

The NAR’s annual profile of buyer preferences is always intriguing, especially because it highlights regional differences. To wit:

Southerners, even more than buyers in other regions, say air conditioning is hugely important. (Because August will be an oven, y’all, even with the shade from those trees.)

All buyers valued air conditioning, Southerners just valued it most.

Ranking next on the overall list? A large walk-in closet in the master suite – with lots of storage.

Wood floors rule

Barbara Thiede of Concord, once a freelance writer for this Home section, emailed with a question about using hardwood floors in her kitchen. Would that be OK?

She and her husband, Ralf, are remodeling, and they’d like to extend existing hardwood into the kitchen.

I told her that my wife and I had hardwood kitchen floors in a previous house and loved them. Then I called the good folks at Burgess Supply to confirm my advice. They agreed. Choose hardwood with a quality finish, make sure it’s anchored properly to a smooth, solid subfloor – and enjoy it in the kitchen, they said.

Now, in addition to her teaching duties at UNCC, Barbara is a rabbi who leads Temple Or Olam in Concord.

When a rabbi asks a question, it’s always a good idea to double-check your answer.

Get your tax credits

Not quite a month before income tax day, here’s a reminder that Congress has extended tax credits for residential energy efficiency.

The legislation that pulled us back from the fiscal cliff extended 25C Tax Credits for qualifying new water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, insulation, windows and certain other items.

For information, go to www.energystar.gov/taxcredits or visit www.irs.gov and look for Form 5695.

Special to the Observer: homeinfo@charter.net

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