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The housing downturn of the last few years not only affected home sales and construction numbers, it changed the way buyers shop for homes. Many in the housing industry wonder, in light of new economic realities, what buyers are looking for when purchasing a house. A new study released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), titled What Home Buyers Really Want, provides some answers to that question.

The NAHB study, which is available for purchase here, outlines a wide range of home buyer preferences. Some of the preferences covered in the study include house type and size, layout, energy efficiency, electronics and technology, and outdoor features. The study was put together by NAHB’s Economics and Housing Policy Group in 2012, and is based on a survey of home buyers nationwide.

Features that home buyers look for in a house:

Energy Efficiency – Some of the most wanted features home buyers look for when buying a house involve saving energy. This can include things like ceiling fans (88 % favorability), energy-star rated appliances (94 % favorability) and windows (89 % favorability), and even an energy-star rating for the entire home (91 % favorability). According to the study, nine out of ten home buyers would prefer to buy an energy efficient home in order to save money on utility bills in the future.

Storage and Organization – Another feature home buyers look for when buying a house is whether or not there is enough space for storage and organization. Laundry rooms, for example, were desirable to 93% of buyers. What’s more, 57% of home buyers would be unlikely to buy a home without one. Some other features buyers looked for when purchasing a house included garage storage space (86% favorability), linen closets in bathrooms (90% favorability), and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen (85% favorability).

Features that home buyers are not looking for in a house:

The NAHB study also provides some insights into the things that buyers do not want in a house. When it comes to real estate, knowing what buyers do not like can be just as important as knowing what they do like.

An Elevator – A strong majority of prospective home buyers did not like the idea of having an elevator in their home. Only 30% of home buyers would be interested in purchasing a house with an elevator.

Shower Stalls – Many home buyers rejected the idea of having only a shower stall in the master bathroom. More than half of all buyers would prefer to have both a shower stall and a tub in their master bathroom.

Two-Story Homes – Around 43% of home buyers do not want a two-story family room, with 38% feeling the same way about a house’s foyer. Many buyers consider these spaces to be energy inefficient.

Community Layout – One of the biggest concerns for home buyers was the type of community the house is located in. For instance, 66% of home buyers did not want to live in a community with a golf course. Some other types of communities that home buyers weren’t particularly fond of included gated communities (48% favorability), high density communities (56% favorability), and mixed use communities (44% favorability).