With the soaring Wilmington housing prices and rapidly increasing mortgage rates, local home buyers have had to compromise with their most-desired home features. However, certain features have still risen to the top as the common 2022 home-buying factors in southeastern North Carolina.

Based on extensive research and our own observation of Wilmington housing preferences, we put together a list of the top 10 features home buyers are searching for in 2022:


1) Affordability, of course!

Despite the record-high prices, people searching for Wilmington area homes are still looking for the best possible deals. Although the sparse home inventory makes it challenging to be too picky, home buyers are applying a little more strategy to their home search–only bidding on houses they think they can reasonably afford and win.


2) More (or at least more flexible) space

The pandemic and the growing work-from-home culture has created a widespread desire for more space. However, more space frequently means more money. 

If home buyers can’t afford a more spacious house, they’ll likely look for a home with more flexible space that can be used for multiple purposes–such as a home office that doubles as a second bedroom or a hobby room. To capitalize on this, be sure to promote the versatility of spaces throughout your home.


3) Outdoor amenities

Over the last few years, people have developed a healthy craving for the outdoors. It’s funny how a worldwide pandemic can make a luxurious patio, front porch, or swimming pool so much more attractive–especially during Wilmington’s warm summer months. With a cozy patio, home owners can bring their work laptop outside, enjoy the fresh air, and watch their kids and pets play in the yard or pool. Plus, some outdoor features–like a patio or upgraded exterior lighting–are relatively simple, inexpensive additions.


4) Designated home offices

Working from home can be great! But, sometimes, a makeshift dinner table or bedroom office just won’t cut it–too much clutter and too many distractions! In this new age of remote employment, transforming a second or third bedroom into a home office space can significantly increase the value of your home.


5) Laundry rooms

For most homeowners across the country, an in-house laundry room has become non-negotiable. To maximize the value of your laundry room, consider giving the room a quick makeover and adding shelves, cabinets, and clothing racks for extra storage.


6) Ceiling fans

About 83% of home buyers identified this relatively low-cost, high-reward feature as one of their most-desired. Some people swear they just CAN’T live comfortably without them–especially in hot, humid southeast NC. Increase your home’s perceived value even more by upgrading your ceiling fans to something classy or “coastal.”


7) Large, functional kitchens

The pandemic forced many to try their hand at good ole home cooking. Now, those that enjoyed the experience have realized the importance of a spacious, well-organized kitchen (ideally with a large walk-in pantry). An open-plan kitchen with significant storage space will attract some eager buyers. Double-sided sinks, water filtration systems, and large central islands are also popular among Wilmington home buyers.


8) Energy efficiency

Over the last several years, there has been a remarkable push for energy-efficient lighting and ENERGY STAR-rated windows and appliances. Regulating house temperature, energy-efficient materials save homeowners thousands every month on utility and maintenance costs. Although it’s a BIG bonus for buyers, investing in costly ENERGY STAR upgrades right before selling is not the smartest investment.


9) Hardwood floors

Out with the old, ragged carpet, and in with sleek hardwood floors! In 2022, home buyers prefer homes with floors that at least LOOK like hardwood. If you have a tight budget, upgrading to vinyl, laminate, or wood-like tile is a great way to increase your home’s market value.


10) Multipurpose garages

Last but not least, we’ve seen an emerging trend of multi-use garages. Add some storage, an outdoor sink, and a craftsman’s station, and suddenly you have a perfect space for home buyers who love working with their hands. 




Looking to put your Wilmington, Carolina Beach, or Wrightsville Beach home on the market? Our real estate agents can help you get started. We’re just a phone call away–call us at 910-395-4100.