By Patricia L. Garcia
When it comes to homebuying decisions, often the matriarch of the family has the final say. But, let’s not forget dad when it comes to buying a home. It is 2016, after all.
No longer does dad silently sulk in the background while Mom oohs and ahs at the model home. He will ask questions too and will probably want to take a look around. Maybe he’ll head to the garage, where he can imagine his own Dad kingdom (let’s call it Dad-ville). Or maybe he wants to head outside to scope out the patio and figure out where to put the grill. Or maybe he just wants a room where he can have some alone time.
In honor of dads everywhere, we asked fathers and real estate professionals just what dad wants when buying a home and here’s what they had to say:
Dads Love a Good Garage
An informal survey of Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) members found one feature that typically tops dads’ lists when hunting for a new home: a garage.
“My colleagues and I find that men really focus on the garage’s potential,” says Bruce Elliot, ORRA’s president-elect and a Realtor with Regal R.E. Professionals LLC. “It’s not at all uncommon for garages to be carefully assessed for the ability to store a specific length of boat, a tool chest or workbench and the plethora of kids’ sports stuff, of course.”
Dads Want to Entertain and Play
According to Eric Tovar, owner and president of Rockville, Md.-based homebuilder Churchill Classics, dads are just as interested in entertaining as mom is, so a screened-in or back porch for grilling and entertaining is popular, while a spacious yard is ideal for throwing the ball around with the kids.
In addition to entertaining and grilling spaces and a yard, Tovar says other top requested options in a new home by dads are a bar, office and good schools.
And, let’s not forget technology, says Brian LeBow, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Arcadia, Calif. Dads want a smart home (Nest thermostat, anyone?) and other tech-y toys in their new abode to not only manage the home better, but to have some fun with.
“Home automation and awesome tech that includes a home theater or man cave,” LeBow says. “Around LA, we see this taken to extremes — huge home theaters with digital projectors with leather recliners and in-seat stereo sound.”
Give Dad Some Space
“I would say that most (dads) are, in general, looking for a place to get away from the family and just be a
guy,” says Jay Seier, a father of two and a real estate agent with the Jolly Homes Team Resident Realty in Fort Collins, Colo. “That could be as little as a bench with a radio in the garage to a full blown, themed man cave.”
Living in “craft beer country,” Seier says a lot of fathers that he works with express an interest in having space to brew their own beer, while ample storage for bikes and gear is a high priority because of his area’s many biking and outdoor activities.
Elliot agrees that dads want spaces to explore their hobbies or to get away from the hustle and bustle of work: “Other common checklist items for dads include things like nice flooring and a split floor plan, a built-in barbecue and a pool, private office space, etc.,” he says. “Then there are more uncommon requests, like space for a home brewery, a quiet napping room or cigar lounge.”
So, if you’re shopping for a home with dad any time soon, ask if he has a particular feature in mind for the new home — chances are, he’ll be ready with a dad space he’s been dreaming of for quite some time. Happy Father’s Day!
Patricia L. Garcia is content manager for NewHomeSource.com. For her husband’s first Father’s Day, she will give him one hour to hang out at their house alone — or a grill.