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What are the biggest differences between what homeowners want and what they have? Surprisingly, it involves the bathroom—and beyond.

A new study by AIM, a marketing research company with an emphasis on business-to-business sales channels, identifies what consumers really want in a home.

Conducted in December 2021, AIM found 373 respondents to discuss what they have in their current homes, and what they wish to have for future ones.

The study focused on those two parameters: what homeowners currently own, and what they would like in their dream home.


Though half (51%) of respondents are not planning on relocating or renovating their home in the next 12 months, 26% are looking to renovate, while 21% of consumers would like to sell or buy a new home in the same timeframe.

The biggest reason homeowners want a change? Upgrading for new home features. Forty-nine percent of respondents want more features, modern technology, and more. Just 24% are changing their homes due to lack of desired space, and 13% want to downsize.

Some of these modern features include smart technology such as temperature and lighting controls. Just under half (46%) of respondents listed smart tech as a must-have feature in their new/renovated home.

Respondents' dream home must-haves. Research conducted by Accountability Information Management, Inc. © 2022

Other must-haves include a garage (79%), energy efficient windows (72%), a home office (61%), security cameras/sensors (52%), even a full Bidet for the master bathroom (20%).


AIM’s research primarily focused on answering two questions: what do consumers have in their current home, and what would they like in their dream home?

One example of such is the laundry room. AIM’s research has found that while 78% want a laundry room in their dream home, only 68% report having it in their current home. This tells AIM that incorporating this room in new home builds is a must (and that builders should promote laundry rooms more).

Furthermore, though only 2% of respondents claimed to already have a wine cellar in their current home, more respondents want the feature in their dream home (15%). In terms of difference, this is the highest category between what consumers want and have—a 588% difference, in fact, according to AIM.

“So, while we are not suggesting that every home have a ‘wine cellar,’ what we are suggesting is that builders have to respond to trends in a positive way, or they get passed up for other alternatives,” says AIM.

List of other features listed for respondents’ Dream Home. Research conducted by Accountability Information Management, Inc. © 2022

Outdoor kitchens also show a high statistical difference in want vs. have. With 5% of respondents currently owning one, there is a 490% increase in who wants one in their

future home.

More features with significant difference percentages include steam showers (411%), bidets in the main bathroom (248%), sunrooms (223%), and media rooms (224%).

However, flexibility is the key to home building today, according to AIM. It’s not easy to promote and build a fully-custom home for each buyer, though. So the key to flexibility is compromise. AIM suggests that builders can offset compromises through clever use of differentiation in their builds.

“Differentiation is often in the ‘little things,’ like the differences discussed in this report in your approach to rooms,” says AIM.


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