Certain appealing features persist over the long term, including having three bedrooms and two full baths. Others may or may not be passing trends, such as today's preference for a dining area spilling out of the kitchen. Homebuyers, HSH says, tend to like newer homes, and properties with regular shapes -- square or fat rectangles, not long and skinny ones, triangles or chevrons. Having a big lot won't compensate for a problem such as having a home jammed along one edge, too near the neighbors.
Because a home is a very big expense buyers often tend to the conservative. Much as they like hip ideas such as straw insulation, geodesic-dome construction or shingles made from crushed beer cans, they'll be wary of spending too much on a home that may not appeal to many buyers later. You should be, too.