Warming Drawer? Really? 5 Things the Rich Need In Their Next Home

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With the housing sector apparently in a genuine recovery, affluent Americans are roaring back into the real estate market, waving checkbooks and measuring for drapes with renewed urgency.

It's a confidence reborn after five years of financial anxiety, and these homebuyers have apparently spent that time mulling over what really matters to them with a home purchase.

A pair of studies on affluent homebuyer trends reveals that square-footage is out these days, replaced by an emphasis on creature comforts and amenities that make a smaller home a better place to live.

What are the top five items on luxury homebuyers' "must have" lists?

Kitchens with warming drawers. Some 42% of financially well-off buyers looking to pay $500,000 or more for new digs want a kitchen with a warming drawer -- an enclosed, low-heat shelf that keeps meals hot and ready to serve -- compared with only 15% of homebuyers looking to spend $150,000, according to the National Association of Homebuilders.

Two-story family rooms. A one-floor family room isn't enough for luxury homebuyers in 2013. The NAHB says the second-most in-demand feature favored by buyers is a two-story family room. Only 29% of luxury homebuyers don't want a multi-story family room, while 32$ called it desirable or "essential."

"Smart" homes. A separate study from Better Homes and Garden Real Estate hints that green homes are going out of style, while so-called smart homes -- wired, high-tech spaces that adjust lighting, temperature and entertainment automatically -- are in high demand. According to the Better Homes report, 66% of luxury homebuyer say a smart home is more important than a green home. Furthermore, 87% of luxury homebuyers surveyed would not consider living in a home that isn't tech-friendly.

Separate guesthouses. The Better Homes survey also reveals that wealthy Americans like to have guests over for the weekend, but want their privacy, too -- so 47% of those surveyed say a guesthouse on their property is a must-have.

A "garden oasis." Among the most mainstream of demands from wealthy homebuyers, according to the Better Homes study 53% have an outdoor amenity in mind, asking for a home that comes equipped with a garden oasis. Another 50% want an outdoor fireplace to go with their garden Xanadu.

Flush with greenbacks, 2013 luxury homebuyers feel they are in a strong bargaining position in the housing market. And they have a good reason to feel that way.

"The luxury consumer is considered a trendsetter in most industries, and to see the strong connection this consumer has with 'home' is very significant as we look at the real estate market as a whole," says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. "The luxury homebuyer has high standards and invests the money, the time and the commitment to making their home fit their needs and reflect who they are. It's remarkable that they do this so well that nearly all -- 93% -- believe their house is the best one on their block."

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