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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – According to Consumer Reports, since the housing market crisis Americans have changed their criteria for what makes a home desirable.

Instead of formal entryways with cathedral ceilings and Juliet balconies, people are looking for storage. Walk-in closets in bedrooms, linen closets and kitchen pantries are what’s catching peoples eye.

In addition to gas prices and car maintenance, changing bank accounts have homebuyers also considering the distance to work. That is a trend that is reversing; previously people were more inclined to move deep into suburbia if it meant owning a ‘dream house’ at an affordable price.

It seems more people are also going green, more so for their checkbook than the environment, but who cares. Consumer Reports says nine out of 10 buyers in the 2011 American Housing Survey said they’d rather buy a home with energy-efficient features that lower utility bills than purchase a home without the features for two to three percent less.

The layout of a home can’t just be fantasy; it must now also be functional. Potential homebuyers are looking for rooms that are easy to furnish, are well designed and have an open, airy environment that still offers privacy.

Consumer Reports also addressed the demise of the front porch and how homeowners now prefer the feature as a link to the outdoors and a way to engage neighbors and actively participate as part of a community.

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