It’s true—the grass always seems to be greener on the other side. Kids want their friend’s toy, your spouse’s meal always looks better than what you ordered, and it may seem like your neighbor’s house is better than your own.
When you’re buying your first home, it can be tough to identify all the features you want in your dream home. As you grow and live in these spaces, you learn what you would – and wouldn’t – choose again. To make sure you don’t forget anything, Erie Insurance recently conducted a Homeowner Hindsight study asking what homeowners most regret having in their home, or what feature they would look for in their next home.
Almost one-third (30%) of surveyed homeowners agreed on wanting one specific home feature… the enviable walk-in pantry. If you’re lucky enough to have one, imagine what you would do if it one day disappeared. Where else would you store all of those bulk groceries, miscellaneous serving dishes you save for special occasions and bulky appliances? It’s easy to see why homeowners love their walk-in pantries. If creating your own walk-in pantry isn’t in the budget this year, a kitchen utility cart or a baker’s rack can help amp up your kitchen storage without the construction cost.
It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of a home, so it’s not surprising that rounding out the top three most coveted features homeowners wish their home had are also in the kitchen: granite countertops and a kitchen island. What do all of these features have in common? Function. If you think about all of the things that come in contact with your countertop, at the end of the day, you’ll be happy to have an easy to clean, scratch-resistant granite or quartz. Likewise, a kitchen island can serve a multitude of tasks. The multi-functional feature is prep area, work area, gathering space and eating space. Because people tend to congregate in kitchens, an island also helps with circulation throughout a room.
On the flipside, some homeowners also had regrets about the features that they did get. In much smaller percentages, people had gotten tired of their hardwood flooring, found their stainless steel appliances and white cabinetry too hard to keep clean, and would skip having a fireplace in their next home.
Not all homeowners have regrets, though. About 95% of respondents said that they like or love their home, despite what it doesn’t have. After all, it’s not the features that make a house a home—it’s the people and memories.
If they had to do it all over again…
Features that homeowners commonly regret missing out on while shopping for homes
- Walk-in pantry: 30.2%
- Granite countertops: 17.8%
- Kitchen island: 16.8%
- Tankless water heater: 16.4%
- Finished basement: 16.2%