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Features Home Buyers Wanted And Got But Wouldn’t Choose Again

A national survey commissioned by Erie Insurance found that more than half of U.S. homeowners (53%) are happy with the features they chose for their homes, but the rest (47%) regret one or more of the features they chose. The survey asked homeowners about features they wanted and got when they bought their home, but wouldn’t get again if they were buying a home today. It also asked about features homeowners did not get but now wish they had.

Overall, homeowners are much more likely to regret not getting certain features than getting them. For example, of all the features homeowners were asked about in terms of what they wanted and got but wouldn’t choose again, the biggest percentage (9%) say they wouldn’t get hardwood floors again. But, when asked a separate question about features they didn’t get but wish they had, a much larger percentage (16%) say they wished they had gotten hardwood floors.

Granite countertops are another feature where homeowners are on different sides of the fence. Granite countertops were second on the list of features homeowners wanted and got but wouldn’t choose again, with 8% saying that. But, more than twice as many homeowners (18%) regret that they did not get granite countertops. The top 5 features homeowners wanted and got but would not choose again:

Feature Percentage of homeowners who would not choose it again
1. Hardwood flooring 9.2%
2. Granite countertops 7.8%
3. Stainless steel appliances 7.6%
4. Fireplace 7.4%
5. Deck 7.2%

When asked why they would not get certain features again, reasons ranged from feeling the feature was not worth the money, to being tired of it, to feel that the feature is outdated now. Some respondents volunteered that certain features, such as stainless steel appliances, white kitchen cabinets, and whirlpool tubs, are hard to keep clean.

In terms of features homeowners regret not getting, a walk-in pantry topped the list, with just under a third (30%) saying they wish they had one. Some homeowners even regret getting features people might assume everyone would want, such as two sinks in the master bathroom. Four percent of homeowners regret them, saying they don’t need or use them. A few respondents added that they would rather have more countertop or cupboard space than two sinks.

A fair number of people regret not getting green features in their homes, such as tankless water heaters (16% wish they had one) and solar panels (15%). A few also wish they’d gotten a dedicated space to bathe Fido – 5% wish they had a dog washing station, though this feature is three times as coveted in the South as in the Northeast (7% of Southern homeowners regret not having a dog washing station, while only 2% of Northeasterners do). The top 5 features homeowners didn’t get but wish they had:

Feature Percentage of homeowners who now wish they had it
1. Walk-in pantry 30.2%
2. Granite countertops 17.8%
3. Kitchen island 16.8%
4. Tankless water heater 16.4%
5. Finished basement 16.2%