Real Estate

Walk-in pantries, granite countertops, kitchen islands lead homeowners’ wishlists

Tankless water heaters, solar panels and "dog washing stations" are also in demand

About a third of new homeowners wish they had bought a house with a walk-in pantry. Almost 18% wish they had granite countertops, and 17% are remorseful they didn’t buy a house with a kitchen island. 

Those three items top the list of features recent buyers wish their homes had, according to a national survey from Erie Insurance. Also near the top, 16% wish they had a tankless water heater and the same share said they regretted their new homes didn’t have hardwood floors. About 15% wish they had bought a home with solar panels.

Regardless of those regrets, 95% of recent buyers said they “like or love” their recently purchased properties, the survey showed. 

“The vast majority of people have very positive feelings about their homes,” said Bob Buckel, vice president of Erie Insurance.

A feature that’s growing in popularity is a dog-washing station, sometimes called a dog shower. It’s often located in mudrooms, and it gives homeowners a chance to spray down muddy dogs before they enter the house. About 5% of new buyers said they had a dog washing station. In the South, the share was 7% and in the Northeast, it was 2%.

The survey also asked homeowners what features they wish their new homes didn’t have. About 8% said they wished their new home didn’t have stainless steel appliances, with some adding that they are hard to keep clean. 

About 4% regretted having a master bath with two sinks – a feature many people cite as a must-have when looking at homes. For those who didn’t like having two sinks, most cited storage as an issue and some said they would prefer to have more countertop space than a second sink.

Other features panned by some new owners were white kitchen cabinets and whirlpool tubs. The complaint, again, was: they're hard to keep clean.

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