It’s actually pretty practical.

By Marisa Spyker
May 24, 2019
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When house shopping, we tend to file away home features into two categories: must-haves and nice-to-haves. Some people might value a spacious backyard or an open floor plan more than, say, an extra-large closet, while others might deem perks like a farmhouse sink or wood-burning fireplace as necessities.

But, long after the house is bought and the must-haves are had, it appears some buyers experience a bit of remorse about the things they ultimately prioritized and, maybe even worse, FOMO—that’s “fear of missing out”—over the things they didn’t. That’s according to a national survey recently conducted by Erie Insurance, which polled 500 American homeowners between the ages of 28 and 60 on their post-purchase reflections.

Related: 7 Kitchen Trends That Can Raise the Value of Your Home:

The good news is that, overall, the vast majority of respondents are generally happy in their homes, with 95 percent reporting they either like or love where they live. Still, nearly half of respondents would have done something differently when it came to their must-haves. And the biggest regret out of all of them has nothing to do with farmhouse sinks, subway tiles, or open shelving, but rather an unsung kitchen feature that people apparently tend to undervalue—the walk-in pantry. According to the survey, nearly a third (30.2 percent) of all respondents claim the kitchen storage extra is the one thing they didn’t get but now wish they had in their homes, followed far behind by granite countertops (17.8 percent) and a kitchen island (16.8 percent).

Photo: Laurey Glenn; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Photo: Laurey Glenn; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Design: Jenny Keenan; Architecture Beau Clowney

When you compare it to other more cosmetic features, it makes sense that the practical walk-in pantry might tend to fall a little lower on the priority list. Couple that with the fact that kitchens are trending aesthetically toward more open spaces, with open shelving and less bulky cabinetry, and a lack of enough space to store all your BOGO grocery finds is understandable.

But, not all those surveyed have regrets over the things they didn’t get; remorse is also felt over things people have. Of the home features people regret choosing, hardwood floors—surprisingly—top the list, with 9.2 percent of respondents saying they wouldn’t buy a house with them again. (The most popular reason being they’re just “tired of it.”) Stainless steel appliances also made the cut, with several people complaining about the difficulty of keeping them smudge-free.

So, if you’re on the hunt for a new home, consider this data food for thought—and good reason to evaluate your own kitchen storage needs before buying.

 

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