When house hunting, it’s always a good idea to list all of the things you’d really like to have in your new residence. Then, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a place that includes all of those features.
When all is said and done, however, some of the things you thought you wanted could end up actually driving you crazy. So, before you sign on the dotted line of that home purchase contract, take a minute to browse realtor.com’s list of buyer’s most-wanted features that they actually ended up later regretting.
1. An open floor plan
While open floor plans are at the top of almost everyone’s wish list, when it comes to actually living in a house with one, it sometimes is a different story. For one thing, some people say having an open floor plan is akin to living in a large echo chamber that multiplies sounds. Privacy also should be considered.
If you live with teens or several young kids, an open floor plan might mean nobody gets the space they need. It also might mean that a toilet flushing upstairs can be heard all the way downstairs in your living room.
The end result? Creating a warm, cozy atmosphere in a vast, open living space can be costly. You’ll need rugs and window panels to help absorb the sound, as well as tall dimensional artwork and plants to help fill in the space.
2. An upstairs laundry room
An upstairs laundry room sounds like the dream for many folks. After all, it’s so convenient because you don’t have to lug piles of clothing up and down the stairs.
But beware: This dream scenario can quickly turn into a noisy nightmare. Because upstairs laundry rooms usually are near the bedrooms, the laundry rooms can become so noisy that they wind up being rebuilt or moved to the first floor or basement.
3. An in-ground pool
Pools are a true must-have for many buyers, but they also can be difficult to maintain if you don’t have the budget. If you have the cash to hire a pool maintenance company, you’ll probably love having a pool, but those who don’t have extra money lying around to pay for maintenance likely will spend all of their free time on projects and less time with the kids—the very reason they wanted the pool in the first place.
So, before you commit to a house with a large pool, make sure you have the resources and interest in maintaining it.
4. A downstairs half-bath
Having a bath that’s readily available for guests might sound ideal, but it’s unlikely to see much use in the long run. When people visit, they might be hesitant to use a powder room right off the kitchen and dining room.
People usually like to go downstairs or upstairs to use the more private baths. If your dream home has a half-bath downstairs, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house—just maybe skip the expensive tile remodel you had in mind.
5. Designer sinks
Pedestal, bowl or vessel sinks will make your bathroom look chic, but once you have one you might be singing another tune. The reason? When you need to actually use the sink, it could be somewhat awkward. The height of the bowl sometimes makes them uncomfortable to use, and they also use up valuable counter space.
And although pedestal sinks look pretty, they won’t be quite so charming once your cleaning products have to live out in the open for lack of storage. The fix? If you’re buying a house with these in the primary bath, you might want to consider a bathroom remodel.
6. Hardwood flooring
Although everyone loves a good hardwood floor, there are simply some rooms in the home like kitchens and baths that weren’t meant for unfinished wood flooring. Many finishes look great, but they can’t stand up to everyday life (especially if you have young children), often leading to spill or water stains that can become permanent.
Then you end up investing in new flooring. So, when you ask your real estate agent for a home with hardwood flooring, make sure they have the proper finish and that you’re not buying a home where you’ll have to replace the floors before you ever get to enjoy them.