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National survey by Erie Insurance reveals features home buyers wanted and got but wouldn’t choose again

, Pa. – 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.

Erie Insurance, which provides homeowners insurance, commissioned the survey to gain more insights into consumer preferences and trends.

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. See a wide range of survey results in this infographic, and watch this video to see what homeowners have to say about their choices.

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.

Below are 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reasons ranged from feeling the feature was not worth the money, to being tired of it, to feeling that the feature is outdated now.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).

Below are 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


2. Granite countertops


3. Kitchen island


4. Tankless water heater


5. Finished basement


Regardless of how they feel about various features inside and outside their homes, the survey found that an overwhelming number of people are fond of their homes, with 94.6% saying they like or love them.

“It’s heartwarming to see that the vast majority of people have very positive feelings about their homes,” said Bob Buckel, vice president, Erie Insurance. “It feels good to know that we’re protecting something that really matters to them.”

The survey also asked questions to gauge people’s knowledge about their homeowners insurance.

“One of the most important coverages a homeowner can have its what’s called ‘guaranteed replacement cost,’ which would pay to replace a home regardless of what it would cost in today’s dollars,” said Buckel. “Unfortunately, more than four in 10 homeowners say they don’t know whether their policy has this coverage or not. That tells us that we, and the industry at large, need to do a better job of educating consumers about the important coverages that are available to them.”

Additional survey results, including breakdowns by age, gender, and geographic region, are available to media upon request.