Amenity shortfalls a common regret among homebuyers

You can't always get what you want when you're searching for a new home. According to a new survey by the home improvement site Porch.com, this lack of desired amenities is the main cause for disappointment among buyers.

The site recently surveyed 992 homebuyers, including 482 defined as millennials, 342 Generation Xers, and 154 baby boomers. A total of 58.3 percent of these respondents said they regretted that they weren't able to get all of their desired amenities, followed closely by disappointment in the layout or configuration of the home at 56.3 percent.

Baby boomers were most likely to say their home didn't have all of the features they desired, with 62.3 percent saying so. A total of 61.7 percent of Gen Xers and 54.9 percent of millennials felt the same.

Despite these sentiments, the most popular amenities were usually easy to come by. Nearly all respondents—97.6 percent—said they wanted a backyard at their property, and 91 percent were able to buy a home with one. A total of 95.9 percent wanted central heat, while 90.7 percent were able to get it. Ninety-four percent said they wanted central air, the third most wanted amenity, but just 82.2 percent were able to buy a home with this feature.

Buyers were most likely to be disappointed if they were seeking a home with granite or marble countertops. While 71.7 percent said they wanted this amenity in their home, only 41.9 percent were able to get it. More than three-quarters of respondents—76.8 percent—wanted a recently updated kitchen, but only 50.3 percent bought a home where this work had been completed. Solar panels were the least desired amenity, with just 37.8 percent wanting this feature, but were also the third most difficult amenity to come by; just 13.4 percent of respondents said they had bought a home with solar panels.

Certain amenities were easy enough to come by that the share of respondents saying their home had the feature was greater than the share saying they wanted it. These amenities included carpet, a formal dining room, a multistory home, or close proximity to a child's school.

Just under half of all respondents—49.3 percent—said they were disappointed in their home's location. A total of 46.7 percent said they were not happy with the size of their home, while 43.5 percent regretted the size of the loan they took out for the purchase and 43.4 percent were unhappy with their neighbors.

The home price was less likely to cause disappointment, with only 39.8 percent saying they regretted the amount they offered for the property. However, 41 percent said they think they should have negotiated harder for a lower price.

Financial regrets were more common among younger buyers. A total of 46.6 percent of millennials and 43 percent of Gen Xers said they were unhappy with the loan they took out for the home purchase, compared to 34.5 percent of baby boomers. While just over a quarter of baby boomers—25.5 percent—were unhappy with the price they paid for the home, the share rose to 39.6 percent among Gen Xers and 44.7 percent among millennials.

Porch.com said millennial regrets on home spending may be a result of younger buyers opting to purchase their dream home rather than a less expensive starter home. The site found that millennials spent an average of $105.33 per square foot on their home, compared to $101.25 among Gen Xers and $95.17 among baby boomers.

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