Top Ten Regrets from New Home Buyers – Builder Magazine

December 12, 2023

Builder Magazine published an article titled, “Top Ten Regrets from New Home Buyers”.  After finding their dream home, new home owners found certain things they wish they could change.

 1. Laundry Room

A common critique on the laundry room is that it needs to be conveniently located on the same level with bedrooms and having more functional features such as, folding and drying area, cabinetry for storage, and pull outs to hang clothes. A sink is a must have.


2.  Keeping Leftover Materials

If quick repairs are needed in the future, homeowners may face challenges without the necessary materials on hand such as, tiles, flooring, and paint. Many times products can be discontinued or even if those products are found, they may have a slightly noticeable difference. What could be a minor repair expense turns into an expensive repair due to making everything match.


3. Change Position on the Lot

When it’s possible that homeowners can choose where their new home on the lot will be, some homeowners regret not doing more research in the home’s position. While positioning the home so that it has great views, other factors such as, sun direction, exposure to wind and other elements, proximity to noise (street or other), slope for drainage, or even realizing that the yard and gardening opportunity aren’t ideal will all matter.


4. More Outlets

Homeowners certainly notice when there aren’t enough outlets or where they’re positioned. Having quick and easy access to power is at the core of functionality. Several places where homeowners may not think to include outlets but should, such as, in closets (particularly walk-in closets), the kitchen (in the island and the cabinetry), the garage, the basement, and the exterior.


5. Better Kitchen Storage

Better kitchen storage is a common complaint for homeowners. Not just the amount of cabinets, but also the functionality. That may mean having pot-and-pan drawers or pullouts for spices, rather than simple cabinetry with standard shelving. If the kitchen island allows it, housing small appliances in appropriately sized drawers can help to keep counters clutter-free.


6. Better Lighting for the Kitchen

Lack of lighting, or lack of lighting in the necessary spots, is another common complaint in the realm of the kitchen. The key to adequate illumination is to include ambient, task, and decorative lighting, so that various tasks can be done at different times of day, without the light being too dim or too harsh. Adding dimmer switches helps to control distribution of light.


7. Higher Ceilings or Ceiling Detail

If there is an option at the construction phase, increasing ceiling height, even just a little, can make a room feel lighter and brighter. Often, higher ceilings might be included in common areas, such as the great room, foyer, or kitchen, but it’s a good idea to raise the ceiling height in bedrooms and in the basement. Homeowners wish that they’d added detail to their ceiling as well, such as tray or coffered designs, which really elevates the overall aesthetic, without really changing the space.


8. Dark Flooring

While dark flooring has been considered luxe in photos, living in a household with dark floors can be challenging, as many homeowners have found shortly after moving in. Everything will show with dark floors, which is something to factor in with a household with children or pets. Dark floors aren’t a deal breaker, but some wished they had chosen something lighter.


9. Having a Mudroom or a More Functional Foyer

Many homeowners wish that they had opted to include a mudroom in their design, ideally located between the garage and foyer or tucked away next to another entry point to the home. For homeowners with floor plans where that isn’t possible, adding built-ins, cubbies that close, and some sort of seating will go a long way in concealing clutter, as well as providing a sensible place to put on and remove shoes.


10. More Green Options

Upgrades, such as energy-efficient windows and extra insulation, are worthwhile at the construction phase because of the eventual cost savings. Choosing motion-activated faucets; low-flow showerheads and toilets; and energy-efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems will help reduce overall homeowner costs as well.