Having this top home feature will make you the envy of your neighbors. Read this before you plan your next remodel.

By Hannah Bruneman
May 15, 2019

It’s true—the grass always seems to be greener on the other side. Kids want their classmate’s packed lunch, teens want their friend’s new phone, and adults—let’s face it—are always ogling at our neighbors’ homes.

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It can be tough to identify all the features you want in your dream home. To make sure you don’t forget anything, Erie Insurance conducted a study to be released Thursday asking homeowners what they most regret not having in their home. One-third of 500 surveyed U.S. homeowners agreed on wanting one specific home feature.

And it's no surprise that top enviable feature is a walk-in pantry. If you’re lucky enough to have one, imagine what you would do if it one day disappeared. Where would you put all those groceries you bought in bulk? Or those miscellaneous serving dishes you save for the in-laws? It’s easy to see why walk-in pantries are a hot commodity.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a walk-in closet is about $1,500. But if you need to do additional construction like knocking out walls or electrical work, you can expect to pay more. If a walk-in pantry isn’t in the budget this year, a kitchen utility cart or a large ladder shelf could amp up your kitchen storage without the cost.

A walk-in pantry was the most-wished-for feature by a large margin, but trailing behind are several other features people commonly regret missing out on while shopping for homes:

  • Walk-in pantry: 30.2%
  • Granite countertops: 17.8%
  • Kitchen island: 16.8%
  • Tankless water heater: 16.4%
  • Finished basement: 16.2%

The top three are popular kitchen features, proving that function trumps style in hardworking spaces. A walk-in pantry and island give you more space for food prep and storage, and granite countertops are easy to clean and resistant to scratches.

Not all homeowners have regrets, though. About 95 percent of respondents say that they like (54 percent) or love (41 percent) their home, despite what it doesn’t have. After all, it’s not the features that make a house a home—it’s the people and memories.

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