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20 Features Owners Surprisingly Loathe After Moving to a New Home

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Buying a home is a massive milestone and a source of pride for many. We dream of perfectly manicured lawns, spacious kitchens, and cozy living rooms (aka the American Dream with a white picket fence). But the reality of everyday life can reveal unexpected annoyances lurking beneath the surface charm of a new abode that we didn’t realize were there in all our excitement.

While every home has quirks, some flaws become especially irksome once the initial excitement fades. Before signing on the dotted line, consider these commonly overlooked features that homeowners often grow to dislike after settling in.

Let’s dive into 20 potential sore spots to help you make a well-informed decision and avoid future homeowner headaches!

1. The Open-Plan Curse

Living Area In Modern Apartment
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Open floor plans are incredibly popular, but the reality of living in them can be jarring. Noise travels effortlessly between the living room, kitchen, and dining area, meaning no escape from a boisterous TV or a clattering dishwasher.

Peaceful moments are hard to find, interrupting relaxation and concentration. Privacy becomes nonexistent, making the space feel chaotic for residents and guests. If you’re stuck with an open plan, consider sound-dampening solutions like thick rugs, textured wall coverings, and furniture groupings to break up the space.

2. Airport Proximity

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Living in an airplane’s flight path might seem like a minor concern until the roar of jet engines becomes a constant soundtrack to your life. Check flight patterns thoroughly before committing to a home near an airport.

Noise from air traffic can disrupt sleep, work, and outdoor enjoyment. It’s a factor that can also reduce a home’s resale value. Use online flight tracking tools to gauge how frequently planes fly over the property. Research local airport expansion plans.

3. Tiny Yards

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A small yard can severely limit outdoor enjoyment, especially for families or pet owners. Lush photos in online listings can mask a postage-stamp-sized backyard that feels more like an afterthought than a usable space.

Limited outdoor space makes hosting gatherings difficult, creates a cramped feeling, and hampers activities for kids or pets. If a small yard is unavoidable, be realistic about your expectations. Consider vertical gardening, scaled-down furniture, and creative uses for balconies or patios.

4. Lack of Trees

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While the lack of mature trees might improve curb appeal, it also means scorching hot summers with no natural shade. Planting new trees takes years to provide relief.

Excessive sunlight can heat up your home, increasing energy costs. The lack of trees also eliminates privacy screening and reduces the overall aesthetic appeal. Explore fast-growing tree options suitable for your climate. Factor in potential tree root damage to foundations or driveways before planting.

5. The HOA Nightmare

House Model Near HOA Rules And Regulations Document
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Homeowners Associations (HOAs) may seem innocuous initially, but overly restrictive rules can turn your dream home into a stifling environment. From strict landscaping guidelines to limitations on paint colors, HOAs can severely infringe on your enjoyment of your property.

HOA regulations can feel inflexible and unreasonable. They can lead to fines, disputes, and a diminished sense of ownership over your home. Thoroughly research HOA rules and restrictions before you buy. Speak to current residents to gauge the level of control exerted by the HOA.

6. Limited Counter Space

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Excitement over a new kitchen can quickly fade if every meal prep turns into a countertop Tetris game. Lack of workspace hampers functionality and creates frustration for avid cooks.

Insufficient counter space significantly restricts meal preparation and makes it difficult to keep things organized. To expand usable space, consider portable butcher blocks or kitchen islands. Wall-mounted shelving or cabinetry can maximize vertical storage.

7. Awkward Cabinet Placement

Glass Cabinet in kitchen
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Seemingly spacious kitchens can reveal glaring design flaws once you start unpacking. Upper cabinets are awkwardly positioned over counters, shallow drawers that barely fit utensils, and impractical layouts make daily cooking a chore.

Poorly designed cabinet and drawer configurations hinder efficiency, waste storage space, and create a disorganized kitchen. To maximize functionality, utilize cabinet and drawer organizers. Consult a kitchen design expert for potential layout adjustments.

8. Single-Sink Vanity

New ceramic toilet bowl in modern bathroom, A Toilet bin placed next to it
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Sharing a single bathroom sink, especially in the mornings, can become a major source of friction for couples or families. Get ready for constant jostling for counter space and mirror time.

A single sink leads to bottlenecks, impacting daily routines and causing unnecessary frustration. A double sink vanity may be a significant renovation, but the improved functionality can significantly reduce bathroom conflicts.

9. Tiny Shower

Shower head with refreshing water droplets spraying down in bath
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A luxurious shower experience might look appealing in real estate photos, but the reality of a cramped shower with poor water pressure is much less enjoyable.

Uncomfortable showering makes your daily routine unpleasant rather than relaxing. Consider water pressure and shower dimensions alongside their aesthetic appeal. Explore upgrading the shower head to improve water flow. A major remodel might be necessary to expand the shower’s footprint.

10. Outdated Plumbing or Electrical

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Older homes often hide outdated or deteriorating plumbing and electrical systems. These lurking problems can lead to costly repairs, leaks, and potential safety hazards.

Unforeseen repair expenses put a huge strain on budgets. Outdated systems can be inefficient, driving up energy costs. Have a thorough home inspection before purchase. Factor potential upgrade costs into your overall budget.

11. Single-Pane Windows

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While charming in appearance, single-pane windows offer poor insulation. They lead to drafty rooms, fluctuating temperatures, and sky-high energy bills.

Inefficient windows increase heating and cooling costs, affecting comfort levels throughout the year. Invest in energy-efficient double-pane (or triple-pane) windows. Consider storm windows as a budget-friendly alternative.

12. The Swimming Pool Trap

Above ground pool sunken below
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While a pool may seem luxurious, it also comes with significant maintenance costs and potential safety liabilities. Cleaning, chemicals, and upkeep can be far more expensive than initially anticipated.

Pools require time-consuming and costly maintenance. They can also increase insurance premiums and create potential safety risks, especially for families with young children. Honestly assess if you possess the time and resources required for pool upkeep. If not, reconsider a home with this feature.

13. Minimal Storage Throughout

Woman's closet with high heel shoes, stacked, folded clothes on shelves and part of robes hanging. Depicting closet organization, time to donate clothes, fashion lifestyle, consumerism.
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A lack of closets and overall storage becomes strikingly apparent once your belongings start to pile up. Cramming items into inadequate spaces creates clutter and frustration.

Insufficient storage makes a home feel cramped and disorganized, and it can even impact resale value. Get creative with storage solutions! Invest in modular closet organizers, utilize under-bed storage, and look into attic or garage upgrades.

14. The Garage That Isn’t 

unusable things on Garage Storage
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Many garages are designed in a way that makes actually parking a car inside nearly impossible. The space quickly becomes a cluttered storage unit rather than a functional garage.

Lack of protected vehicle parking exposes your car to the elements and potential theft. Cluttered garages are fire hazards and magnets for pests. Decipher if your garage is primarily meant for vehicle storage or if you should consider outdoor parking options like a carport.

15. Unpleasant Views

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That peaceful rural landscape you fell in love with might end up being a noisy construction zone or a picturesque forest view replaced by a new housing development.

Changes to the surrounding area can drastically alter the visual appeal and even the noise levels impacting your property. Thoroughly research any potential future developments near your property. Check local zoning regulations for allowable uses.

16. Noisy Neighbors

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While you can’t choose your neighbors, excessively noisy ones can become a serious nuisance. From barking dogs to loud music at all hours, disruptive neighbors negatively impact your quality of life.

Constant noise pollution causes stress and can lead to conflicts. It can even hinder your ability to enjoy your own home peacefully. Pay attention to noise levels during your property visits at different times. Introduce yourself to the neighbors before buying to get a sense of their lifestyle.

17. Uninspiring Landscaping

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A neglected or poorly designed front yard can make a nice house look unappealing. Overgrown shrubs and a weedy lawn diminish curb appeal and send a negative message before anyone even steps inside.

Low curb appeal can affect your home’s resale value. A neglected yard also requires an investment of time and resources to turn it into something pleasing. Research low-maintenance landscaping options for your climate. Even small enhancements like a neatly trimmed lawn and some colorful flowers can make a significant difference.

18. Pest Problems

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Nothing ruins the joy of homeownership faster than a pest infestation. Certain areas are prone to termites, rodents, or other unwanted roommates, and getting rid of them can be costly and time-consuming.

Infestations can cause structural damage and health hazards and severely impact your peace of mind. A thorough pest inspection is crucial before purchasing a home. If an infestation is found, insist on treatment by the seller before closing the sale.

19. High Property Taxes

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Dreamy online listings hardly ever mention local property taxes – a significant recurring cost that can vary dramatically based on location. Steep tax rates can take a huge bite out of your budget.

Unexpectedly high property taxes can limit disposable income and even make owning a home unaffordable over time. Thoroughly research local property tax rates before purchasing a home, and factor this cost into your affordability calculations.

20. Flood or Disaster Risk

Cars are stuck in flood
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Many desirable areas are at risk from natural disasters like floods, wildfires, or earthquakes. Insurance premiums can be exorbitant in such locations, and coverage may be difficult to obtain.

The cost of disaster insurance can become unsustainable. The risk of property damage or loss causes considerable stress. Carefully evaluate the risks associated with a specific location. Consult insurance providers for rate quotes before making an offer.

15 Common Purchases Home Buyers Instantly Regret

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Have you ever felt regret right after purchasing a new item for your home, realizing it doesn’t serve a practical purpose? Or maybe it takes a while to realize that the purchase was not a good one, and after the initial high of buying something, it wears off.

Buying a home is an exciting milestone for everyone. In the excitement, it’s easy to overspend and think we need things we don’t.

15 Common Purchases Home Buyers Instantly Regret

20 Reasons Owning a Home is Overrated

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Forget the picket fence and rose bushes. The “American Dream” of homeownership isn’t so dreamy when you dig deeper. Sure, there is a certain pride in owning your own place, but what if it’s actually holding you back?

The reality of owning a home can be very different from the overrated dreams we make up in our heads- planted in our heads as kids, young adults, and beyond.

20 Reasons Owning a Home is Overrated


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