Be careful not to fall in love with house features you won’t use

There’s a danger when house hunting where you can fall in love with features in a home that you may not end up using. At an optimal level most homes look their best when for sale. This is so appealing, I know! But it can be a trap if you don’t think logically about each room of the house and not be swayed by too many fancy features. Display homes are the prime example. We walk through them drooling and wishing it was ours. But… 1. Usually they are way over our budget… 2. Are we really going to use those retreat areas or excessive bathroom features?


Here’s a list of things I think which need to be carefully considered before we purchase a new home based on some lustful house features

Courtyards – I love the look of them. You know the ones, off the master bedroom or off a lounge area? It’s usually additional to your Alfresco area. We dream of having coffee and eggs there in the mornings reading the paper. But in reality, most of us won’t use them. They’ll become full of tumble weeds, be ignored and won’t be a long term useful space.

Fire places – I’m talking about wood open fires. Some people love them and this is a big tick for them. And that’s great! But for those people who haven’t used one before the lure of an open wood fire could prove to be too much down the track. Just something to consider. They have a level of maintenance which comes with them.

Over sized dining areas – you don’t have to think about hosting Christmas lunches when purchasing a new home. Maybe you only do this every few years so focus on how you will use that dining space every single day.

Pool yards – What a tease when someone sells their home in Spring and Summer and you’re wandering through their open home drooling over the pool and its surrounds. They owners would have this looking its absolute best. Let the daydreaming begin about how you’ll swim every evening in the Summer, eat breakfast out there on Sundays and invite all the neighbours around to enjoy it… But just a thought, will you really use it? Pools and surrounding yards can be a lot of maintenance. Kids grow up, use them less and pools are very seasonal.

Outdoor showers – I’ve seem some gorgeous outdoor showers on Instagram and Pinterest. I would love one at home, but in reality it would only be for looks and we’d never use it. I think they are great though if you’re lucky enough to live right on the beach so the kids could wash off their sand!

Fire pits – similar to swimming pools they are seasonal and do take up yard space. They have a level of maintenance in that you’ll have seating to look after, outdoor furniture and wood to collect. If you’re not a winter fan then maybe sitting outside around a fire won’t be something you’d do very often.

Retreats – I had one in a house we built many years ago in the master bedroom. I loved the idea on the floor plan, but we never used it. I had visions of sitting there in the evenings, but hello we have kids so that wasn’t happening! It also means you’ll need to buy additional seating for this area to fill the space.

Fancy gardens – if you’re a green thumb then go for it! If you’re just sort of happy to have a garden and a few plants then maybe you’ll need to seriously consider homes which have a lot of grass, lots of garden beds and trees which need seasonal maintenance like pruning.

Excessive bathrooms – all I can see is cleaning when I look at bathrooms. I love drooling at bathroom photos online and wish I could have all that glass, mirrors and huge open spaces with hanging pendants. But in reality I just wouldn’t be able to sustain the neatness.

Just a few thoughts for you to consider if you’re on the hunt for a new home, or even looking to build a new one. What are deal breakers for some aren’t for others so it’s a good idea to not let yourself get too carried away with the lure of fancy home features and nut out what you will and won’t need and use.

KC. x

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1 comment

  • Tanya says:

    Thanks for a great article, Katrina. I am in the house planning stages and am tossing up many of these points.