8 Home Features That Sound Great But Can Add Cost and Hassle to Homeownership

Home features - backyard pool with nice patio

There are many features and amenities that you’ll consider as you look for a home. Some seem like highly attractive options, but there are some that, while they seem amazing, could create a hassle, safety hazard, or additional expense.

Luxurious features may not always be desirable, especially if you won’t use them often.

We’re not saying never buy a home with these features. We’re simply saying that you should understand the costs, hassles, and risks of owning a home with these popular amenities. And for many people, avoiding these features will result in happier homeownership.

8 Attractive Home Features That You May Want to Avoid

1. Pool

Step out of your back door and take a relaxing swim. Sounds like the perfect addition to a home, but many people, for a variety or reasons, actually avoid homes that have swimming pools.

Reasons to avoid a pool generally fall into two broad categories: costs and safety. Even if the pool is already built, there are many costs included in ownership. The energy required to circulate water, additional insurance, regular maintenance, and chemicals needed for clear pool water all add up, resulting a home feature that is (in many cases) rarely used but always pulling on your bank account. Safety is, of course, the other reason to avoid a pool, especially if you have children or pets who may not be able to swim.

2. Fireplace

A warm, crackling fire on a winter’s evening. Could anything be more relaxing and comfortable? Having a fireplace adds a level of elegance to any home, but you may want to think twice before purchasing a house with this feature.

Fireplaces are, like swimming pools, both a money-consumer and a potential safety hazard. They can create issues with energy efficiency, as many are leaky, especially older fireplaces. They can also be a safety hazard, and require frequent cleaning.

3. Direct Proximity to Parks and Trails

Imagine living in a home where you can walk out of your backyard and have immediate access to swings, basketball courts, jogging trails, picnic areas, and many other amenities. If your home is right next to a park, it makes accessing these features fast and easy. But it may create a hassle.

Living directly next to parks, trails, or public access means the general public is, essentially, right out your backyard. Trash like wrappers, dog droppings, and bottles may find their way into your yard, and the noise from parks may disrupt a peaceful evening. Besides that, people may mistake your yard for part of the park if boundaries are not clearly marked. Living near a park or trail is great, but you may want to reconsider a home right next to a public area. 

4. Hot Tub

Hot tubs are relaxing, comforting, and luxurious. We’ve all sat in a hotel hot tubs and thought “I should add one to my house!” But before you purchase a home with these features, you should understand the potential risks.

There are going to be monthly maintenance costs, and hot tubs seem to always need repairs for pumps, heaters, and other features. Remember that most hot tub repairs require the service of a fully-trained professional, which means you may be waiting for weeks and shelling out big bucks to get your hot tub running again.

Waterfront property is fantastic, but comes with added costs and heightened safety risks.

5. Access to Water (Lake, River, Bay, Etc)

A lakefront house, a cabin on the river, or a villa on the beach are all attractive options, especially as second homes or vacation properties. There is something about a house on the water, and it goes beyond the gorgeous views. These homes are in high demand, and while it could keep you happy for years, the cost and hassle may not be ideal for you.

Many waterfront homes have additional taxes, and you’ll likely have costs to maintain your section of the shorefront. They can also create additional risks, and homes adjacent to rivers are more susceptible to flooding. For this reason, the insurance for these homes can skyrocket, further adding to the cost of ownership.

6. Converted Garage

Using a garage to park a car? That’s no fun! Why not use the space as a workshop, man cave, or lounge area?

If someone has converted the garage into a different space, it seems like an interesting and attractive option. But where is the car? Eventually, you’re going to want to use the space for its intended purpose. Fortunately, returning the garage into a parking space is usually simple and easy, but it will take time and could cost money.

7. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Carpeting is lush, warm, and comfortable. It can make a space feel more cozy and inviting, and makes a popular addition to bedrooms and living rooms. It’s so comforting that some people will do nearly wall-to-wall carpeting in a home. Is this a good feature for you?

Hardwood, tile, and other hard surfaces tend to be easier to clean, making them more convenient for an on-the-go individual. If you buy a home with lots of carpeting, you may eventually discover that you preferred hardwood and may eventually replace the material

8. A HUGE Lawn

Backyard football. Watching children play tag. Plenty of space for your dogs. There seems to be no downside to having a large yard. But all of that space needs to be maintained, which means you will be spending time and money to maintain your massive yard.

Like most homeowner tasks, yard maintenance can either be done yourself or hired out. It’s basically a choice between spending time or spending money, and the larger your yard, the more you’ll spend. That perfectly-manicured soccer-pitch-sized lawn looks great in the listings, but remember that you have to maintain that space if you purchase the property.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It's my goal to keep you updated with the latest real estate mortgage news. I'm proud to provide you with 100% original and unique content. Subscribe now to get high quality real estate mortgage content and articles delivered directly to your inbox. Chad Baker is Regional Manager for Cross Country Mortgage. Chad is consistently recognized in the top 1% of mortgage originators in the United States 2011-2019. Got a question for Chad? Call (858) 353-8331 or submit your question online