I remember the glory days before I bought my house, when the bathroom situation at my apartment didn’t bother me. There was one no-frills bathroom, and it was just fine. I lived alone, so it wasn’t an issue.

But then I started looking for houses. I quickly learned the bathroom situation is a Very Big Deal to me. I was moving in with someone else, so not only did we need two bathrooms (what if we were both sick at the same time?!), but they both needed an integrated fan (because nobody wants to hear anyone’s business).

How your opinions change when you buy your first house — and when you buy future homes — can have a huge influence on what you eventually end up purchasing. I took an informal poll of The Apartment Therapist, a Facebook group run by Apartment Therapy, and asked: What home features did you not expect to have super strong feelings about? Here’s what the group reported.

Particularly if you live in a climate with weather extremes, not having a garage can be a dealbreaker for buyers. An attached one is best, but separate will do. Some would even prefer a carport if nothing else.

There are two camps in the cooking world: pro-electric stove, and pro-gas stove. Until you try the one you hate, you won’t know for sure which one you are. Thankfully, apartment living before buying can supply you with a range of stove options to help form your decision.

I personally won’t live in a home without a basement. I grew up in a tornado-heavy area, and if I don’t have somewhere to hide when the sirens start going off, that’s a dealbreaker for me. Others, of course, prefer it for storage, while another group doesn’t want one — it’s too much cleanup and flood risk.

Whether the house has well water or city water — and which you prefer — can largely depend on how you grew up. Some who had well water as a child will never go back to it, while others like the flexibility it gives you in maintaining your own water supply.

For some people, this means an expansive view over the surrounding area. For others, it’s as simple as not staring right into a neighbor’s window or a brick wall. A view can make or break the quality of the home, not just for aesthetic appeal, but also because what’s in the way of the windows changes how much natural light comes in.

Once you have a taste of that porch sittin’ life, it’s hard to go back. Unless, of course, you’re in the camp that doesn’t want to deal with porch maintenance and seasonal cleanup.

For people with kids or dogs, a yard is an important play space. For people with neither, a yard is built-in upkeep. The general consensus from the Apartment Therapist group is that this preference changes based on your life stage and family progression.

Have you ever tried to wash a dog or toddler in a home with just a shower? It’s not worth the frustration.

It’s the never-ending debate: hardwood versus carpet. (Or even tile!) Which you choose depends on your personality, personal style, desire to clean, and ambient temperature of your feet on the floor in the morning.

Jennifer Billock

Contributor

Jennifer Billock is an award-winning writer, bestselling author, and editor. She is currently dreaming of an around-the-world trip with her Boston terrier.

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