Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

When shopping for a new home, it’s important to separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. You don’t need a wood burning pizza oven to whip up a delicious pie, but a working dishwasher may be an absolute necessity for your busy family of four. The home services platform Porch recently polled more than 990 people about their expectations of homeownership versus reality. The Homebuyer Hindsight survey revealed the most sought-after amenities today’s home shoppers are looking for, and the results were surprisingly sensible. Keep scrolling to find out which home features topped the list.

1. Backyard: Wanted by 97.6 percent of homebuyers

In the words of Twitter user @candicepatton: “I’m just trying to be successful enough to give my dog the backyard she deserves.” Amen to that!

2. Central heating: Wanted by 95.9 percent of homebuyers

Central heating is decidedly unsexy, but totally necessary for those who live in cold climates. It should probably be number one, but the image of a single-family home with a sprawling backyard has become thoroughly entwined with the American dream.

3. Central air: Wanted by 94 percent of homebuyers

A box fan just doesn’t cut it during the dog days of summer. As global temperatures rise, AC has been deemed more necessary than ever before, despite the fact that it too contributes to COemissions.

Photo: James Bombales, design by Jo Alcorn

4. Walk-in closet: Wanted by 87.1 percent of homebuyers

A well-designed walk-in closet makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze and provides plenty of extra storage for shoes, handbags, belts and accessories. Want to zhuzh yours up? Here are 19 ways to make your walk-in closet look ridiculously chic.

5. Hardwood floors: Wanted by 79.1 percent of homebuyers

Hardwood floors are healthier for homeowners who suffer from allergies, and they offer a significant return on investment — as much as 70 to 80 percent, according to

6. Recently redone or updated kitchen: Wanted by 76.8 percent of homebuyers

Homeowners who don’t want to deal with the high cost of a kitchen remodel will often seek out homes that have been recently updated. They want to enjoy their new home as it is, not stress out over subway tile samples.

Photo: James Bombales, design by Karen Dunn and Claire Jefford

7. Fireplace: Wanted by 72.2 percent of homebuyers

The ambiance of a crackling fireplace can’t be beat. Not only does it provide warmth, it creates a natural focal point in the home.

8. Granite or marble countertops: Wanted by 71.7 percent of homebuyers

Despite the fact that man-made materials like quartz and porcelain are more durable and require less maintenance, natural stone countertops remain popular with today’s homebuyers.

9. Stainless steel appliances: Wanted by 68.2 percent of homebuyers

Avocado green, pastel pink and basic black appliances have all had their moment, but stainless steel has gone mainstream in the current market. Good luck trying to keep them free of fingerprints!

Photo: James Bombales

10. Storm windows: Wanted by 66 percent of homebuyers

Splurging on new storm windows isn’t necessarily fun, so it helps if they come pre-installed in your new home. In addition to protecting the glass from gale-force winds, they’ll improve your home’s energy efficiency and drown out street noise.

11. Dual or triple sinks in the bathroom: Wanted by 65.5 percent of homebuyers

Okay, I get the convenience of a dual-sink vanity, but who in the world needs three? Even Kim and Kanye’s perplexing, basin-less sink only has two faucets!

12. Multi-story home: Wanted by 58.9 percent of homebuyers

Ranch homes rose to prominence during the 1950s, but their popularity has waned significantly over the past few decades. Multi-story homes provide families with ample square footage, but can be squeezed onto smaller lots.

Photo: James Bombales, design by Karin Bennett

13. Formal dining room: Wanted by 58.5 of homebuyers

Back in 2015, The Huffington Post declared that formal dining rooms were going extinct. But it seems some homeowners still crave a separate space for large family gatherings.

14. Carpet: Wanted by 55.7 percent of homebuyers

Carpet flooring is very much a personal choice. Some people prefer it in their bedrooms and living rooms thanks to the under-foot comfort it provides.

15. Swimming pool: Wanted by 40.6 percent of homebuyers

If you want your house to be declared ‘the fun house’ by your kids’ friends, you’ve got to have a backyard pool. The regular maintenance and upkeep isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy splashing around on hot summer days it’s well worth the investment.

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