“Regrets…I’ve had a few.”
In the real estate world, the words “buyer’s remorse” come up quite often. Like any large purchase, there is often a second guessing of one’s self – should I have, shouldn’t I have? It happens to a lot more people than you might expect. Trulia recently polled homeowners across the country to find out what some of their biggest regrets were after purchasing a home. Our friends at AGBeat broke the numbers down and we thought we might comment on some of the regrets a little deeper.
I should have bought a bigger house. I can see why this one comes in as the number one regret. Most people want more in life in general, but when it comes to housing, what seemed like a perfect fit can quickly seem cramped as you unpack all the boxes and start filling the house with furniture, pets, and people. On the flip side, I’ve seen people wish they had bought smaller when they realized that having five bathrooms meant having to clean five toilets. Try to picture yourself in the house in five years. Are you planning on expanding your family any time soon? Will your mother-in-law be joining you in a year or two? While we can’t plan for everything, it helps to take a longview approach. You’re likely to stay in a home for five to seven years before getting a new one, so try and plan ahead.
I should have done more remodeling when I bought the house. You love the home overall; but you hate the carpet, want a new kitchen, and really need to paint every room a color that suites your taste a bit more. When looking at the house during showings you knew these facts and decided you could live with them at first, but definitely wanted to do some remodeling down the road. Unfortuantely, down the road can quickly become never as you settle in. While you may have wanted to demolish the kitchen, you might later realize that the money is not there or that you aren’t the best do-it-yourselfer. Things come up and distract us from our goals, it’s just the way things work.
I wish I had more information about the home before I purchased it. I found this one interesting, because with due diligence on the part of your agent, inspectors, and yourself, you should know everything you need to know about the home. My guess is some people later found damage to the home that was not readily apparent during inspections or failed to have inspections (I can’t stress the importance of home inspections enough). I’d be curious to re-poll people who said this to see why they said it. Perhaps they didn’t know enough about schools or the neighborhood – not necessarily the house (but all of that comes with the house). If anyone has any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them.
I should have put more money down. If you find yourself in a situation where you have more cash to put down on a home, it is often advisable. However, you should speak with your lender and/or a financial advisor about it first. Although you would have more equity in your home, you would have less liquidity, which can be a bad thing if times get tough. If you have bought the house and recently got a raise or something has put you in a different financial position that would allow you more flexibility with your cash, you can always consider paying more on the principal of your loan each month. This will lessen the time it takes you to pay off the house, increase your equity, and lessen the total amount you will pay for your home in the long run.
I should have been more financially secure before purchasing. Ding ding ding! Winner, winner chicken dinner! I could never argue against this regret. Everyone could always use a bit of shoring up with their finances and home buying is often a quick lesson in budgeting and personal finance. The more prepared you are going in, the easier it will be for you. Take stock of your finances before making the plunge and be sure you’re prepared.
image courtesy of Jason A. Howie