Real Estate regret happens. In fact, some studies show that it can happen to almost half of all homebuyers. Real estate regret can have long-term consequences, so it’s important to know what some of the biggest regrets you may have as a homebuyer may be and how to take precautions to avoid them.
- House is too small. This tends to be the biggest regret many homebuyers have. If a house is too large, you can generally find ways to utilize additional space. However, if your home is too small, you will feel cramped, and things may look or feel cluttered. Buying a house that is too small is uncomfortable and frustrating. Avoid this regret by planning ahead – meaning, look into your future as much as possible over the next 10 years. Who will live in the home at this time? Will there be children – or more children - by then? Will you want to entertain or have the ability to accommodate overnight guests? What kind of spaces will you need (i.e. a gym, craft area, theater room, guest room)? Buy a home that will not just accommodate your lifestyle now but one that will accommodate you in 10 years.
- Having insufficient information before buying. Many of the hundreds of questions you may ask are easily answered. However, some are not. Before you attend the closing, make sure you’ve asked every question you can think to ask, then ask your real estate agent, friends, and family members what questions you might be forgetting. Most of the information you need about the home is at your disposal. While it might take a little extra work, it is worth not having the regret. Attend the home inspection, and find out all you can about the property itself, the neighborhood, the Homeowners Association. There is so much information out there, and you don’t want to be stuck with insufficient information about a home you’ve already purchased.
- Premature buying. Everyone is telling you that it’s a “buyer’s market.” You know the interest rates are low. You’ve found the perfect house that fits your needs and wants. So you should buy now, right? Not necessarily. Buying a home before you are truly financially ready will cause serious, long-term regrets. If you haven’t saved up as much as you need, if you still have a lot of debt to pay off, if your job isn’t as secure as it should be, or if you are going to be “house poor,” reconsider purchasing a home, regardless of what the market is doing. Also, don’t rely on a third party, like a lender, to tell you how much you can afford. Sit down and thoroughly run through your own personal financial numbers. If you purchase a home before you are financially ready, you will inevitably run into real estate regret.