Avoiding Homebuyer’s Remorse
In many cases, you can return an article of clothing or electronics to a retailer for a full return up to 30 days from the date of purchase. But unfortunately, homes don’t come with a return policy.
If you purchase a home and later regret this decision, you have to go through the process of selling the property. This could take months and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get back what you’ve invested. For this reason, it’s important that you’re absolutely confident in a home purchase.
It’s estimated that roughly 44% of Americans have some regrets about their current home — nearly 50%. So, how can you avoid buyer’s remorse, or at the very least, minimize it?
1. Don’t rush the purchase
When a property isn’t getting a lot of attention from other buyers, you can afford to take your time and wait a few days before putting in an offer. This gives you time to “sleep on it” and decide whether the home is a right fit for your family.
But when time is of the essence and the seller has numerous offers on the table, your real estate may politely urge you to make a quick decision. The natural tendency is to react first, and think later. Reacting too soon, however, could result in a home purchase that you’ll later regret.
The bottom line is that you should never feel rushed or pressured into a home purchase. Take a step back and consider whether the house is worth it.
2. Spend ample time in the property
Some homebuyers make the mistake of only spending a few minutes in a home. Sure, a property might show beautifully on the inside and out, and have the exact number of bedrooms and bathrooms that your family needs. But this doesn’t mean it’s the right home for you.
When you rush through a home showing, you’re likely to overlook (or not notice) problems with the property. So, if you’re seriously considering making an offer on a particular house, spend time exploring the inside and outside of the home.
Walk through every room, open every closet door, and look under every cabinet. Ask important questions, for example: Is there enough space to accommodate your family? Can the home accommodate a growing family? How’s the storage? Is the kitchen or layout functional? Is the backyard large enough? How far is your commute from work and family? If the home is located off a busy road, can you live with the traffic noise?
3. Get a home inspection
Another way to avoid buyer’s remorse is to get a home inspection, and make your offer contingent on a satisfactory inspection. It doesn’t matter how well a seller stages the property, hidden problems can lurk inside the walls. A home inspection can protect you against costly home repairs after moving in.
These inspections assess the property’s electrical system, plumbing, HVAC, foundation, roof, attic, and other systems to ensure that everything is in good working condition. And if there are problems with the home, you can ask the seller to fix these issues before closing, or you can walk away from the property.
4. Buy a property that you can afford to update
Some people prefer older, fixer upper homes because they can put their personal stamp on the property. Typically, these people have the budget to update the property.
Purchasing a home that needs a little TLC can help you negotiate a lower sale price. But even if you find a steal-of-a-deal, be realistic and consider whether you can afford renovations or major home improvements. If not, you could potentially spend years living in a home that’s outdated and in need of repairs. And depending on the actual condition of the home, you might end up regretting the purchase.
If you don’t have the budget or time for a project, it might be better to buy a home that’s already updated or doesn’t need any major renovations.
5. Don’t spend too much on a property
While splurging on a pair of shoes or electronics might not hurt your pocket too much, splurging on a home purchase can be detrimental to your personal finances — more so if you buy more house than you can afford. Between a new mortgage payment and new utility costs, most of your income might go toward the property. The less you spend, however, the better.
Ideally, you shouldn’t spend more than 28% to 31% of your gross monthly income on a house payment.
A home purchase is a major investment, so a measure of anxiety is to be expected. Buyer’s remorse, on the other hand, can be avoided if you are confident in a purchase.
If you’re thinking about buying but don’t know what you can afford, the loan experts at Cherry Creek Mortgage are here to help. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a repeat buyer, or looking to refinance your existing mortgage, we offer various lending products for all stages of homeownership. Give us a call today.