5 Common Reasons For Buyer's Remorse After Purchasing A Home

The Ackerman Team March 31, 2024

What is a Home Buyer's Remorse?

Buyer’s remorse is a feeling of regret, guilt, or anxiety after making a purchase, thinking that it’s a wrong decision. It’s also known as buyer’s regret or buyer’s disappointment. While it can result from any sort of purchase, even the smallest ones, it usually occurs after a significant commitment, such as buying a house or a car.

Some homeowners feel buyer’s remorse after purchasing a home. They either feel that it was an outright mistake or think that there’s a better option for them out there. Buyer’s remorse is common, especially to first-timers. In fact, a 2022 survey of homeowners found that more than half — 60 percent — feel some form of buyer’s remorse over their housing purchases. Regrets are especially common among those who bought a home during the pandemic era (2020 or later) when sale prices began to boom. 
After all, a home is typically one of the biggest investments most people make. It involves not only a significant amount of money but also a huge change in their lives that can have lasting consequences. 
 
 

The Biggest Regrets Homeowners Have After Buying a Home

Buyer's remorse occurs if the homeowner is feeling one (or more) of these things:
 
 
One of the main causes of buyer's remorse is financial stress. In fact, the said survey found that 30 percent of buyers said they spent too much money. Especially for first-time home buyers, they can easily be tempted to stretch their budget after learning that there are multiple offers on the table. Then the realization often hits them at or right before closing, when they see all the closing costs they have to cover. Plus, the costs of homeownership, including the monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, homeownership insurance, property upkeep, and others, turn out to be higher than anticipated.
 
 
Many homeowners start to feel remorse over their home when they realize that it's too big, too small, or doesn’t have most of the features they wanted. While it’s rare to find a perfect house with no compromises, having this regret is probably because they weren’t clear, right from the start, about their must-haves in a home. It might be a huge kitchen for cooking and hosting, a garage for enjoying their hobbies, or having a big bedroom with a walk-in closet for their clothes and accessories. They weren’t able to communicate enough how much space they really need based on their family size and lifestyle.
 
 
Owning a home with a huge yard is a dream for many. There's great joy waking up in the morning and having a cup of coffee in your impeccably manicured garden. But not until the reality sinks in: tending to a house with a big yard requires so much work. And if buyers aren’t prepared to spend their weekends getting rid of overgrown weeds and removing yard waste, living in a home with too much maintenance can contribute to the disappointment in the choice of a home.

Similarly, if they are not prepared for unforeseen repairs and maintenance costs that come with homeownership, their dream home can quickly turn into a money pit and the upkeep becomes overwhelming.
 
 
Imagine falling in love with what you thought was the perfect house, only to discover that there's a busy bus stop right out front, or there’s a nearby business district that draws throngs of people until late at night. Your humble abode should be able to give you the peace and quiet you seek, but it might be impossible if it’s in the wrong neighborhood or location. 

Buyers who don’t give enough consideration to their neighborhood while house-hunting may find these things to be a deal breaker, which can eventually lead to buyer remorse. It’s a common scenario when buying a home sight unseen, or not spending enough time in the neighborhood to know all of these little location factors that might not fit their lifestyle.
 
 
Making a home purchase primarily on emotions and without careful consideration of your needs, lifestyle, and other practical factors, can lead to regret later on. In fact, this is the second most common regret among first-time homeowners: rushing the home buying process and buying too quickly. They didn't realize until moving in that the property doesn’t meet their long-term needs, or that they overlooked some features of the home in the excitement of the purchase. Likewise, being in a highly competitive real estate market, feeling that they’re under pressure to find a place, or the fear of missing out on good homes, can all lead to rushed decisions.
 

Why It's Important to Work With a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

Even before starting your home-buying journey, have an in-depth conversation with a local real estate agent to better understand your needs and what’s driving your decision to purchase. They are licensed experts who can be your voice of reason, especially when it comes to discerning what your budget can afford and what can be a costly decision that you might regret. They are familiar with the area you are looking for so they can better guide you in finding the right home for you. Likewise, they are your go-to person for any questions you may have about the real estate market and the transaction process. Trust in their expertise so you can have peace of mind and avoid buyer’s remorse with your biggest investment.

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