Home Buyer’s Remorse: 7 Ways To Prevent It (And How To Overcome It After You Buy)

Home Buyer’s Remorse: 7 Ways To Prevent It (And How To Overcome It After You Buy) | The Loaded Pig

This common sentiment after buying a home is easy to prevent, you just have to spend some time before you buy. Find out ways to avoid home buyer’s remorse as well as several strategies to overcome the feeling after you buy. 

What Is Home Buyer’s Remorse?

Home buyer’s remorse is a feeling of regret after purchasing a house or other property. It is caused by a difference in your expectations of your home vs reality after owning it for some time. This regret after buying is more common than you think, but you can take steps to avoid experiencing home buyer’s remorse. 

If you already purchased your home and are regretting some aspects of it, find out several ways to overcome home buyer’s remorse. 

How Common Is Home Buyer’s Remorse?

A 2019 survey by Bankrate found that 44% of homeowners had home buyer’s remorse and a startling 63% of millennial homeowners regretted their home purchase. It is quite common to feel home buyer’s remorse, but the good news is that it’s often preventable.

Take a look at the most common reasons for home buyer’s remorse according to the survey:

Home Buyer's Remorse Bankrate Survey | The Loaded Pig

It’s easy to see that many of these reasons are easily avoidable by taking additional time before purchasing a home.

Ways to Prevent Home Buyer’s Remorse

1. Understand All of The Costs of Owning A Home

The most stated reason for regretting buying a home in the survey was that maintenance and other costs are more expensive than expected. A simple way to prevent feeling this way is to learn about all of the costs of home ownership before you buy. There’s much more than just a mortgage payment when it comes to owning a home and this can be rather shocking to people who didn’t do ample research. 

Consider the cost of HOA fees, maintenance, utilities, other home services, and unexpected expenses, like repairing or replacing appliances. Read our article, Important Monthly Costs of Owning A Home You Need To Consider, to learn more about these hidden costs of home ownership. Build a realistic budget with these costs to better prepare you for the financial side of owning a home. 

2. Spend Time Making Your List of “Wants” & “Needs”

Many people end up regretting certain aspects of the home they purchase, so it’s really important to decide on the features that you need and want in a home. If you’re buying a home with a spouse, take the time to discuss this at length so both of you are satisfied with your purchase. For us, we had similar lists but certain aspects were “needs” for one person and “wants” for another. I felt that outdoor space was a need and Tiago decided that a spacious driveway was a need (and the home we bought has both of those). These requirements are important to establish to help guide you in the home buying process.

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3. Learn All About The Mortgage Process

If you plan to buy your home with a mortgage, do yourself a favor and learn everything you can about the process before you start looking at homes. Our home buying section is a great place to start your research. Often people regret how much they end up paying for their mortgage or how high their interest rate is. These are factors that you can change by increasing your credit score, saving more money for a down payment and getting quotes from several mortgage lenders. Read our article, 9 Most Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes, to find out some helpful info about the home buying process. 

4. Think of Your Future Home As An Investment

While you’re looking at houses, avoid only thinking of the properties as homes. This is one of the most expensive investments you will make, so treat it as such. Consider the factors that can lead to a property’s value appreciating, such as location, quality of schools, crime rates and curb appeal. These aspects may not be important to you personally, such as if you don’t plan to have kids, but they are indicators that help determine the resale value of the home. Moreover, considering these factors will also help you avoid buyer’s remorse as you will spend more time deciding on the right home before you buy. 

5. Get An Experienced Realtor

Your realtor has a significant impact on your home buying experience. This means you should take time picking the right realtor for you. They not only need to be familiar with the area, but they also need to have relevant experience and professional skills. Aside from that, you should select a realtor who listens to your concerns and has a compatible personality to yours. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and they can really make or break your home buying experience. Find out 12 questions to ask realtors to help you find the right one in our article, How To Choose The Right Realtor For You.

6. Rent Before You Buy

Something that helped us understand what we wanted in a home, where we wanted it to be and gave us time to save money and improve our credit was renting before buying. It may not be crucial for everyone to rent before buying a home, but it can really help prevent home buyer’s remorse. If you currently rent, reflect on what things you like and don’t like about the property and the area. Use your experience renting to help you make your list of “wants” and “needs.” If you’re unsure of whether you should rent before you buy, check out our article Renting Before Buying: Why It’s A Good Idea.

7. Save For A Down Payment

A big factor that will determine how much you pay for your mortgage and your interest rate is the size of your down payment. A larger down payment indicates to a lender that you are more invested in the property and less likely to default on your payments. If you don’t have 20% to put down, consider waiting to buy until you can save more money. It will help you avoid private mortgage insurance with a conventional mortgage and enable you to get a lower interest rate. Spend some time saving money for a larger down payment before you buy.

Now that you know several ways to prevent home buyer’s remorse, take your time going through each one so you can be fully prepared. The key to preventing home buyer’s remorse is purchasing a home that you won’t regret, so don’t rush the process. 

If you already purchased a home and are feeling some regret about it, read on to find out some ways to help overcome your home buyer’s remorse. 

Ways To Deal With Home Buyer’s Remorse

Often if you are feeling unsure of your home purchase, you have lost sight of the reasons you picked your house. It’s easy to start complaining about the neighbors who leave their trash cans on the street for too long or the features of your home that you want to change. Go back to your list of “wants” and “needs” and consider how many of those your home checks off. Take time by yourself or with your partner to reflect on what you love about the home, the neighborhood and the location. 

Feeling buyer’s remorse for financial reasons is also a common sentiment. Look for costs you can cut to get your spending under control and consider making a zero-based budget, which gives every dollar of income a purpose. If you feel that your mortgage payment or interest rate is too high, you can look into if refinancing is right for you. Learn more about refinancing in our article, Now Might Be The Best Time To Refinance Your Mortgage.

Our Take

We rented several apartments before we bought our home last year and we like to remind each other how much of an upgrade our house is. Regularly we comment on the parking issues we used to deal with or the pest nightmares. An exercise that we find beneficial in all aspects of life is practicing gratitude. We like to think of a few things each day that we’re grateful for in our personal lives and that includes aspects of our home that we really enjoyed recently, like spending time in our backyard or cooking together in our kitchen. 

Financial freedom begins with good habits.

Rebecca & Tiago, theloadedpig.com

Rebecca co-founded The Loaded Pig with the goal of helping people achieve their financial goals. Her passion for financial freedom has landed her on US News & World Report, CreditCards.com, Cheapism, and many other sites. Rebecca earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami. She is currently a professor in the business department at Broward College.