Buying A Home: Lessons From Buyers Remorse Post Closing

Real Estate Agent with Helen Adams Realty 266836

Buying a home is the largest single purchase any of us will ever do in our lifetime. So, whether it is your first house or your seventh house there is a natural tendency among us to question are we making the right decision now. Being on both ends of this I can tell you that there is no clear cut answer to this question. If there was i would be traveling the world right now giving lectures on how to be positive you bought the right house. But a recent study of home buyers across the United States polled what they thought were the biggest regrets (if any) about the house they ended up buying. Quite honestly I was a little surprised by the top answers.

First, the size of the home was too small. over 34% of home buyers who had a regret of the house they bought said it was due to the size of the house. They had wished they purchased a larger home. I know some people had this regret because they bought their first home and now a few years later they are realizing they have outgrown it and need to move to a larger home. It usually is just when you get the house to the way you want it and like the home. Then a change in family dynamics causes you to need more space. Most people are buying a home as an investment for their future and plan on move on average every seven years according to the National Association of Realtors.

I always ask buyers what is their long term goal with this house. Are they looking at it as a first step to get into home ownership or a long term investment they can grow with? Those answers help me point out things with the house and the space that either help ease their minds that they are making the right decision. Or whether we should keep looking.

Second, not doing enough remodeling when they moved in. I can say without a doubt that this ranks first for me. I bought my last house and said to my wife I will get this and that done. Then I started and said i will get to it a little later and that little alter has turned into years. So, if you are planning on buying a house that needs paint, flooring, or updating. Sit down and decide what you are going to do now and what you are going to do later. But set a realistic timeframe and stick to it. Otherwise you will be like me saying I wish I did that before I moved in.

Third, not having more information about buying. I pride myself on giving my clients all the information they need and sometimes too much information. But I believe that you can never have too much information when it comes to buying a home. A large investment like that requires careful planning and thought....Do not buy if you have any doubts is what I tell my clients. I have sat down and talked through their doubts and sometimes it was just nerves and other times they were valid and we moved on from that transaction onto another one....Just do not be afraid to say NO.

Fourth, putting more money down. With interest rates as low as they are today i usually advise my clients to seek the advice of a financial planner before putting a large sum of money down on a house. Rates are historically low right now and you may get a better return in the market. but the drawback is when you go to sell the house you have less equity to play with when you want to upgrade to your next house. So, looking at it and seeing that you need a larger space but will not have enough money out of your home to buy...the first thing you say is I should have put more money down. But it is relative. Depending on when you bought a house you may be in an equity position right now and not know it.

Last, not waiting until they were more financially secure. I think this tends to hold true now and was a little surprised it was fifth on the list. Considering we just came out of an economic depression where people were unsure about their futures and jobs daily. but over thinking this too we all do not know what the future holds for us. I believe if you want to buy and are unsure of your financial stability right now buy smaller and more affordable. It still is less expensive to own than it is to rent in most of the United States.

I think this survey was a good one for buyers to look at. If they had regret these were there top five. Now, it does not say how many of the respondents did not have any regrets but I imagine there were a few.... but always make sure you are 100% sure before buying and talk to your Realtor and seek advice for him/her on your concerns.

Dave diCecco
Coldwell Banker United

Comments (17)

Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I can't imagine why size would be number one. That's why they make starter homes. When you need to move up, you do.

Apr 26, 2013 06:46 AM
Mark Horan
Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC - Saint Cloud, FL
"The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &

Dave, Mine is always the same, I didn't put enough down and I financed for too long.

Apr 26, 2013 12:08 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Dave, Now I want to go ask all of my previous buyers this question.Congratulations on a well deserved feature.

Apr 26, 2013 11:07 PM
Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL

 Dave I agree with you on the space factor.

Apr 26, 2013 11:12 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Interesting survey, Dave. For me it was not doing the remodeling/changes soon enough.

Apr 27, 2013 12:00 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I think everyone has a regret (??) & wants to put more money down. Seems like a duh moment.

Apr 27, 2013 01:30 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Dave, great post and list.  We would suggest that you share it on your initial buyer consultation.

Apr 27, 2013 02:39 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker
Needs change over time. Bigger or smaller. We don't have a crystal ball. As to putting more money down, how about making extra payments and paying it off earlier?
Apr 27, 2013 08:14 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Even building a home can give you some regrets. Mine is "Why didn't I pay more attention to what that lame electrician was doing?"

Apr 27, 2013 08:49 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

In Dallas , buyers are feeling very rushed in making decisions.  Many homes are under contract on day 2. All your points are valid.

Apr 27, 2013 10:33 AM
Barbara Jenkins
Solid Source Realty - Loganville, GA
Its about THE house

20 years later my only regret is "why did I buy a house with so many stairs"? I agree with you about upgrades. If they are not done before settling in to life, they may never get done, until its time to sell.

Apr 27, 2013 02:01 PM
Valerie Keener
Cane Ridge, TN
Real estate is my caffeine!
Very good list to share with new buyers! Thanks for these insights!
Apr 28, 2013 06:22 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

A really interesting approach and responses equally interesting. I'm going to start checking in with my own clients to see how they compare.

Apr 28, 2013 06:25 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think many people are putting more down or paying cash just due to the fact that is the sort of offer sellers are taking.  Also the FHA loans take little down, but are very expensive.

May 01, 2013 03:53 AM
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Dave - In my experience, the paragraph about not waiting until you're more financially secure is at the top of my list.  If you can just barely buy a home, perhaps you should wait a couple more years until you can actually "afford" to be a homeowner!

May 03, 2013 03:53 AM
acoustic ceilings

Yes you are right .I agree with you . you give a great advice to the users .I appricate you .Actually i am working with same field like Acoustic Ceiling Tiles real estate company .Our company providing removable services for other information you may visit our site :
Jul 08, 2013 09:57 PM