Avoid these Home Purchase Mistakes that cause Buyers Remorse

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Zion Realty

The day has finally arrived! Your real estate agent just handed you the keys to your new home and all seemed right with the world. It had taken years to save up the necessary down payment and your credit score was carefully looked after so that there would be no un-forseen issues qualifying for a mortgage. 

The home search didn't go as smooth as planned and it may have taken a bit longer than anticipated to find that one special house which made your heart sing. After countless late nights searching on-line, reviewing dozens of available property lists emailed to you by your real estate agent, logging endless miles on your car, and examining each home you came across with a fine-toothed comb, the wait is over and it feels great! 

Friends and family all assemble to help with the big move. After a few weeks and hours of lost sleep unpacking your belongings you finally settle in to start enjoying the fruits of your labor. It's all sunshine and roses until you start to notice certain aspect of your new home that you hadn't seen before. Your expensive leather couch doesn't quite fit against the only wall in the living room that seems an appropriate location. You discover the kitchen quickly runs out of room to move when there is more than one person occupying the space. That Master Bathroom shower isn't even big enough to fit a toddler but you hadn't noticed it before because you were distracted by the brand new tile and granite counter tops.

Before you know it, what once was your crowning life achievement in purchasing a home has now turned in to discouragement, regret, and disappointment.  What went wrong? You viewed dozens of homes and thought this house was a perfect fit. How could this have happened and what can be done about it now? It's not as if you've built up enough equity in the home yet to sell it this early. How can you even think about moving a second time when you just got settled in? 

Individuals can end up with buyers remorse over purchasing a property that had all the makings of an ideal residence. Here are some big missteps to help avoid getting stuck in a home that you're acquiring:

Busted Budget 

You got the house you always wanted but now you have a mortgage payment that leaves you penniless at the end of every month. Your lender, real estate agent, friends, and family all gave you the advice not to max out your budget but you didn't listen. Now you're left with stretching every dollar and crossing your fingers that no unexpected expenses rear their ugly head. What happens if you lose your job or fall victim to a sudden long term illness? It's a constant tightrope to walk. The consequenses and pressure of falling behind in your bills will keep you up at night when you have no wiggle room. The house you once viewed as your dream home can soon become an anchor if you don't stick within a livable and reasonable budget plan. 


Size Matters

When selecting a home to purchase carefully consider not only your present living situation but also your projected future. Are you newly married and considering having children soon? Don't just buy a home that fits your current needs or else you'll find yourself quickly running out of space to expand and grow. Do you already have a well established family but a few of the birds are ready to leave the nest in the coming years? Avoid buying too big of a home knowing that you won't be needing all that size and room once the amount of occupying residents begins to shrink.

The square footage of the home isn't the only size factor to consider. Do you lead an active lifestyle? Do you like to entertain outdoors? Keep in mind the total lot size of the property. How big of a frontyard or backyard do you need. If you want enough space in your yard to toss around a baseball without endangering the neighbors windows then lot size should be considered. Perhaps you are a young single home owner and don't want a large yard to maintain. Avert buyers remorse by sticking to smaller, more manageable lot sizes. 


 Trends come and Go

Mustard yellow appliances, shag carpet, and busy floral wallpapers were once the hot ticket items in home buying. What was once highly-sought after can rapidly become yesterday's old news. Don't get caught up in purchasing a home because it looks like the new, trendy, and upgraded house on your favorite home improvement television show. Avoid being distracted by the latest design style which will be outdated before the ink even dries on the mortgage you just signed up to pay. Look beyond the surface. Does the floor-plan work for you? Are the bedrooms and living spaces big enough? Are there enough bathrooms to fit your family's needs? Focus on function not flash. You will fall in to buyers remorse if you purchase a home that looked great but doesn't serve it's purposes the way you need it to. 


Neighborhoods, Schools, and Shopping Oh My!

You can't pick up a home and move it in to a better community. You may come across a home that you absolutely love but it's in a part of town that you despise. Carefully consider putting in an offer on a home that's located in a neighborhood you wouldn't recommend your worst enemy locate to. What about the school district? Are you really willing to sacrifice a sub-par school district and education for your children just so that you can have that convenient extra half-bathroom or that upstairs laundry room you've always wanted? If you move in to a house that's located in an area that you will avoid like the plague then your quality of life and home ownership experience will be disappointing at best. You will be much better off buying a property around schools, shopping plazas, and neighborhood amenities that you will actually utilize. 


So you thought you wanted a pool?

Pools are highly desirable for some individuals or families that will get their full use out of such an upgrade. But what do you do with an enormous body of water that can sit underutilized for half the year? It's not as if you can turn your back on maintenance and let that 30,000 gallons of water turn in to a swamp in Louisiana. Pools require constant care and somebody has to do it. Will it be you? You're way too busy during the week to worry about skimming and vacuuming a pool. What about the kids? Good luck tracking them down when it's time for chores. How about a professional pool cleaning service? Sure, if you have $100 or more per month in your budget.

The point is, items like pools, spas, or any other similar luxury comes with a cost which will either be time, money, or both. Are you really ready for a commitment like that? Don't fall victim to buyers remorse because purchasing a home with a pool became a burden on your shoulders that you no longer wish to carry. 


Is there something missing here?

You may be under the impression that you just purchased your dream home because it has everything you thought you wanted. But what was it missing? Perhaps you like to take baths to unwind at the end of your day but you decided to buy a home that only has a shower in the master bathroom. Do you have two or more children that will be sharing a hallway secondary bathroom? Wouldn't it have been nice to have a dual sink vanity instead of refereeing the daily fights that occur over the single sink and negligible counter space? Are you the chef of the house? It sure could have made your life easier having a large kitchen island as a prep space for all those meals you'll be making. What about storage? Are you finding out that the available garage and closet space is leaving a lot to be desired? 

Some of these missing items can be fixed if you have the available funds, and some you will have to come to accept. The perfect home doesn't exist. Any property you buy won't fit every conceivable must-have that is on your list. However, buyers remorse can set in when enough of these missing details and amenities start to add up. 


Are we there yet?

Whether you commute to your job by using available public transportation, carpool with co-workers, or drive yourself in the solitude of a personal vehicle, we all have to get to work somehow. Daily commutes to our places of business can be time consuming and frustrating. Why add to it by purchasing a home that adds on to a time schedule already bursting at the seams? Budget constraints can often times make it necessary to buy a property that stretches your miles traveled each day. However, when deciding on whether or not to buy a home make sure you take in to account the time and additional costs you will spend on your commute. These factors can weigh heavily on a homeowner who thought they could handle a longer drive but when reality sets in it becomes cumbersome and a constant source of frustration.  


Purchasing a home is about finding the right fit for you and your family. There are multiple factors to be considered in order to prevent buyers remorse. If you or someone you know are looking to purchase a home in Gilbert, Arizona or the East Valley, contact us at ZionRealtyAZ.com. We will help you carefully consider every option during the home buying process to help ensure you are completely satisfied with your home purchase. 


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  1. Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl 11/11/2015 10:30 PM
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nicole doty

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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Bob - It makes you wonder what we'll think of today's design styles 40 years from now!

Oct 29, 2015 03:43 AM #19
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Nicole, you made it very clear that there are many more things to consider when buying a home than counter tops and color of the walls! 

Oct 29, 2015 10:31 AM #20
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert , I'm sure there are quite a few buyers that found out the hard way.  Great blog.

Oct 29, 2015 11:38 AM #21
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


I stopped back to bookmark your post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 29, 2015 11:44 AM #22
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

This is a very good blog Nicole. You have done a fine job providing excellent purchase mistake insights.

Oct 29, 2015 01:02 PM #23
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Sometimes this comes into play when family or friends, who haven't bought a home in 40 years, put in their 2 cents...

Oct 29, 2015 09:16 PM #24
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Such wonderful advice, Nicole.  Though many, many buyers just go for that shiny kitchen or bathroom and the words new, rather than really thinking about their life style.

Oct 29, 2015 09:31 PM #25
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You are right on the money with this post Nicole.....so many things that could cause buyers remorse and you hit on most of them.  Well done!

Oct 29, 2015 11:29 PM #26
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Nicole, you did a great job on this post. There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a home and you nailed them!

Oct 30, 2015 01:03 AM #27
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

I wish I had known all of this when I bought my first home. I was in my early 20's, eager to own... what did I know? Nothing! Your advice is priceless Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert - Truly I consider you the Gilbert Real Estate Expert!

Oct 30, 2015 05:17 AM #28
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Nicole Excellent post and this one should have been featured. You hit the nail on the head with your comment at the end of Purchasing a home is about finding the right fit for you and your family. Too many folks end up with the remorse after they have to live with their decision. 

Oct 30, 2015 05:52 AM #29
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nicole, great post, and so many emotions buyers feel throughout a transaction and after they close!

Oct 30, 2015 06:05 AM #30
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Silvia - Although those are nice things to consider they shouldn't be reason to buy a home. 

Larry - If I can help just one person avoid that feeling of buyers remorse then this blog was worth it. 

Lou - Wow Lou thanks so much!

Noah - I'm sure there's more but it was already getting lenthy enough so I cut it off. 

L & S  - Abslolutely! That could have been another category itself!

Oct 30, 2015 08:40 AM #31
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Gabe - This happens alot when buyers purchase flip properties. They look shiny and new but there's usually a lot of problems being covered up.

Roger - I feel like I could have at least thought of three of four more categories but it was getting a bit long(no pun intended). 

Amanda - Most factors should include functionality not flash.

Patricia - I think most of us could have used this advice when we were younger. You aren't in that boat alone!

Bob - It's a terrible feeling finding out the home you thought you loved turned in to a burden you no longer wish to carry.

Joan - Purchasing a home is an emotional event and we have to try and curtail some of that for our clients benefit. 

Oct 30, 2015 08:48 AM #32
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

What a great post Nicole and it reminds me of many buyers I have met along the way. It makes it hard for an agent to do their job when the buyer waffles.

Oct 30, 2015 12:15 PM #33
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Debbie - A picky or unsure buyer is always difficult to please. I've walked away after many successful closings wondering if my buyers were truly happy with their home. They said they were but I just had a gut feeling they were somehow settling. 

Oct 31, 2015 02:05 AM #34
Calvin Lai
Hatch - Encinitas, CA
Co-founder of Hatch, a technology co. for realtors

What a great post! Great advice on what to consider when selecting that perfect home!
Are you aware of any good buyer decision making tool that could help buyers get clarity on what they want and hence be able to exercise discipline in selecting the right home to minimize the buyer's remorse?

Nov 01, 2015 12:49 AM #35
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Calvin - I know of a great tool. They can hire a professional real estate agent that knows their local market to help guide them through the process! 

Nov 01, 2015 08:47 AM #36
Danielle Doucet Personal Real Estate Corp
Kamloops PropertyFor Sale - Kamloops, BC
Kamloops & Kelowna Real Estate

Cracking post.... Love it.

Nov 19, 2015 01:12 AM #37
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Danielle - It's never fun to hear that buyers you represented are regretting their decision. Some things we can help and some things we can't.

Nov 19, 2015 07:10 AM #38
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