Avoiding Buyer’s Regret When Buying A Home

I've Had a Few, But Then Again, Too Few To Mention
Creative Commons License photo credit: superfem

Buying a home is a really exciting experience. You’re realizing the American Dream. You’re choosing a place where you can make a life for yourself. You’re investing in something that could be good for your future. Unfortunately, a number of people go through this exciting experience only to end up disappointed with the choice that they have made in their home. They feel that they’ve paid more than they should, live in a neighborhood they don’t really like or picked a home design that doesn’t suit the needs of the family. Buyer’s regret is always a sad thing but it’s particularly sad when what you’re regretting is the purchase of something that’s so important in your life.

Luckily, it’s possible to avoid buyer’s regret by thinking carefully about your home purchase before you actually make it. Here are some tips for avoiding buyer’s regret when buying a home:

  • Figure out what type of home you want. The most important thing that you can do to avoid home buyer’s regret is to decide what kind of home you want before you even start looking at homes. This will make it more likely that you will only look at purchasing homes that meet a basic set of criteria that are requirements for happiness in your home purchase. Think about whether you want new or old homes, whether you want to live in certain areas or avoid specific neighborhoods and whether there are any features of a home (such as a large back yard) that you consider a prerequisite for a good home. Make a list of these things before you even look at homes for sale so that you can refer back to it when you need to make objective decisions about a home.
  • Figure out your budget. You’re going to need to look realistically at how much you can afford to pay for a home. One of the biggest reasons people regret buying a home is because they have to pay too much on their mortgage each month and it stresses them out. It’s better to buy smaller and in your budget because you’ll be happier this way.
  • Find a good real estate agent. You want to work with someone who is really going to listen to you, someone that you feel comfortable working with as you select a home. Take the time to find this person so that you can increase your chances of having a positive experience in buying a home. Make sure that you’re open in articulating what your needs are for a home and what you can be flexible about. Being clear and upfront with this information will help the real estate agent know what to look for when helping you find a home.
  • See more than one home. You need to really look around before you find the home that you like. Buying a home is so exciting that people may jump on the first place that they like but it’s wise to do some looking around and really compare the things that you do and don’t like about different homes before you make a final selection about the purchase.
  • Take the home inspection seriously. A home inspection will be done before the home is sold to you. You should pay close attention to everything that is revealed in that inspection so that you know what the areas of concern are in the home. There are also certain things that you should look for in the review of the home such as whether the roof appears to be sturdy and whether all of the electrical outlets work properly.
  • Spend time picturing your real life in the home. You should be able to envision yourself carrying out your daily tasks in this new environment. Don’t just daydream about things that are yet to come (like raising kids here if you don’t have any yet). Focus on fitting the life you have right now into the home. Imagine doing your work at a desk in the living room here. Imaging cooking with your spouse in the kitchen here. If you can picture yourself in the home, you probably won’t regret buying it.
  • Be honest in your communication with your spouse about buying a home. If you’re buying a home with someone else then there may be a tendency to acquiesce on certain points of the home because you want to make the other person happy. This can lead to home buyer’s regret and eventually to resentment of the other person. You want to avoid this so be open in your communication about how you feel about the homes you look at. There will probably need to be some compromise but talking about the pros and cons of a place openly will help make sure that you’re both happy with the final decision.
  • Make sure that you read and understand all of the fine print. Take a look at every paper that’s involved in the home buying process. Make sure that you understand what it says, what it requires of you and what it does to protect or assist you.

Buying a home is a big decision. It’s something that you should take time to do correctly. You should think through what your needs are in a home and hold out for the home that’s right for you. Doing so will help you to make sure that you don’t regret a big purchase like this.