Before you rush into buying your home, consider this fact: most home buyers have regrets about the home they choose. According to a recent Bankrate poll, 64% of millennials (ages 25–40) have at least one regret about buying their home, while 45% of Gen X (ages 41–56) have regrets. So, what are the biggest regrets when it comes to buying a house and why does this happen?
The most common regret about buying a house turns out to be maintenance and other costs, like heating and cooling. When looking at a house buyers are often so excited by the ability to buy a house that they fail to look into the details of the reality of home ownership. “We’ll figure it out later” can lead to big regrets when reality sets in.
In addition to standard costs like electric, heating, and cooling, small changes like replacing a toilet, painting, or redoing the tile in a bathroom can add up quickly. Maintenance costs can often eat up any savings you may have had for renovation work, so be realistic about what you think you’ll be able to accomplish and what absolutely has to be done to make the house livable.
Following maintenance costs, buying a house that’s too small is the next biggest regret. Remember, you’re going to be in your home for a long time, so consider how your space needs may change over time. If you’re going for the smaller house just because of cost issues, consider waiting a bit and building up your savings some more. You may end up happier in the long run.
Other regrets people report have included: bad location, poor mortgage rate, mortgage payment too high, and having overpaid for a house.
Most of these issues can be avoided by simply being thorough. It’s easy to be blind to small issues in a new house on your first or even third walkthrough, so make sure that you have all of the necessary inspections done on any home you’re interested in. “Looking good” isn’t enough. Spending a little extra to get a proper inspection done on the house can really help you learn about issues that you would not have seen coming and that can cost you quite a bit later.
Finally, remember that while many people have some regrets, most people are happy—overall—with their home buying experience. The key to success is taking your time, saving up enough beforehand, and being thorough with the process before signing on the dotted line.