How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse When Buying a Home.
There is nothing we want more than happy clients after a transaction is complete. It’s a great feeling when we know a client made the right choice and we are confident they’ll be happy in their new home for a long time. However, it’s unnerving when we have cautioned a buyer, and they still make a choice that probably isn’t the best. A few buyers end up unhappy with their home purchase a year or two down the road. Here are 3 rules to follow to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Don’t overspend – Overspending is a sure-fire way to make you regret your purchase. You might love your home for the first several months, but after you’ve stretched yourself to the limits to make the payment for an entire year, you’ll hate it. Generally, income goes up over time, so this tends to get less painful as the years go by. Although, if every available dollar is going towards your mortgage payments, you’ll get tired of not haveing any money left for spending or fun. People who do this tend to end up in credit card debt overtime because they start using the credit cards for spending cash. If you try to hold your housing expenses (whether you buy or rent) to 25% of your income or less, you’ll be more than comfortable with your purchase in the long run.
Don’t decide under pressure – The most common cause of home buyer regret – their purchase. I see so many buyers that force themselves to make a quick decision with what is currently available on the market and settle for a home that is far from their ideal. Imagine this scenario, you bought a condo when you were single, but now you are married and starting a family. You put your condo on the market and get an accepted offer quickly. Now you have 35 days to find a new home. Rather than renting for a while or staying with a relative while you look, you force yourself to choose from the available homes get one under contract in a few days, so you can close on your purchase the same day as your sale. Making a rushed decision, often ends being a decision you aren’t happy with. Buyers tend to be happier if they take their time trying to find their next home, and then put their current home for sale once they have found the right home to buy.
Another scenario we’ve seen several times are couples going through divorce (or even boyfriend/girlfriend splitting up). They decide they must get out of their current living situation, but they don’t want to put their kids thru apartment living. Trust me 6 months to a year of apartment living will have far less affect on your kids than you making a decision to purchase under the pressure of getting out of your relationship.
Buy where you really want to be – Some buyers are after a specific location- whether that is close to work, near friends or family, or in a specific school district. I’ve seen several buyers settle for locations that aren’t their preference because they get a nicer or bigger home elsewhere. Sometimes this works out if the buyer has a stronger desire for the home rather than location, but often the location is more important than the home. I made this mistake with the first property I bought. I went for a nicer property, but I was 35-40 minutes away from town. This meant every trip to work, or to hang out with friends or family took 40 minutes. It got old quickly and I moved closer 3 years later.
The bottom line is a home is the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life. Take your time when you are buying. Analyze all aspects of your life situation; financial, career, social, and family before you decide what is right for you.