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10 Things Buyers Regret After Buying a House

Posted by Holly McDowell on October 18, 2021

Are you afraid of commitment?  Worried that you will regret one of the biggest decisions in your life? Buyer’s remorse is an unfortunate reality, especially with your first home.  However, with a little preparation, you can set yourself up for a long-term housing relationship.  Understanding the top 10 things buyers regret about their home purchase can help you add a dose of regret prevention to your home buying experience.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Holly McDowell, and I specialize in finding buyers a fabulous home in the greater Spokane region. 

Regret #1: Unexpected Maintenance

Remember the home inspection you had when you bought the house? Consider that your maintenance checklist for the first year or two of ownership.  Plan ahead, and set aside money for the unexpected issues that arise over time.  In addition, consider a home warranty to cover some of the surprises that will eventually pop up.

Regret #2: Don’t Like the Neighborhood

On the first pass through, the tree-lined street looked dreamy.  After you move in, you discover the neighbor runs a daycare, and the dog behind you barks all afternoon.  Take the time to drive by the house during different times of the day.  Pull up the local crime report.  Consider meeting a few neighbors during the inspection period.  A little due diligence will go a long way in making sure you love the neighborhood.

Regret #3: The Mortgage Payment is too High

Careful consideration of your budget and a full understanding of the additional costs of homeownership are critical. Don’t create a situation where you are a slave to the house payment forcing you to cut out other things you enjoy.  Live music anyone?

Regret #4: The House is Too Small

This is the Number One regret – 42% of buyers regret not buying a bigger home.  Know why you are buying a house and consider long-term plans.  

Regret #5: Sudden Loss of Savings

Closing on a house isn’t cheap, and the sudden dip in your savings account might mirror the sinking feeling in your gut.  Remember, your savings isn’t gone, it’s merely relocated into the equity of your home.

Regret #6: The Commute is too Long

Drive the commute a few times to get a feel for the distance. It is one thing to know it’s ten minutes extra each direction, and another to feel that 20 minutes every day.

Regret #7: Not Paying Attention to the Little Things

Spend some time looking around the inside and outside of the house. Check how light filters in through the windows, is there peeling paint, are the floors uneven?  Is there a school zone nearby, too much noise from a busy street, a bus stop on the corner?  These aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, just things you should notice and make a decision for yourself on their importance.

Regret #8: Undesirable Layout

The house felt great when you bought it, and then you start moving in the furniture and nothing fits quite as you imagined.  That wall between the kitchen and the living room you thought you could live with? Well…not so much.  This is one reason I provide clients with the 100 Point Buyer Checklist – and bring a tape measure!

Regret #9: You Feel Like You Overpaid

There were multiple offers, you were in a rush to make a decision, emotions took over and you didn’t want to lose the house – so you bid up higher!  And Won!  Choose a Realtor that helps you balance emotions and adds a dose of common sense.  Also, look around the house.  Are there any ways you can add value to offset the feeling you overpaid?

Regret #10: Settled for a House That Wasn’t Quite Right

The reality is you aren’t going to find the perfect house. In general, most buyers find a home that is about 80% of what they are looking for – Which is pretty darn good! Don’t settle for an almost house.  Be familiar with your home needs and be willing to compromise on some of the items from your wish list.

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I know this feels like a lot to try and remember to prevent the sinking feeling of regret.  That is why it is SO important that you choose to work with an experienced professional who considers all of these things for you and brings them to your attention BEFORE you sign those papers.

If you are worried about settling for the wrong house and aren’t sure what items on your wish list could be opportunities for compromise, then check out You Can’t Always Get What You Want where I discuss which items on your “must-have” list might be areas for compromise.

Have a question, comment, or want to schedule a consultation? Then contact me or pick up the phone and text or call. You can also book online.  I look forward to hearing from you, and as always, have a fabulous day.

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