Buying a home is a big investment, perhaps the biggest you will ever make. So it is natural to feel very nervous about the choices you are making when shopping for a home. Placing an offer may seem like a monumental decision, but in today's market you probably also fear hesitating and missing out on a great home to another buyer waiting in the wings. It makes you feel the pressure to leap and place an offer but also worry you are not thinking your decision through.
What are some of the most common things that buyers overlook when choosing a home and how can you avoid buyer’s remorse after you move in?
Here are a few common things that can lead to buyer’s remorse and how to avoid them:
You don’t carefully consider the location and lot size: You find the perfect house, but the lot is on the smaller end of the spectrum, you are closer to neighbors than you thought, and there is a busy road in front of your house. This may not be the “perfect” house you think it is if you only are considering whether the physical structure fits your needs and desires. Once people move into a new home, the close proximity of their house to neighbors (too much noise, too little privacy) begins to set in. The sound of cars and traffic on a regular basis can also can become something that you did not consider before, but may come to annoy you once you move in. If you have pets or children, a small yard may be something that limits your outdoor enjoyment of the home- something you might not have thought about before you actually moved in. Think about all of these possibilities before you decide to buy. Be realistic about what you will be satisfied with in your home’s location and what will become a nuisance.
You settle on limited number of bathrooms: The home is cozy and has beautiful character, but only one bathroom. Maybe this is your starter home, and you have plans to add another bath someday-or upgrade to a bigger home later on. Good plan, but consider if this one bathroom situation will be a regret in the meantime. Many families can survive with only one bathroom, it just takes patience and sometimes a solid morning routine that allows time for every family member to get their personal bathroom time, but some people do not adjust well. Think about this compromise thoroughly before you decide to buy.
You ignore the older appliances and home systems (like furnaces): There are things that eventually will break in your home and need replacement. That is a fact of home ownership. But if the furnace is 30 years old or all the kitchen appliances are about to take their last breath, you are looking at several upcoming moments of crisis and costs. Nothing is worse than having one thing after another break-down in a home you just moved into. Thinks like heat and hot water, food being kept cold or frozen, and the ability to cook dinner are things you count on, (and their interruption is something you cannot ignore), so think about when you will need to replace these systems and appliances (and if you will be able to afford to do so) before you buy. Your home inspector can even give you an estimated timeframe for replacement.
If you consider all the possibilities and potential issues that may come with a home, and feel certain you can either deal with them or make the compromise needed (because the benefits far outweigh the issues), then you are more assured that you will not experience any buyer’s remorse in your purchase. Just remember to take the time to think about every aspect of a home and property- and if it is a good fit for your family- and you make a solid choice about buying that will bring you happiness, not regret.