Ready to buy your new home? Got a list? Or do you know someone who is about to embark on their own house hunting expedition? If so, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that 80% of first-time homebuyers would actually opt for a do-over (if they had the chance).
According to a survey by U.S. mortgage resource site, HSH.com, the majority of home buyers have at least one major regret about their new home. (Only 20% were thoroughly happy with their home purchase and have no regrets.)
Among the most common regrets:
→ 25%of homebuyers wished they had researched their new neighbourhood or neighbours
→ 22% wished they’d researched home insurance costs
→ More than 20% wished they’d researched property taxes
→ 16% said their home was too small
→ 14% wished they’d researched local schools
→ 9% said their home didn’t have enough storage or closet space
→ 3% said their home was too big
Other gripes included: not being happy with neighbours or the school system or feeling their home had too few bathrooms, too-small a yard, or not enough natural light.
Everyone has a wish list and everyone ends up competing for those same items, which drives housing prices up in high-demand neighbourhoods. The reality, then, is that homebuyers need to prioritize their needs and wants—or pay more to get it all. According to the survey, these same buyers, would’ve paid a bit more if at least 98% of their wish list had been met.
While not all regrets could’ve been avoided with better research there are some mistakes that can be avoided. For instance, about 60% of buyers surveyed wished they’d done better research on the local schools, property taxes, commuting distances, neighbourhood amenities, neighbours and home insurance costs. Very often, the reason why this research wasn’t done initially is because it wasn’t applicable to their situation when they bought the home. For instance, buyers who bought before having children would often overlook the school information.
The key to getting the most out of homeownership—both from a personal as well as a financial point of view—is to meet your current needs and to research based on future possible needs.