Biggest Regrets: What Homebuyers Would Do Differently

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A new survey found that most homebuyers would make different decisions if they had the chance to buy again.

You live and learn. The old saying sums up new homebuyers’ thoughts after they completed the process to buy a house.

According to a new survey from Chase, recent homebuyers said they have some regrets and would make different choices if they had an opportunity for a real estate purchase do-over.

Chase said that although most recent homebuyers reported being happy with their house purchase, there were some common changes buyers would make if they were given a second chance to buy a home.

  • More finance homework. Nine out of 10 homebuyers said they felt prepared to buy a home, but in hindsight would have benefited from understanding the financing more, including the ins and outs of house closings, how to make and negotiate an offer, and the overall financing of the home.
  • Size (of both the price and the home) matters. Knowing what they know now, 39 percent of homebuyers said they would purchase a home with a different size or price, or would select an alternate neighborhood.
  • Realistic expectations. Nearly 40 percent of buyers said they thought it would take less time than it did to traverse the homebuying process. But 16 percent said they were pleasantly surprised by the speediness of the process.
  • Move-in ready? While the majority of folks (80 percent) thought their home was move-in ready, nearly 76 percent of buyers have completed or plan to do renovations to their home in the immediate future. And home maintenance costs can be expensive. Among first-time homebuyers, 51 percent said they “got that sinking feeling” when faced with the reality of home maintenance costs.

My husband and I bought a home together in 2006. It was my husband’s second home purchase and my first. I had lots of questions and concerns, but we were fortunate that we worked with a really great Realtor.

We bought a 1970s-era house that had never been updated, so we really had our work cut out for us. We were young (and naïve) and didn’t think twice about the costs or time involved with home renovation.

I can understand the sinking feeling the other first-time homebuyers had when thinking about maintenance projects. I had that feeling too, and sometimes still do. It’s all just part of the joys of homeownership.

What would you do different if you could have a homebuying do-over? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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