6 causes of Buyers Regrets and Remorse after buying a house
Did you know that three out of four homebuyers, when they bought a home, they had at least one regret about buying that home? There are six tips I’m going to show what their regrets were. But let’s track back in the last two or three years, if a buyer bought a home in the last two-four years, they had to buy it pretty fast. They did not have a lot of time to think about the house and they had to really buy on it.
But even in a normal market, a lot of the buyers that bought had some regrets about buying the home or buying the house of their dream. Let’s look at those regrets.
I’ll give you a quick example. A lady bought a house in Tennessee three years ago, and she had to buy it pretty fast because there were multiple offers and she had to really buy.After she bought the home, she realized that she did get the four bedroom house. But one of the regrets is that her parents were staying with her and sooner or later the parents would prefer, and did prefer a bedroom downstairs. In her case, all the bedrooms were upstairs. And she regrets that she did not buy a house with a bedroom downstairs for their parents, which they are fine right now. But in six or seven years, because this is their last dream home that they’re buying, the parents are going to need a home downstairs. So that was a regret.
1.) So let’s look at regret number one. Regret number one is that they bought a house with too much of a maintenance. A lot of the buyers that buy a house want to move into the house in the weekend and go to work on Monday because they have work, assuming they both work. And the number one regret is the maintenance. They come in the house. They start living in the house two months to a year, and they find out they are doing a lot of maintenance in the house. No home escapes without maintenance. Even brand new homes need maintenance. But when you move into the house and after six months, your dishwasher breaks or you have a roof leaking, or you have a pipe leaking in the backyard.
I remember when I bought my house 25 years ago, I moved in and when the first rain hit, it so happened there was a lot of rain that year. I had a roof leak from the deck and it leaked in the garage and I had to fix it right away. And guess what? All my money had gone for the down payment. I did not have any money left. Then my window coverings broke and this broke and that broke. So for the first year, I spent a lot of money, which I didn’t think I had to spend. That was a regret, I regretted it myself, that there was a lot of maintenance and most buyers feel that way.
By the way, statistics show, and this survey was done by Zillow, statistics show, and the survey shows, that 75% of the home buyers shows some form of regret about buying the house. And 81% of the home buyers had to give up something to buy a house. Maybe they had to give up a room or a pool or a view or something to end up buying the house. So if you’re regretting or if you have some compromise that you did, don’t feel left out.
2.) The second remorse that they feel, or the second regret the buyers felt after they bought the house was that most of them felt that the house they bought was smaller than they wanted or the house was too small. Maybe the dining room was too small, maybe the kitchen was too small, maybe the master bedroom is too small, or the overall house was too small.
So before you buy, make sure that you are comfortable with a three bedrooms, two bath, that is 1500 sqft. Or do you want a three bedrooms, two bath with a 2000 sqft. You need a larger family room or a larger kitchen, larger rooms, whatever it is, think about it and don’t jump into buying a home. It’s like buying a car. When I went to a dealership long time back, the salesperson was a friend of mine. And he said, did you know, Mr.Patel, that most of the car buyers that come look at this and he was working for a BMW at that time want a BMW. But their budget is to buy something much smaller, like a Hyundai or a Camry or a Nissan.
So we all want a bigger homes and then we regret buying a smaller home. But if you think that you want a smaller home, look at your budget. Go in a neighborhood that has that budget, or go in the city that has that budget for that living room area or that size of the home and then do your purchase. Don’t rush into it. If you have to wait a year to collect more down payment to buy the home, that’s 2000 sqft. Instead of 1700 sqft. Maybe you want to wait a year and then buy because now you have a little bit more down payment. Or you may want to adjust your interest rate so that you get a lower down payment or lower interest payment. You can buy a bigger house with a more living area, or you may want to move out of the area totally. Like for example, I’m in Orange County and if you move to Riverside County, the home prices are much cheaper by $100,000 or $200,000. So those are the options. But the bottom line is most homebuyers thought that they bought a smaller house than they wanted to.
3.) The third regret most buyers have, according to the survey, is that they felt that they bought this house in a wrong location. Now, location could be a lot of scenarios in a location. It could be that you bought a house on a T junction where there’s a stop sign, so when a car stops, the light is shining in your home. It could be that you bought right next to the freeway, so there’s a lot of noise. It could be that you bought a house right across a park. So in the weekends, there’s a lot of parking issue and a lot of noise.
I’ll give you an example. Way back 20 years ago, I listed a home for sale. It so happened that I took the listing at night and I did not think about going outside the yard. Then I got a buyer call from my advertising, and it so happened that it was November, December. So when I went to show it at 06:00 in the evening, it was dark and we did not even go in the backyard. We just opened the door and saw it from inside the backyard. And guess what? The buyers wanted the house. Now we open escrow. Remember, I have not gone in the backyard. The buyers did not go in the backyard. We open escrow and we come for a physical inspection on that Saturday. I remember it vividly. As I was standing there, I could hear vibrations in the house. And all of a sudden I could hear and see a train go by right behind the backyard. And I could feel the vibration. And I thought, oh, my God, the buyers are going to kill me. The buyers are going to cancel this escrow because there’s a big railroad tracks right behind the backyard. And when a train goes by, it made a lot of noise. And I could feel the vibrations in the ground when I was standing in the living room. Fortunately, the buyers did not mind the location. They loved the noise. They liked the railroad. They did not bother them.
And they went ahead and closed it. But imagine buying a house right next to a railroad track. Imagine buying a house where the airline takes off from an airport and you’re right there. And believe me, there’s homes like that. Or imagine your backyard faces a shopping center and there’s a lot of noise at night. So choosing the right location is very important. But this survey found that a lot of them regretted on their location could have been a neighborhood that was too expensive for them or a neighborhood that had gang related activity in there. So there’s a lot of situations.
So make sure when you pick a location, it’s the right location. Do your homework. Check it out in the weekends, go there during the daytime. Is your commute close enough for you to commute? So maybe you want to drive by before you buy the house. Look at it daytime, look at it in the evening, look at it in the weekend, and check out the location before you sign that contract and buy that house. Please don’t regret the location.
4.) The fourth regret buyers had when they bought a house is that the repairs were much more than they expected. Obviously, when you buy an older home, they know, the buyers know that they have to do some repairs and the reason they want to buy a house with repairs, well there’s two main reasons. One is that it’s cheaper than a regular updated home and you feel like you want to repair it on your own. So it’s cheaper to buy a home that you can fix.
The second thing is you feel like you can spend some time and money and fix it up. So there’s two reasons. One is cheaper, and one is that you want to do it on your own. But a lot of these buyers, according to the survey, found that even though they thought about fixing it themselves and bought a cheaper home because it needed work, the work that needed was much more than they anticipated and it took a lot longer and cost them a lot more. Any homes that you buy is going to break down. And if you already bought a house that is a little bit broken down, you’re going to have to spend a lot of money and time. And there’s always unexpected repairs. So if you do buy a house that needs work or is it older to save money, be prepared to save a little bit more time on it. And be prepared to spend a little bit more than what you expected, because there’s always unexpected repairs on top of the repairs that you already know that you’re going to do.
So hopefully this tip will help you. And of course, we always recommend when you buy a house, make sure you do a thorough inspection, a physical inspection of the house. So when you get the report and you understand that, hey, these are the repairs I’m going to do, but I’m still going to buy it.You are ready to do those repairs and then some, so hope that helps.
5.) The fifth regret that buyers had when they bought the home was that they did not consider the full environment. Well, what do I mean by that? Well, one of the things that I like and when I bought my house is that I want or I like a lot of light in the house, so I need something with a lot of windows. And sometimes a lot of the buyer bought a home with not enough light. Or they bought a house and there was a lot of trees. So when you walk outside, you see a lot of trees blocking your view or just looking into your face. Or you might have a house that’s a single story and right across the street from you are some office buildings or commercial buildings that blocks your view. Or the view when you walk out does not feel like a home. Or you might buy a house with a very small yard and you always wanted a yard because you like plants and trees and flowers and some room to go out.
Some of the yards in the house may be all concrete. Maybe the previous owner had a pool and he did not want a pool and he covered up the pool with all concrete in your backyard. And then you realize that, you know what, I wish I had some greenery and some trees and some flowers and so my pets can run around, but there’s concrete. So little things, environmental things like this make a big difference. So think about it hard and don’t just look at the price and the location and other things. Environment like these make a big difference when purchasing a home.
6.) The 6th regret when buyers bought a home is that they did not do enough research on the home. I’ll give an example. Let’s say you bought a brand new home and this happened to me when my buyers bought a house. And I did tell them about this, but they did not understand it totally, but they still bought it.
Let’s say you bought a brand new house and a lot of the new homes, especially, let’s say in the Irvine Orange County community, a high end residential area, a lot of the brand new homes that are being built are very nice and trendy and contemporary. But a lot of those homes have a lot of association fees, Mello-Roos fees and assessment fees. So to give an example, in Orange County, the property tax is 1.1%, which is kind of normal. But a lot of the areas in Irvine, for example, on brand new homes, that property tax with the Mello-Roos and assessment comes out at about 1.7%, which is 0.6% higher on a million dollar home. That’s a lot of taxes that you’re going to end up paying almost $6,000 extra taxes versus your 1.1% tax.
So you as a buyer when you buy the house, and if you do not check the exact Mello-Roos rates or the assessment taxes or how much the associations are, you could get into trouble paying extra fees. Some of the associations in the newer communities, they have two association fees HOA One and HOA Two.
So as a buyer, you want to do some research. Sometimes you may end up buying a house that is not completely finished and you buy it from a builder and say, I’ll finish it up. Then after buying it, you find out that you have to do some more work to complete the yard work or the finishing touches of your kitchen or the flooring. So anytime you buy a home and there’s some things to be done, research it out, plan it out, work it out and find out exactly how much it’s going to cost you and how much time it’s going to take for you to do it before you purchase the home. Because you may end up spending a lot more time doing the extra upgrades on a brand new home, putting the towels yourself, or doing the carpeting yourself, or doing the window coverings yourself, or doing the upgrades in the kitchen. It might be better maybe just to have the builders do it for you and you not spending so much time and energy and extra money to do it.
So extra research goes a long way. Hope these regrets help. Hope you’re not one of them. Statistically, three out of four regret something about buying the house and good luck to you on your next purchase.