How to Avoid Homebuyer's Remorse
A home is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime. Unlike so many other purchases though, you can’t really “try before you buy” when it comes to a house.
So, if you can’t try it out, how can you avoid remorse after you’ve bought it? I have a few questions you can ask yourself that will cut down the chances of buying a home that is not right for you, in a dramatic way.
1. Do I really want the house, or am I just competing?
If you’re in a situation where there are multiple offers on the house you’re trying to buy, take a step back and really figure out if you’re trying to get the house you’ve dreamt of, or if you’re just trying to beat the other buyers. Don’t lose sight of your goal!
Also, if you’re caught in a multiple offer situation, you want to make sure that the negotiation does not drive the price above asking. Make sure you stay within your budget and the fair market value of the home.
2. Have I seen the home more than once?
Even if you knew it was the ‘one’ as you drove up, make sure that you’ve been to see the home more than once before making any concrete decisions. You also want to make sure that you’ve walked through the home with your real estate professional on a private tour. If you’ve only ever seen the home during an open house, then you need to book another showing before you sign any papers. It’s also a good idea to go through it with an objective eye. If you can’t do that on your own, then ask your real estate agent or a home inspector to show you where the house may need work. Ideally, you have had a home inspector through and seen all the places where you will have to give your house some tender, loving care to make it your home.
3. Does this home meet all my criteria?
There may not exist a home with everything you are looking for, but sometimes in the midst of house hunting you can be swept into the excitement. You can end up putting in offers on homes that are not what you started out looking for. Before you even start looking, make up your list of “NEED”, “WANT” and “IF POSSIBLE”. Next to that list, put the amount you are qualified for and stay under it. Remember, the house doesn’t need to be your forever home, it can be your ‘For Now’ home, as you work your way up to the home that makes your mouth water!
Although we all feel a little nervous when purchasing a home, you don’t want to hate the home you buy a few months down the line. Once you’re into a conditional sale, your real estate professional will be sure to have clauses in your contract that are contingent upon inspection to protect you as much as possible. In the end, the most important thing is that you never buy a home that you are uncomfortable with. Best of luck in your journey towards home ownership!