Homebuyer regrets are becoming increasingly common. Buyers are confronted with an overheated housing market where homes are often sold on the same day they are listed, and it can be easy to make a rushed decision.
With the pressure on, it can feel as if deciding quickly is the key to success in the current property market. However, Beatrice de Jong, a realtor in LA and Consumer Trends Expert at Opendoor (opens in new tab) believes that rushing your choice of home will almost certainly lead to homebuyer regrets. She names the most common ones – and what you need to do to avoid them.
1. Spending too much
With home prices just about everywhere beating every record going, many homebuyers are worried that will overpay. Beatrice says it’s wise to be concerned and recommends stepping back before you get too involved in frantic bidding on a home: 'Getting too emotionally caught up in a bidding war can lead to over-extending yourself. Stay within a budget you can actually afford, and set that boundary before you start making offers. Homes are currently selling above the listed price, so it’s a good idea to shop at a lower price point and expect to offer over the listed price.'
She actually goes as far as to say that 'in this competitive market, shopping in your maximum price range isn’t realistic if you can’t afford to offer above the list price.'
2. Buying in the wrong neighborhood
Again, this is a major regret, so don't ignore the warning signs if the neighborhood just doesn't feel right. It's not wrong to walk away from a property if the location isn't all you hoped for, Beatrice emphasizes: 'remember that more homes in your dream neighborhood will come on the market, so there’s no need to scramble and settle for something that doesn’t meet all your criteria.'
3. Assuming a fixer-upper is right for you
The appeal of a fixer-up is straightforward – it will be cheaper. But do you really have the time and resources to transform a home that needs a lot of work? Beatrice cautions that buying a fixer-upper is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. 'Fixing up a home is a big project, and an expensive one that requires having cash in the bank. Managing a major remodel can be as time-consuming as a full-time job, and definitely isn’t for everyone. Buying a home that needs a few upgrades, but you can stand to live in for some time until you have the renovation funds, is much more doable.'
As with most things, finding a happy medium between compromising on some aspects of a home and identifying those that are non-negotiable is the way to go.