Home Buyer’s Remorse: What Is It And How To Get Rid of It?

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Home buyer’s remorse comes in several different forms, and it may strike before or after the closing:

  • “Why did I buy a home?” This may be common in first-time buyers switching from renting to buying that are starting to realize the responsibilities and commitment homeownership requires.
  • “Why did I buy this home?” That may happen whether you are buying your first home or have gone through the process before. This happens when you start realizing flaws or inconveniences in the home that you couldn’t notice before or when you start comparing the new home with your former residences.
  • “Why did I buy a home in this market/at this price?” This type of buyer’s remorse is associated with the financial implications of homeownership.

Buyer’s remorse may manifest in other forms as well, but it’s important to understand that it’s normal and natural. Second-guessing major decisions is quite common, and since your home is likely the most significant investment you will make in your life, the remorse might be proportional to that.

How To Get Over Home Buyer’s Remorse?

There are several steps you can take to avoid buyer’s remorse, both during and after closing.

Before closing:

  • Have a clear understanding of what you needand what you can compromise on.
  • Work with an agent that can help you find the ideal property (based on your wants and needs) in your price range or help you develop a more realistic list of wants and needs.
  • Research the property, and visit it during the day and night to get a better understanding of how it and the area look at different times. Talk to the existing residentsabout the environment, neighbors, super, how restrictive the board is about noise and renovations, etc.
  • Do not stretch yourself to the limit (financially). Even if you can afford a million-dollar apartment (as per the bank and your DTI), if the mortgage and monthly expenses will leave no or minimal room in your monthly budget for discretionary spending and savings, it might be too expensive for you.
  • Ensure there are adequate contingenciesin your offer so that you won’t be pushed or rushed into a purchase.

After closing:

  • Focus on the positives. If you are comparing the higher cost of owning against the cost of renting, realize that every dollar you are spending now (minus the interest) is basically going into your own asset that will also rise in value over time.
  • Learn to compromise and find solutions for the problems you perceive in your home rather than letting them become the source of your buyer’s remorse. It’s the same as making compromises in a new rental place that reveals unexpected problems after you move in.
  • The responsibility of owning a home also comes with its own perks. You have more freedom to control your space, and you no longer have a landlord.

Once you have bought the property, start focusing on the positives. A positive perspective can be just as effective against buyer’s remorse as a careful and well-researched buying process.

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