Fighting Buyer's Remorse

John in Tucson and his wife were set to do a remodel on their home after becoming completely debt-free. Instead, they bought a house with a mortgage. Now he has buyer's remorse.

QUESTION: John in Tucson and his wife were set to do a remodel on their home after becoming completely debt-free, and his wife fell in love with another home before they could start it. They bought the house with a mortgage. Now he has some buyer’s remorse. He has a chance to get back into their previous situation. Should he do it?

ANSWER: Here’s what happened. Here’s where the buyer’s remorse comes from. It comes from two things. One is you hit your goal, and you have a new set of values. You made a decision that’s contrary to your values, and your values are now, “I want to be debt-free.” The second mistake you made was that you impulsed a decision. You make enough money to impulse things and get away with it, but this one got you.

Most guys are happy living under a bridge, so you’ll be happy living wherever you live. It doesn’t matter. You’ve now put this out there. If you take this back, I think you’re going to have a relationship issue, aren’t you? If you want to go back, I don’t have a problem with that. I think you can work your way through your mess you created, but here’s the trick: Learn your lesson. The lesson is there’s not anything I want badly enough to go into debt, and I’m not going to impulse these decisions anymore that put me there just because I’ve got the income to work my way out of stupidity. That’s where the buyer’s remorse came from. You didn’t think this through. Your decision was not made in wisdom; it was made in impulse. That’s where buyer’s remorse always comes from—when you impulse something. Anytime you impulse into something, then you wish you hadn’t. That means you did not think through and use wise decision-making processes to make a solid decision that you’re comfortable with.

I think you’re probably going to go forward with it. It’s not going to kill you. You get the mess cleaned up, but you just learn. One is there’s not anything I want badly enough to go into debt again. Two is I’m going to make my decisions more deliberately because mistakes mess people’s finances up more than all the positive things you do put together. I’m okay with it either way, whichever way you decide to go, but just make sure you walk out of this with lessons learned.

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