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Have you ever made an unwise spending decision and then found yourself breaking out in a sweat, feeling a little dizzy . . . a little nauseous? Of course! We all have!
That sinking feeling is classic buyer’s remorse, and it’s not a big deal if the purchase that brings it on only sets you back a couple hundred bucks.
But imagine that feeling striking shortly after a huge financial commitment like buying a home. Previously undetected problems with your new home or, even worse, discovering that you are unable to afford a home you love can trigger homebuyer’s remorse, and it can be overwhelming.
We asked some of Dave’s Facebook fans to share their homebuyer’s remorse stories and we found a general theme. Patience—simply waiting a few days, months or years—would have made all the difference for these homeowners.
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Too Much House Too Young
Natty B. told us a story we hear all too often. She was in her early 20s when she followed the example of her friends and bought her own place. She already had $100,000 in student loans and had to have her mom co-sign the mortgage for her.
“I ended up having to work six days a week to afford the house,” she told us. “I lived in a four-bedroom house for nearly two years completely unfurnished—no money for furniture.”
Once she realized she was not financially ready for homeownership, Natty decided to rent out her home and move back into her parents’ house. “It’s taken me almost three years and Financial Peace University to fix that mess.”
“Young people nowadays just need to wait,” she cautioned.
You Can’t Buy Community
Even if you’re financially prepared to own a home, you can still make a terrible choice, as Heidi H. and her family found out. They bought their home before they knew anything about the neighborhood she described as “Stepford-like.”
“We were drawn in with what seemed like promises of ‘community,’” Heidi explained. The amenities included a large community center, frequent family-friendly activities and a pool.
“It was an emotional decision, and our agent assured us we were getting a great deal,” she added. “We quickly learned that you can’t buy ‘community.’” The house was too big for their needs, and even worse, their new neighborhood was full of “Joneses” who were focused on outspending each other at all costs.
Heidi’s family moved out after 18 months. “We would have gladly made it work if it was our dream, but it wasn’t,” Heidi said. “We are now happily renting in a community that is a much better fit for us.”
Too Eager and Zero Help
Sheila P. and her husband were so eager to buy a home that they didn’t take the time to consider their family’s future needs. “We didn’t have a [real estate agent] the first time around and ended up with a very tiny, overpriced home,” she explained. “We knew we were going to have kids, but we never thought about schools when we bought either.”
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Pretty soon, their family of five was crowded into a 1,500-square-foot home in a terrible school district. They finally made the decision to sell.
“[It was] the best decision ever,” she said. “We had an excellent [real estate agent] who got us out of that small house and into something twice the size that cost less than before,” she said. “We have the added bonus of an incredible school district!”
“Someone said a good real estate agent is gold, and I completely agree,” she added.
How You Can Avoid Your Own Homebuyer’s Remorse
Don’t let these stories convince you that homeownership is a bad idea. We had plenty of fans tell us how rewarding their home-buying experiences were because they did it the right way.
First, get out of debt and have an emergency fund in place to take care of any surprises you may find once the home is yours. Then do your research to find a location that works for your family, both now and in the future. Finally, work with a real estate agent you can trust to help you find a home that fits your family and your budget.
We can help you find an experienced real estate agent in your area through Dave’s nationwide Endorsed Local Provider network. Not only will your ELP have the experience and know-how you’re looking for, but they’ll also be committed to doing whatever it takes to help you find the right home and avoid any hint of buyers’ remorse.