Buyers Remorse When Buying A House

Buyers Remorse When Buying A House

This is a sticky one. Buyers remorse. Returning a pair of shoes? Easy. Buyers remorse when buying a house? Not so easy. Why does it happen and what do you do next?

There are several reasons one might come down with buyers remorse.

  • Reality of the new financial burden
  • Unexpected commute time
  • Neighbors
  • Renovation ideas or unexpected costly repairs
  • General unhappiness

Ok, the last one is the really tricky part because it’s emotional. The top 4 there are certainly ways of preventing (which I’ll get into), but the last one is the big one I want to address.

What do you do if you’re generally unhappy once you’re in the house? Aside from seeking counselling (not the legal kind), your options are really limited by your financial situation. A good rule of thumb is to expect to keep a home for at least 3 years or the closing costs and commission alone will cost you any equity you may have gained.

  1. Rent it. Hate it so much you can’t live there? Rent it out and go find somewhere else to live, even if that means renting yourself.
  2. Sell it. Potentially take a loss and have to explain to people why you’re selling so soon (keep in mind, something you hate may not be a big deal to another person).
  3. Learn to live with it. Keep it, live in it, make it home. Try to love it. If you can do that, you may a) grow to genuinely like it, or b) learn exactly what you want when you’re able to sell it and move again.

Moving is stressful. If you’re married, if you’re divorcing, if you’re single, if you’re a family with kids, if you’re downsizing, upsizing, moving down the block or across the country – moving is STRESSFUL. A simple Google search will tell you that. Try to minimize the stress. Hire reliable, reputable movers. Set up utilities well in advance. Start packing well in advance. Try not to begin this new adventure on a sour note.

Now for the other 4 factors:

  • Reality of the new financial burden – make a spreadsheet of ALL of your financial responsibilities monthly and annually, add in daycare if you’re pregnant, take away income if you’re retiring, factor in college tuition if your kids are going to college, etc. Now add in your new monthly payment and condo/HOA fees. Know what you’re signing up for.
  • Unexpected commute time – do a trial run. Try a morning commute while you’re under contract with real times. Leave at your expected time and go there from your mock commute home.
  • Neighbors  – Knock on doors, ask people walking by, talk talk talk. Find out if there’s a smoker or loud dog in your new condo building, find out if the neighbors like to throw loud parties every night, or if there are no kids on the block. Ask. Due diligence.
  • Renovation ideas or unexpected costly repairs – Hire a qualified home inspector. Thinking of renovating the deck, the bathroom, the kitchen, etc. Bring in a contractor for an estimate while you’re there for a home inspection. Don’t just guess based on the internet. This goes back to budgeting. Find out the reality so you know exactly what you’re getting.