Slightly more than half of Americans harbor at least one regret about their current home, according to Trulia’s Real Estate Regrets survey. In today’s seller’s market, Trulia says buyers are especially vulnerable to making decisions they may regret in the future.
“Faced with limited inventory, many buyers will feel pressure to act fast—but snap decisions often end in regrets,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.
One of the common missteps of new homeowners, according to Kolko, is buying before reaching financial stability. “Many buyers would have fewer regrets if they waited until they were in strong enough financial shape to afford a house that really meets their needs,” he said.
The top regret listed among homeowners is not choosing a larger home. Thirty-four percent of homeowners cited this regret in Trulia’s survey.
The second most common regret among homeowners is not remodeling more when they purchased their current homes.
Among renters, the top regret—listed by 42 percent of respondents—is the decision to rent rather than purchase their current homes.
Overall, renters are more likely to harbor regrets of any kind toward their current living situation than are homebuyers. Fifty-six percent of renters shared regrets, while 50 percent of homeowners admitted to regrets about their current homes.
Trulia also found older homeowners are less likely to regret their home choices. About 75 percent of homeowners ages 18 to 34 have regrets about their homes, while 36 percent of homeowners at least 55 years of age have regrets about their homes.
Homeowner regret has declined in recent years compared to about a decade ago. Those who purchased homes between 2003 and 2009 have a 63 percent regret rate, while those who have purchased homes since 2010 have a 55 percent regret rate.
With three-fourths of Americans believing now is a better time to buy a home than next year and less than one-third of Americans believing now is a better time to sell a home than next year, the current market is set for a disconnect, which may lead to more buyer regret, according to Trulia.
Foreclosures are no longer flooding the market. New construction is still meager, and hopeful sellers are willing to wait for favorable prices.
“This year’s housing season will likely cause aggressive buyers to scramble in order to try to win bidding wars and overcome stiff competition—putting them at risk of making real estate mistakes they will regret,” Trulia stated.
by Krista Franks Brock