Buying a home is almost always a great investment, and of course, it’s exciting to find and close on a home that you will get to call your own. That feeling of joy and confidence can fade quickly though if certain things are overlooked during the process. 43% of homeowners have at least one regret about buying their home, and that number jumps to 64% for millennials, according to a recent Bankrate survey.
Here are a few tips for ensuring your home purchase is regret-free.
Get to know the neighborhood
Don't let your enthusiasm for a home run away with you. Before making an offer, plan on touring the neighborhood several times. If you see folks outside, stop and chat with them. We’ve found that neighbors love to talk about the neighborhood and will share both the good and the bad. Do some research on local schools. Even if you don't have school-age children and don't plan to, buying in the best school district you can afford is a smart move. Homes there hold their value better and are easier to resell. Consider other factors like crime rate, commute times, and distance to other things that are important to you like parks or restaurants. These things will have a big effect on how you feel about your new home once you are actually living in it.
There’s no getting around it – the market is hot and buyer competition is fierce. In these conditions, it can be tempting to snatch up any home that is halfway decent just to be done with it. Unsurprisingly, homes bought with that rushed mentality don’t always live up to their hype down the line. Even if things are moving quickly, make sure you take the time to examine the details, get a home inspection, and think about what you really want in your home. Keep an eye out for red flags and be okay with walking away if a home does not meet your standards. Buying a home is a huge financial decision and not one that should be rushed!
Bidding wars are all too common, but it’s important to balance what you want with what you can afford. A bank may approve you for more than you want to spend every month, but outspending your budget will not improve how you feel about your home purchase down the line. It’s up to you to know what your true budget is, and factor in future maintenance costs, insurance, etc.
Working with a team you trust can help you avoid major regrets. Pick an experienced mortgage lender and loan officer that will help you evaluate all your options. Choose a knowledgeable real estate agent who listens to your needs, knows the area well, and will negotiate with sellers to get you what you need – I pride myself on these traits and would love to demonstrate my value to you.