Regrets, They Have a Few: 4 Recent Homebuyers Confess Their Buyer’s Remorse

Deal Score+102
Deal Score+102

A house is a massive purchase that can have a huge impact on your finances and quality of life. But unfortunately, the current crazy real estate market seems to offer a recipe for regret for many recent homebuyers.

According to a study by Clever Real Estate, a shocking 72% of homebuyers who purchased a home in 2021 or 2022 regret their purchase. What were the most common factors that led them to regret? Spending too much money and rushing into a purchase.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some buyers purchased homes without seeing them. For much of 2021, mortgage rates were at historic lows, buyer competition was fierce, and many buyers found themselves writing offers (often above asking price) for a home that was smaller or older than the one they initially hoped to buy. And in 2022, rising interest rates and home prices (which peaked in June 2022) have increased the cost of financing a typical home by nearly $750 per month compared to a year ago. In other words, many homebuyers seem to be struggling with less-than-desirable homes or homes that push them to the limits of their budgets.

Now, with the market cooling and interest rates soaring, it’s bad enough that some homebuyers are watching the value of their recently purchased homes decline. But that stress has become even worse with the reality of home ownership and the soaring price of maintenance and repairs due to inflation and rising material and labor prices.

We spoke with recent home buyers who, to some extent, regret their purchases. Read on for their insights and how they are now dealing with the challenges of homeownership.

1. Unanticipated repairs

Many buyers think they are getting a ready-made home, but they end up with a lot more work on their hands than they bargained for.

“When I recently bought my house, I greatly underestimated the amount of work required to renovate and modernize it,” says Ollie Creevy, managing director of the Free Insulation Program.” We needed a new boiler, a new roof, a complete rewiring, asbestos removal, and treatment for mold before we could even consider renovating and decorating the place.”

Like many recent buyers, they now believe they were too pushy and lax about inspections when they finalized the deal.

In hindsight, he says he should have “done a more rigorous inspection before buying the house and budgeted more for expenses.”

Creevy has already invested tens of thousands of dollars in renovations, but he believes he can recoup his losses if he sticks with it.

“The only problem is that if we were to sell it now, it would be a lot of work, and we definitely want to finish the renovations before we list it,” Creevy said.

2. A shift in personal circumstances

Other hard-to-learn lessons occur when our personal lives interfere with our living environment.

“I bought my house in April 2021 when the market was crazy, way over the asking price,” says Jordan Dupree, an electrician based in Horace, N.C.” I was under a lot of pressure to buy because I had just broken up with my girlfriend and the house was in a great location.”

Because the house had an unfinished basement, it was still priced competitively compared to other homes in the area.

A trained electrician, Dupree thought he could use his sweat equity to refinish the basement and, over time, increase the value of the home to make it a worthwhile investment.

But some life challenges soon came into play.

“I’ve been working on renovating the house for the past few years, and I’m also a single father of two young children,” Dupre says.” I was spending $20,000 a year on daycare alone.”

Like Creevy, Dupre noticed more problems at home as time went on.

“The layout of the house,” he says, “was dull, I had water in the basement, and the windows were very unventilated.” I could never go back to renting again, but if I could go back and do it again, I would!”

3. Fire damage that’s worse than anticipated

We’ve all bought something on sale and thought we were getting a great deal – only to find out that the super-low price was for good reason. When it comes to houses, even experts looking for bargains sometimes grit their teeth.

“I just bought an $850,000 house in Pensacola, Florida,” says Joel Efosa, CEO of Fire Cash Buyers.” It had so much fire damage that I was able to purchase it for $265,000.”

But he underestimated the work needed to make the place habitable again. The smoke damage required the entire house to be emptied, which tripled Efosa’s restoration costs.

“Our initial restoration budget was $200,000. The actual restoration cost was $650,000. We’re going to take a big loss,” Efosa said.

4. Not following a pro’s advice

“As a real estate investor, one might think I’m always at the top of my game,” says Jon Sanborn, co-founder of Brotherly Love Real Estate in Philadelphia.” However, that wasn’t the case when my wife and I purchased a four-bedroom house. The house, neighborhood and school district were great, but the kitchen wasn’t modern or well-equipped.”

His realtor suggested they upgrade the kitchen immediately.

“I didn’t want to shell out the money,” Sanborn says.” But I should have listened, because that renovated kitchen today will greatly increase the value of my property. And if I invest in a remodel now, it will cost me a lot more because of the increased cost of materials and labor.”

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