By Jen Paratore, Realtor
Owner and Founder of Cordaville Realty
Buyer’s remorse happens all the time. If you buy something at the store and have a change of
heart, you can simply bring it back or exchange it. That’s not the case when you buy a home so
it’s important to make sure the home you purchase is one that makes you happy. Here are
three proven ways to ward off the dreaded homebuyer’s remorse.
Before you start looking for homes, sit down and make three lists: the must-haves, the nice-tohaves,
and the absolutely-nots. Prioritizing your criteria will help streamline your search and
quickly eliminate homes that won’t work for you. If you want to reduce your chances of buyer’s
remorse, highlight the items that are deal breakers and do not compromise on them. If you
don’t want to live on a main road or you absolutely need single-level living, only look at homes
that match that important criteria. The more you try to compromise, the more you’ll find
yourself saying “well, maybe I can make it work”. Chances are you can’t, at least not for the
long term. An unwillingness to compromise may mean it takes a bit longer to find the right
home but, in the end, it’s worth it.
Don’t Max Out Your Budget
One of the first steps in your home search is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The lender
will analyze your assets, income and debts to determine how much they are willing to lend you.
I always encourage my buyers to avoid maxing themselves out when they purchase a home by
staying as far below that loan limit as possible. Just because the lender says you can afford it,
doesn’t mean you should. The monthly costs associated with a home aren’t just your mortgage
payments. You will also need to budget for utilities, cable/internet, landscaping, the cost of
maintenance and unexpected future expenses. Give yourself some breathing room and
purchase a home at the lower end of your budget. Ask your lender to run estimated closing cost
and monthly mortgage scenarios for a home before you purchase. Make sure you are
comfortable with those numbers before you commit.
Don’t Skip a Home Inspection
One of the easiest ways to avoid buyer’s remorse is to have a certified professional inspect a
home prior to purchase, even in new construction. Throughout my career, I have seen
inspectors uncover serious structural and safety hazards that were not obvious when the buyer
initially made their offer. Discovering serious defects ahead of time gives you the opportunity to
request repairs and credits from the seller before closing. The inspection contingency can also
allow you to terminate the sale if you are uncomfortable with the findings. If a buyer skips
inspection and discovers issues in the home after closing those problems are now the buyer’s
responsibility and may be more than they bargained for. For peace of mind, home inspections
are time and money well spent.