93% of People Regret Buying Their Homes, New Survey Finds—Here's Why
The majority also compromised on their priorities, researchers found.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments—if not the biggest investment—you can make. You have to realistically consider what you can afford, calculate potential mortgage payments and property taxes, and of course, find a home that you can see yourself living in. With all that in mind, you would think that there's a relatively low number of homebuyers who feel like they've made a mistake when they do take the plunge. However, according to a new survey from Clever Real Estate, roughly 93 percent of homebuyers regret buying their homes this year.
Researchers surveyed 1,000 Americans who bought homes between 2022 and 2023—and almost all said they have regrets (93 percent), which was an increase from 72 percent who reported regrets in 2022.
Buying a home that required too much maintenance topped the list of regrets, with 39 percent of people reporting that the seller they purchased from "was not upfront about how much maintenance the home would need."
The second-most common regret was buying too quickly (33 percent). According to Clever Real Estate, competition is waning slightly, meaning buyers can take more time to decide on their purchases, but because this hasn't been the case over the past two years, people haven't been as likely to do so.
People also regretted spending too much on their homes (28 percent), getting an interest rate that was too high (28 percent), buying a fixer-upper (26 percent), and succumbing to pressure to make an offer (23 percent), among others.
While people were concerned that they may have gone a bit overboard with spending, 58 percent of recent homeowners said that they actually overpaid for the house they got, and 23 percent of homebuyers paid more than the national average price of $516,500. Making matters worse, over half of respondents said that they "have felt in over their head financially since purchasing their home," while 62 percent have struggled to make on-time mortgage payments.
"At the start of 2022, the buyer of a $500,000 home—assuming a 20% down payment and the average rate at the time of 3.1%—was looking at a $1,700 monthly payment (excluding property taxes and insurance)," Keeping Current Matters Chief Economist George Ratiu told Fox Business regarding the survey findings. "Today, the buyer of a similar-priced home is weighing a $2,500 monthly payment, a significant difference."
While you might think that paying more would get you "more bang for your buck," that was not the case either. According to Clever Real Estate's findings, this year, 93 percent of homebuyers compromised on their must-have features (compared with 80 percent in 2022), including affordability, commute, location, and a good school district.
The let-down this year wasn't exclusive to buyers either: Per Clever Real Estate, 95 percent of sellers also regret some aspect of their sale. Data shows that the most common regret was paying too much in realtor commission (28 percent), followed by making too many concessions, like paying the buyer's closing costs or offering to pay for repairs (26 percent).
Other regrets included not making repairs before listing, waiting too long to sell, not waiting long enough to sell, feeling pressured to accept an offer, having the house on the market for too long, and just missing their home in general.
These figures may seem dismal, but Clever Real Estate also found that experience can help. According to survey findings, repeat buyers were less likely than new buyers to overpay, and they were more likely to pay below asking price than above it.
"It's possible that as buyers regain some bargaining power in the market, repeat buyers can leverage their experience and negotiation skills to make home buying more affordable," the survey results conclude.
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