Homebuyer's Remorse: A Guide

Are you regretting your recent home purchase? Read on to learn how to deal with Homebuyer's Remorse with our comprehensive guide

Home Maintenance
June 30, 2023
Homebuyer's Remorse: A Guide

At some point or another, we’ve all likely made a purchase that left us thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that” after the fact. Fortunately, these purchases are typically $5 coffees, fast food meals, or flashy sneakers –– that can probably be returned with a receipt. But what happens when you have buyer’s remorse after buying a home? As it turns out, this is more common than you might think, with one survey revealing that as many as 75 percent of homebuyers in 2022 regretted the decision for one reason or another.1 

This means if you bought a home that you’re not entirely sold on, you’re not alone. And if you’ve found yourself in this difficult position, there are ways through it. Read on to learn all about homebuyer’s remorse, including some common causes and your options if you’re experiencing this common phenomenon.  

What Is Homebuyer’s Remorse? 

Buying a home is a huge financial decision –– likely the largest many Americans will ever make –– and involves an equally huge amount of research, preparation, and consideration. But despite the back-end research, many buyers find themselves in a difficult position after accepting the keys to their new home: experiencing what is known as homebuyer’s remorse. 

Just as with an impulse purchase you might make at the grocery store or a mall, homebuyer’s remorse refers to the feeling of regret that can set in when a purchase just isn’t quite right. With a pint of ice cream you bought on an empty stomach, the fallout is minor. But with a home that can take several decades to pay off, the effects of buyer’s remorse can linger for much longer. 

Common Causes of Homebuyer’s Remorse

Just because a new homeowner is experiencing homebuyer’s remorse doesn’t mean they made the wrong decision. Rather, the size of the purchase may be magnifying what might otherwise be trace amounts of uncertainty. And while this uncertainty can be scary, the truth is: taking on a mortgage can be unnerving no matter how confident you are in your purchase decision. The cause of homeowner’s remorse, therefore, may be less about the home itself and more about some of the factors involved with the purchase. 

Sticker Shock

We all know that buying a home is expensive, but once the ink has dried, your keys are in hand, and your first mortgage payment is scheduled, this reality can begin to set in –– resulting in the initial waves of homebuyer’s remorse. Other than the exponentially larger price tag, this feeling is similar to what one might experience after purchasing a new car and realizing what their repayment horizon looks like. But in purchasing either, this post-purchase anxiety can be eased by ensuring you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into, even during the house hunting stage. So, before you pull the trigger on your new home, break down every expense, from interest payments to HOA fees, eliminating the element of surprise when the bill comes due. 

Challenges of Comparison

The home-buying process means touring countless properties and envisioning your life (with varying degrees of success) in each, but ultimately you’re left with the challenge of choosing just one. And while this can feel like the right decision at the moment, comparison can be the thief of joy –– and you may find yourself sitting in your new home thinking about what could have been, thus inducing symptoms of homebuyer’s remorse. 

The End of the Honeymoon Phase

For many home buyers, the days or weeks following the purchase can feel like the start of an all-new chapter. Sure, moving can be a pain in the neck (or back), but unpacking your belongings in a new space can help bring the home to life with the decoration of each room promising new excitement. But the feeling of newness can wear off once your pictures are up, furniture is moved in, and walls have been painted your preferred shade. Ultimately, your new house just becomes your house

This is yet another contributing cause for many of the feelings of homebuyer’s remorse, as buyers who have been caught up in the thrill of moving into a new home may find this thrill beginning to fade. But rest assured: you can always reinvent your space, making it feel every bit as new and starting the honeymoon phase all over again. 

Finance your future, debt-free! Unlock your equity and stay in your home with Truehold’s sale-leaseback. Get started!

What to Do If You Regret the Home You Bought

We won’t bury the lede: The best thing you can do to prevent homebuyer’s remorse is to be as close to certain as possible that purchasing your home was the right choice for you. Assemble a long-term financial plan complete with a carefully crafted budget, take your time searching for the perfect home, and do some necessary soul-searching to ensure you’re making the right decision. But if you’re already locked in, consider the below strategies to ease your anxieties.  

Understand the Root of Your Remorse

You might be freaked out by your finances, your new larger space might feel intimidating, or any number of other external stresses may be creeping up –– with your most recent life change taking the blame. No matter the source of your stress, getting to the root of what’s causing your homebuyer’s remorse will help you formulate a plan, or realize that it wasn’t the house that was bothering you after all. 

Give Yourself Grace

If you do, however, come to the realization that the house wasn’t the right fit, you bit off more than you could chew, or your timing was off, it’s important to recognize that this is not a failure, nor is it the end of the world. And by giving yourself grace, you’ll be able to arrive at a more conscious solution rather than getting caught up in an endless cycle of stress and shame.  

Take Action

Should you uncover that there’s no getting past your homebuyer’s remorse without making a change, it’s time to take action –– but that doesn’t mean you should pack your bags just yet. If your monthly mortgage payment is too high, sending your stress levels through the roof, you may want to consider renting out a room to recoup your investment (or even turn a profit.) If your new space is too large, exploring cozier interior design can help you reclaim your comfort. And if you decide that it’s time to take back your downpayment and any home equity accrued, you may want to consider a Sale-Leaseback.

Through our sale-leaseback, you can sell your home to Truehold, unlock your home equity with an all-cash offer, and live in the space as a renter for as long as you need to. In the meantime, you continue to pay month rent, which may end up reducing your out-of-pocket costs and easing some of your anxieties. Then, if and when you decide to move, your equity can help cover the cost of your perfect home.  

There’s a Recourse for Homebuyer’s Remorse

As scary as it may seem, home buyer’s remorse is a common occurrence –– and if you’ve landed in this position, know there are ways through it, meaning you won’t be saddled with this unpleasant feeling forever.   

Wondering how to build equity in a home? Visit our website to learn more about how our sale-leaseback can help free up your home equity and reduce your home buyer’s remorse.  

Sources:

1. U.S. News. Have Buyer’s Remorse With Your Home? Here’s What to Do. https://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/have-buyers-remorse-with-your-home-heres-what-to-do

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