Advertisement
  1. Arts & Entertainment

How to avoid buyer's remorse

Black businessman holding a house [Shutterstock]
Published Jan. 23, 2018

You've dreamed about that new home and finally signed on the dotted line. But then the uncertainties creep in. Was it the right choice? Did I pay too much? Can I really make the payments?

So much debt. So much doubt.

According to a recent survey by Trulia, 44 percent of U.S. homebuyers have some regrets about their home or the buying process. And while a home is likely the most expensive thing most of us will purchase, you can't just return it like a poorly fitting sweater when buyer's remorse sets in.

The best way to avoid buyer's remorse is to minimize the homebuying doubts by doing your research. Here are a few tips to help make you a happy homebuyer — even after you've signed that contract.

Create a written checklist with wants and needs. Look at the list and make sure the home you've selected includes the most important items. Go through the list of qualities that made you select this home over all the others you've looked at.

Do your homework with lenders. After you've found a lender you can trust, be sure to ask lots of questions. An experienced lender will have recommendations for a loan, but ask why a loan is deemed the right one for you. For example, options with low down payments have obvious advantages upfront, but there are also disadvantages such as higher monthly payments and the possibility of higher interest rates.

Factor in all your expenses, not just the price of the home. Closing costs, moving costs and furniture all add up. Be sure to budget for everything that's included in your move. In addition, look outside. Does the house you have in mind already have landscaping or will that be another expense?

Do some digging into the homeowners association. Ask to see budgets and financial reports and talk to a board member. You'll want to be sure that fees are properly collected and spent to avoid jumps in cost.

Check the area's master plan. If you're buying a house because of the pastoral view from the back yard, you'll want to make sure that the space you find so appealing won't turn into a shopping mall in the near future. Know what will be planned in your community and how it will impact noise and traffic.

Likewise, make sure your home isn't in a flood plain. With our area's dry climate, this is one thing that can easily be overlooked. So be sure you don't have a dry creek bed going through your property. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods, and flood insurance can add hundreds of dollars to your insurance bill.

Stop looking at houses. Once you've picked your house, it's time to stop trolling for homes on the internet, no matter how tempting.

Don't take all opinions to heart. Friends and family members will be eager to give advice and share their own homebuying stories — especially with first-time homebuyers. But keep in mind, unless they are real estate experts and know your entire financial history, their opinions are not relevant.

It's understandable to become nervous about a major life decision such as buying a home, but with the proper preparation, you can avoid the cold feet and a bad case of buyer's remorse.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Workers raised the first major part of the new Straz Center sign in November 2010. Rob Harris Productions
    The historic donation that renamed the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is still impacting Tampa Bay’s arts community.
  2. This July 31, 2019, file photo shows an Impossible Whopper burger at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. Restaurant Brands International (QSR), operator of Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurant chains, on Monday, Oct. 28, reported third-quarter earnings of $201 million. BEN MARGOT  |  AP
    In a lawsuit filed in Florida’s Southern District, Phillip Williams is suing Burger King for $5 million.
  3. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" stars Tom Hanks. LACEY TERRELL  |  TriStar Pictures/Sony Pictures
    ‘21 Bridges’ and 'The Irishman’ also open locally, plus a film in the park and the anniversary screening of ‘Galaxy Quest.’
  4. A turkey surrounded by side dishes. Associated Press
    Tried-and-true techniques for the big meal.
  5. A Brooklyn Blackout Cake. LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    This rich, intensely chocolate cake was inspired by the original Ebingers blackout cake.
  6. Michael McDonald, right, will rejoin the Doobie Brothers for a 50th anniversary tour that will hit Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on June 10, 2020. Clay Patrick McBride
    The Doobies and McDonald haven’t toured together in 25 years.
  7. White bean stew with salami and kale MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Salami and kale bolster this creamy one-pot meal.
  8. A mermaid attraction at the Shine mural festival finale is an example of what to expect at Fairgrounds, an immersive art attraction coming to The Factory St. Pete. Courtesy of Liz Dimmitt
    Two art compounds include hands-on ways to appreciate art, plus breweries that encourage visitors to make a day of it.
  9. Director Dan Myrick, left, and Kristian Krempel are pictured on Seventh Avenue in Tampa's Ybor City.
    The series features six 15-minute fictional horror stories based on Ybor history.
  10. Elevation Coffee Roasters will serve everything from lattes to cold brew when it launches in the Northdale area of Tampa. Elevation Coffee Roasters
    Owners Jonathan and Michelle Mitchell will roast on-site.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement