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😞Homebuyer Regrets (a.k.a. Buyer’s Remorse)
When it comes to buying a home, it’s an exciting but often complex journey. Sometimes, people end up wishing they had made different choices – we call these “homebuyer regrets.” These mistakes can happen to anyone, whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or just starting out. But you can avoid homebuyer regrets.
When buyer’s are competing for a limited inventory, as we have seen in the last few years in central Maryland, they need to resist some of the temptations to “settle” for something that they will regret later. These common mistakes can actually valuable lessons that show us the importance of making informed decisions when buying a home.
In this article, we’ll explore ten common homebuyer regrets that people experience. By learning from these experiences, you can make choices that lead to a satisfying and successful home-buying journey. So, let’s dive into the world of homebuyer regrets and discover how they can help you make the right decisions when finding your dream home.
Top 10 Common Homebuyer Regrets
1. Choosing the Wrong Neighborhood:
One of the most significant regrets that homebuyers often face is realizing that they’ve picked the wrong neighborhood for their lifestyle and needs. This can manifest in various ways, such as feeling unsafe, being dissatisfied with local amenities, or discovering that the neighborhood doesn’t align with their long-term plans.
The significance of thorough neighborhood research cannot be overstated. It’s a critical step in the home-buying process that can significantly impact your overall satisfaction with your new home. By conducting comprehensive research, you can gain a clear understanding of what a neighborhood offers and whether it aligns with your preferences and requirements.
Tips for Evaluating a Neighborhood:
- Visit at Different Times: Spend time in the neighborhood during different times of the day and week. This will give you insights into the atmosphere, traffic patterns, and noise levels.
- Talk to Residents: Engage with current residents to get their perspectives on the neighborhood. Ask about safety, community events, and their overall experiences living there.
- Schools and Education: If you have children or plan to in the future, research the quality of local schools. School ratings and reviews can be valuable in making your decision.
- Amenities and Services: Consider the proximity of essential amenities such as grocery stores, healthcare facilities, parks, and public transportation. Make sure they meet your needs.
- Future Development: Investigate any planned developments or changes in the area. This can affect property values and the overall neighborhood vibe.
- Crime Rates: Look into crime rates and trends for the neighborhood. Online resources, like crime maps, and local police departments can provide this information.
- Property Values: Research the historical property values in the area. Understanding how property values have changed over time can give you insight into the neighborhood’s stability.
- Commute and Accessibility: Evaluate your commute to work and other regular destinations. Consider traffic conditions and transportation options.
- Community and Lifestyle: Assess whether the neighborhood aligns with your preferred lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy a quiet suburban setting, a bustling urban neighborhood might not be the best fit.
- Future Growth Potential: Research the economic and demographic trends in the area. A neighborhood with growth potential can be a wise investment.
By taking these steps and conducting thorough neighborhood research, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of regretting your choice of location when buying a home.
2. Regrets Related to Home Size and Layout:
Some homebuyers experience regrets related to the size and layout of their new homes. Common concerns include feeling cramped in a small space, having too much unused space, or realizing that the layout doesn’t suit their lifestyle.
Assessing Your Space Needs Effectively:
To avoid homebuyer regrets about size and layout, it’s crucial to assess your space needs effectively before making a purchase. Here are steps to help you do that:
- List Your Requirements: Start by making a list of your essential requirements. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, as well as any specific features like a home office, a spacious kitchen, or a backyard.
- Prioritize Your Needs: Once you have your list, prioritize your needs. Identify which features are non-negotiable and which ones are nice-to-have but not essential.
- Consider Future Needs: Think about your future plans. If you’re planning to expand your family or need space for a hobby or home business, factor these considerations into your space needs.
- Room Sizes and Layout: Pay attention to the sizes of rooms and the overall layout of the house. Think about how your furniture will fit and whether the layout aligns with your daily routines.
- Storage Space: Don’t forget about storage space. Assess the closets, cabinets, and overall storage capacity in the home to ensure it meets your needs.
- Room Flexibility: Consider whether the rooms in the house are adaptable. A flexible layout can be valuable if your needs change over time.
Balancing Wants and Needs in a Home:
Balancing wants and needs is a crucial aspect of homebuying. Here’s some advice on achieving that balance:
- Create a Budget: Establish a clear budget for your home purchase. This will help you prioritize your needs and avoid overspending on features that are more in the “want” category.
- Differentiate Between Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves: Be clear about your must-have features versus features that are desirable but not essential. Focus on satisfying your must-have requirements first.
- Be Open to Compromise: Understand that finding a home that meets every want and need perfectly can be challenging. Be open to making compromises and prioritize the features that are most important to you.
By assessing your space needs effectively and striking a balance between wants and needs, you can avoid homebuyer regrets related to home size and layout and increase your overall satisfaction with your new home.
3. Regret of Going Over Budget
One of the most common and significant regrets among homebuyers is overspending on their home purchase. Going over budget can lead to financial stress, hinder your ability to save for other goals, and affect your overall financial well-being.
Importance of Setting a Realistic Budget:
Setting a realistic budget is paramount in avoiding this regret. Here’s why it matters:
- Financial Security: A well-defined budget ensures that you can comfortably afford your home without jeopardizing your financial security.
- Preventing Overspending: A budget acts as a safeguard against emotional decisions or external pressures that might lead you to overspend.
- Future Planning: Sticking to a budget allows you to allocate resources for other important financial goals, such as savings, investments, and emergencies.
Strategies for Sticking to a Budget:
To avoid the regret of going over budget, consider these strategies:
- Determine Your Maximum Budget: Calculate a budget that is based on your financial situation, including your income, expenses, and long-term financial goals. Be realistic about what you can afford.
- Live With the Budget Before You Buy: Many financial advisers recommend living with this budget for a while before you purchase a home, so you really get a feel for how it will work. If your budget isn’t working, you can make adjustments as you see fit, and get a more realistic budget that comes from experience, not just ideas.
- Include All Costs: Factor in all the costs associated with homeownership, including the down payment, closing costs, property taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance expenses.
- Get Pre-Approved: Obtain mortgage pre-approval to determine how much you can borrow from lenders. This will help you set a budget within your means.
- Stick to Your Budget: Once you’ve established your budget, discipline is key. Avoid looking at homes outside your budget, even if they seem tempting.
- Account for Contingencies: Set aside a contingency fund within your budget to cover unexpected expenses that may arise during the home-buying process or after moving in.
- Work with a Real Estate Agent: Enlist the expertise of a real estate agent who can help you find homes within your budget and negotiate effectively.
- Avoid Emotional Decision-Making: Keep your emotions in check during the home search. Falling in love with a property that exceeds your budget can lead to regrets.
- Prioritize Needs Over Wants: Focus on properties that meet your essential needs first before considering features that fall into the “nice-to-have” category.
- Seek Pre-Owned Homes: Consider pre-owned homes or properties that may need a bit of renovation. They can sometimes offer better value than brand-new homes.
- Review and Adjust: Regularly review your budget and make adjustments as needed. Life circumstances and financial goals can change, so your budget should be flexible.
By setting a realistic budget and employing these strategies, you can minimize the likelihood of going over budget and ensure a more financially secure and satisfying home-buying experience.
4. Regret of Overlooking Home Inspection Issues:
Buyers who skip or downplay the importance of a thorough home inspection sometimes regret it when unexpected issues arise after the purchase. One of the most common and potentially costly regrets among homebuyers is neglecting or not thoroughly assessing inspection issues before finalizing the purchase. Failing to identify problems during the inspection process can lead to unexpected and expensive repairs down the road, causing considerable regret.
Value of a Thorough Home Inspection:
A comprehensive home inspection is an invaluable step in the home-buying process. It serves multiple purposes, including:
- Revealing Hidden Problems: A qualified home inspector can uncover hidden issues, such as structural problems, plumbing or electrical issues, and potential safety hazards.
- Negotiating Power: Inspection findings provide you with leverage for negotiation. You can ask the seller to address the identified issues or adjust the price accordingly.
- Financial Protection: By identifying problems upfront, a thorough inspection can prevent you from investing in a property that may require extensive and costly repairs.
- Understanding the Home: Home inspections are informative and educational for homebuyers. You will get a good idea of how the systems in the home function and what you need to know to maintain the home well.
Guidance on What to Look for During Inspections:
During the inspection process, it’s crucial to pay attention to various aspects of the property. Here are key areas in a home inspection report be aware of:
- Structural Integrity: Inspectors will assess the foundation, walls, roof, and overall structural soundness of the home. Look for signs of cracks, sagging, or water damage.
- Electrical Systems: Ensure that the electrical systems are up to code and in good condition. Check for outdated wiring or overloaded circuits.
- Plumbing: Inspect plumbing fixtures, pipes, and drainage systems for leaks, clogs, or signs of water damage.
- Heating and Cooling: Assess the functionality and condition of the HVAC system. Inefficient systems can lead to high utility bills.
- Roof and Attic: Examine the roof for missing shingles, leaks, or signs of wear and tear. Inspect the attic for proper insulation and ventilation.
- Windows and Doors: Check for drafts, proper sealing, and functionality of windows and doors. They impact energy efficiency and security.
- Appliances and Fixtures: Ensure that all appliances and fixtures (e.g., faucets, toilets) are in working order. Non-functional appliances can be costly to replace.
- Pests and Mold: Look for signs of pests, termites, or mold infestations. These issues can compromise the safety and comfort of the home.
- Safety Features: Verify that safety features such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are installed and operational.
- Environmental Concerns: Inquire about potential environmental concerns, such as asbestos or lead-based paint, especially in older homes.
- Document Everything: Ask your inspector to provide a detailed report of their findings. Review it carefully and discuss any concerns with them.
5. Future-Proofing Your Purchase
One common source of regret for homebuyers is failing to consider their future plans and how a home purchase aligns with those plans. Overlooking this aspect can lead to frustration and the need to relocate prematurely.
Factor in Life Changes Like Family Expansion:
To avoid this regret, it’s essential to factor in potential life changes, such as family expansion, when buying a home. Here’s how:
- Assess Your Family Plans: Begin by considering your current family size and your future plans. Are you planning to have children? Do you anticipate aging parents moving in? These factors can significantly impact your space requirements.
- Evaluate Bedroom Needs: If family expansion is on the horizon, ensure that the home you choose has enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone comfortably. Consider the possibility of needing additional bedrooms for children or guests.
- School Districts: If you have or plan to have children, research the quality of local school districts. A good school district can be an important consideration for families.
- Outdoor Space: Think about the outdoor space. Does the property have a yard or space for kids to play or for you to garden? Outdoor areas can be essential for family activities.
- Commute and Work-From-Home Needs: Consider your work situation. If you work from home or anticipate needing a home office, ensure the property has a suitable space for this.
- Safety and Amenities: Evaluate the safety of the neighborhood and whether it offers family-friendly amenities like parks, playgrounds, and community centers.
Insights on Finding a Home for Evolving Needs:
To find a home that accommodates evolving needs, follow these insights:
- Flexibility in Layout: Look for a home with a flexible layout that can adapt to changing needs. Open floor plans and multi-purpose rooms can be versatile options.
- Room for Growth: Choose a property with room for expansion, if possible. This could involve unfinished spaces that can be converted or large lots for potential additions..
- Consult with a Realtor: Engage the services of an experienced real estate agent who can help you identify properties that align with your future plans and offer guidance on your evolving needs.
- Home Inspection: During the inspection process, assess the home’s structural soundness and any potential issues that could arise as your family grows.
By considering your future plans, especially regarding family expansion, and keeping these insights in mind during the home-buying process, you can reduce the likelihood of regret and ensure that your new home accommodates your evolving needs and aspirations.
6. Neglecting to Consider Resale Potential:
It is in a buyer’s favor to use a qualified buyer’s agent to help them purchase a home that will not only suit them today, but continue to be a great asset. Home buyers should think of resale while they shop. Thinking long-term is crucial when buying a home, as it ensures that your investment retains its value and potentially appreciates over time. Here’s why it matters:
- Financial Security: A home is a significant financial asset. Considering its resale value helps protect your financial security, especially if you need to sell due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Future Opportunities: Life circumstances change. Thinking long-term ensures your home can adapt to evolving needs and opportunities, whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, or relocating.
- Investment Potential: Real estate can appreciate in value over time, providing opportunities for a profitable resale. Factors like location, amenities, and neighborhood quality impact this potential.
Tips for Assessing a Home’s Resale Potential:
To avoid regrets related to neglecting resale value, follow these tips for assessing a home’s resale potential:
- Location, Location, Location: Choose a property in a desirable neighborhood with a history of strong property values. Access to good schools, transportation, and amenities can enhance resale potential.
- School Districts: Research the quality of local schools, as homes in top-rated school districts tend to hold their value better.
- Future Development: Investigate planned developments and infrastructure projects in the area. Positive developments can boost property values.
- Comparable Sales: Analyze recent sales data for similar properties in the neighborhood. This provides insights into pricing trends and market demand.
- Property Condition: Ensure the property is well-maintained and in good condition. Neglected homes may sell for less or require costly repairs.
- Amenities: Consider the availability of amenities like parks, shopping centers, and recreational facilities. These can make a neighborhood more appealing to future buyers.
- Curb Appeal: The exterior appearance of a home is the first impression for potential buyers. Invest in curb appeal through landscaping and maintenance.
- Functional Layout: A functional and adaptable layout appeals to a broader range of buyers. Avoid overly personalized or niche design choices.
- Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient features like insulation, windows, and appliances can attract eco-conscious buyers and lower long-term operating costs.
7. Regret of Emotional Decision-Making:
One of the most common regrets among homebuyers is making emotional decisions during the home-buying process. This can involve falling in love with a property based on its aesthetics or making impulsive choices that don’t align with long-term goals. Sometimes when they fall in love with the aesthetics of a home, buyers can overlook the important things…like signs of deferred maintenance, or structural issues.
Benefits of a Rational Approach:
While emotions do play a part in homebuying, (you do have to “love” coming home to the place you bought) they should not be a driving force in the choices a homebuyer makes. A rational approach to home buying offers several advantages:
- Objective Assessment: A rational approach allows you to objectively assess properties based on factors like budget, needs, and long-term goals, reducing the risk of homebuyer’s remorse.
- Financial Security: It helps you stay within your budget, ensuring that you can comfortably afford your home and safeguard your financial stability.
- Future-Proofing: A rational approach considers your future plans, making it easier to find a home that accommodates evolving needs and reduces the likelihood of outgrowing the property.
- Better Negotiation: Rational decisions provide a strong foundation for negotiations, allowing you to make data-driven arguments and secure a better deal.
Balancing Emotions with Practicality:
Here’s advice on how to strike a balance between emotions and practicality when buying a home:
- Set Clear Criteria: Define your must-have criteria and preferences before starting your home search. This creates a practical framework for your decisions.
- Stick to Your Budget: Determine a budget that aligns with your financial situation and long-term goals. Avoid the temptation to exceed it based on emotions.
- Create a Pros and Cons List: Evaluate each property objectively by creating a pros and cons list. This can help you compare homes logically.
- Sleep on It: Avoid making impulsive decisions. Take your time to think about a property before making an offer. Sleep on it to gain perspective.
- Consult with Professionals: Rely on the expertise of a real estate agent and home inspector. They can provide objective insights and help you make informed decisions.
- Visualize Long-Term: When assessing a property, consider how it aligns with your long-term goals. Will it accommodate your future plans and lifestyle changes?
- Get a Second Opinion: Sometimes, emotions can cloud judgment. Seek a second opinion from a trusted friend or family member who can provide an objective perspective.
- Prioritize Needs Over Wants: Focus on meeting your essential needs first before considering features that fall into the “nice-to-have” category.
- Learn to Compromise: Be open to making compromises. It’s rare to find a home that meets every want and need perfectly.
- Review Your Criteria: Periodically revisit your criteria as you gain experience in the home-buying process. Adjust them as needed to reflect your evolving priorities.
8. Regret of Choosing the Wrong Mortgage:
Selecting the wrong mortgage is a significant source of regret for many homebuyers. This can include choosing a mortgage with unfavorable terms, high interest rates, or one that doesn’t align with their financial goals.
Different Mortgage Types and Their Implications:
There are several mortgage types, each with its implications:
- Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM):
- Implication: Offers a stable interest rate for the entire loan term.
- Pros: Predictable monthly payments, protection against interest rate increases.
- Cons: Initially higher interest rates compared to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM):
- Implication: Interest rate may change periodically, often after an initial fixed-rate period.
- Pros: Lower initial interest rates, potential for lower payments during the initial period.
- Cons: Interest rates and monthly payments can rise after the initial period.
- FHA Loans:
- Implication: Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and often have lower down payment requirements.
- Pros: Lower down payment, more accessible for some buyers.
- Cons: Mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) are required, potentially increasing overall costs.
- VA Loans:
- Implication: Available to eligible veterans and active-duty military members, often with no down payment requirement.
- Pros: No down payment, competitive interest rates.
- Cons: Limited eligibility criteria.
- USDA Loans:
- Implication: Designed for eligible rural and suburban homebuyers, often with no down payment requirement.
- Pros: No down payment, competitive interest rates.
- Cons: Location restrictions, income limitations.
Guidance on Selecting the Right Mortgage for Your Financial Goals:
To choose the right mortgage that aligns with your financial goals, consider these steps:
- Evaluate Your Financial Situation: Assess your income, expenses, and overall financial health. Determine how much you can comfortably afford for monthly mortgage payments.
- Determine Your Long-Term Plans: Consider your long-term goals and how long you intend to stay in the home. This can influence your choice between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.
- Understand Interest Rates: Keep an eye on current interest rates and market trends. This information can help you decide when to lock in your rate.
- Compare Loan Offers: Obtain quotes and loan offers from multiple lenders. Compare interest rates, fees, and terms to find the most favorable option.
- Consider Down Payment: Determine your down payment budget and explore mortgage options that match it. Note that a larger down payment can lead to lower monthly payments and potentially better terms.
- Factor in Closing Costs: Be aware of closing costs associated with each loan option. These costs can vary between lenders and mortgage types.
- Seek Pre-Approval: Get pre-approved for a mortgage to determine the loan amount you qualify for. This can streamline the home-buying process and help you focus on homes within your budget.
- Consult a Mortgage Broker or Financial Advisor: If you’re unsure which mortgage is right for you, consider seeking advice from a mortgage broker or a financial advisor. They can provide tailored guidance based on your unique financial situation and goals.
By carefully evaluating your financial situation, considering your long-term plans, and comparing mortgage offers, you can select the mortgage type that best aligns with your financial goals and minimize the risk of regretting your choice in the future.
9. Underestimating Maintenance Costs:
Homeowners who underestimate the cost and effort required for maintenance and repairs often regret their lack of preparation. Neglecting maintenance can lead to expensive repairs and decreased property value. Maintenance ensures that your home remains a safe and comfortable living space.
Tips for Managing and Planning Maintenance Expenses:
- Create a Maintenance Budget: Set aside a portion of your monthly income or annual budget specifically for home maintenance. Aim for around 1-3% of your home’s value per year.
- Prioritize Maintenance Tasks: Create a list of maintenance tasks and prioritize them based on urgency and cost. Tackle high-priority items first.
- Regular Inspections: Conduct regular home inspections to identify potential issues early. This includes checking for leaks, inspecting the roof, and examining the HVAC system.
- Emergency Fund: Maintain an emergency fund for unexpected repairs. Aim to save at least 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses.
- DIY vs. Professional: Assess your skills and consider whether you can handle some maintenance tasks yourself. However, be cautious and hire professionals when needed to avoid costly mistakes.
- Seasonal Maintenance: Plan seasonal maintenance tasks like gutter cleaning, HVAC servicing, and lawn care in advance to ensure they’re not overlooked.
- Use Technology: Utilize home maintenance apps or calendars to schedule and track tasks. Many apps send reminders for routine maintenance.
- Long-Term Planning: Consider long-term maintenance, such as roof replacement or exterior painting, and budget for these larger expenses over time.
- Home Warranty: Explore home warranty options, which can help cover repair costs for appliances and systems.
- Compare Quotes: When hiring professionals for repairs or maintenance, obtain multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
- Regular Cleaning: Keep your home clean and well-maintained to prevent wear and tear. Regular cleaning can extend the lifespan of various components.
- Energy Efficiency: Invest in energy-efficient appliances and systems to reduce utility costs and potentially lower maintenance expenses.
By incorporating these tips into your homeownership strategy, you can effectively manage and plan for maintenance expenses, reducing the likelihood of underestimating costs and experiencing regret down the road. Proper maintenance ensures that your home remains a comfortable and valuable asset.
10. Lack of Thorough Research:
Buyers who don’t conduct thorough research on the real estate market and the home-buying process may regret not being better informed. Thorough research is a fundamental aspect of making informed decisions and achieving success in any endeavor. Here’s why it’s of paramount importance:
- Price Negotiation: Informed research provides you with valuable insights into the property’s market value. This knowledge can empower you to negotiate a fair price with the seller.
- Future Planning: Researching the home’s history, neighborhood, and amenities allows you to assess how well it aligns with your long-term plans and lifestyle. It ensures your investment meets your future needs.
- Financing and Budgeting: Understanding the property’s condition and potential maintenance costs is crucial for budgeting and securing the right financing. You can avoid unexpected financial burdens.
Value of Being Well-Informed About the Real Estate Market:
- Better Decision-Making: Knowledge of the real estate market enables you to make informed decisions about when and where to buy a home. You can identify favorable market conditions and make strategic choices.
- Competitive Advantage: In a competitive market, being well-informed gives you an advantage. You can act quickly when the right opportunity arises, especially in fast-moving markets.
- Price Negotiation: Market knowledge allows you to assess whether a property is priced competitively. You can negotiate confidently and potentially secure a better deal.
- Investment Potential: Understanding market trends and forecasts helps you identify areas with strong investment potential. This can lead to significant returns on your real estate investment.
- Risk Mitigation: Being aware of market fluctuations and potential risks allows you to develop a risk mitigation strategy. You can make informed decisions about buying or selling based on market conditions.
- Market Research Tools: Utilize online real estate databases, market reports, and local real estate experts to gather data and insights. These resources help you stay well-informed.
Answer These Questions To Avoid Homebuyer Regrets
If you are ready to enter the real estate market, knowing the right questions to ask is the best way to minimize the chances of experiencing homebuyer’s remorse. Whether you have questions about buying an existing home or questions about a new construction home, you will do well to ask honestly answer these important issues:
How Soon Might We Outgrow the Home?
1. Will we outgrow this home in a couple of years? In today’s real estate climate, it’s become standard advice to plan to be in your home a minimum of five to seven years. When the market is healthy, homes appreciate an average of 3% to 6% a year. You can estimate that the length of time it will take to build enough equity to be able to sell the home in a healthy market will be around five years at a minimum. If you are more conservative, you may want to consider seven to eight years as a better estimate.
Whether newlyweds, or a growing family, or a family with older children, it’s always wise to think about the “What-ifs” in life. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can take a look at future possibilities and consider what life may throw at us.
How Likely Are We to Do the Necessary Renovations or Remodeling?
2. If you are purchasing a home that will need some updates, do you have the budget or skills to do the maintenance, repairs or remodeling that a home might need? If you plan on selling sometime, the home will need to be current with the standards for comparable homes in the neighborhood or area. Make sure that you can afford to invest in your home. Maintaining and repairing your home is the best way to get top dollar when it’s time to sell.
Many times over the years we have seen home buyers who fall in love with a home that has a major flaw. As we point out the difficulty they might find when they want to sell, they promise that they will do the work to correct the flaw. Good intentions. But far too often, the work needed to remedy the problem never happens. Life is busy, money is invested elsewhere. So, we like to say, “really, ask yourself, how likely are you to get it done?”
Do We Have The Complete Story?
3. Do you have all the information you need about the house? the neighborhood? Do you have information on the utility bills, the taxes and the general maintenance the home will need? Are you clear on the details of your mortgage? Have you made a budget that reflects the true expenses of owning the home?
Remember, if you are a new homeowner, there will be expenses you didn’t carry as a renter. First-time home buyers can often be surprised by important issues simply because they haven’t had the experience of home ownership.
Make sure you use an experienced buyer’s agent who will give you good advice, and keep you from the major first-time home buyer mistakes. Make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision.
Have We Checked Out the Schools?
4. More than in the past, school districts make a big impact on home buying decisions. Although no one can guarantee that districts won’t be reconfigured as populations change and grow, checking out the school district of a home is an important step for parents.
As a matter of fact, it is an important step for everyone, whether you are parents of school-aged children or not. Many studies show that school districts can impact home prices. It is well-known that there is a correlation between home values and school districts:
“Using a huge database of about 407,000 home sales and nearly 11,000 elementary school districts in 57 metropolitan markets, the study concluded that, on average, buyers pay $50 more per square foot for homes in top-rated school districts compared with homes served by average-rated schools.” See the Washington Post Article.
Not all neighborhoods and communities are subject to these correlations between school districts and home values, but it is important to research. Homebuyers who don’t have children living with them will also want to pay attention to this data, if the area where they are considering a home purchase is affected by school district variations. Make sure you choose a Realtor® who knows the local neighborhoods and can point you to the right resources.
Use A Qualified Buyer’s Agent
Working with a knowledgeable, trustworthy real estate agent who can guide you through the process and provide sound advice can help minimize or avoid homebuyer regrets. As much as possible, make sure you get your questions answered by all real estate professionals involved in your purchase.
Even though you’ll probably need to move quickly in a competitive market, don’t let anyone rush you into anything that will make you have homeowner regrets of your own. Doing your research ahead of time can save you some #facepalm moments! Make sure you can count on your real estate agent as a trusted adviser, so you will not have homebuyer remorse.
Incidentally, according the Bankrate survey, 41% of renters wish they had purchased a home instead of renting. Homeownership is still the main way that Americans build wealth over their lifetimes. If you’re looking to join the ranks of homeowners, contact Chris Highland for Buyer Representation. 301-401-5119. His 30+ years of real estate experience serve as a great resource to clients as they maneuver through today’s complex real estate transaction.
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