The 3 Top Reasons People Regret Buying Homes, According to Zillow

A house with a white picket fence — that's the dream, right? Well, according to three out of four homeowners, once that dream is achieved, it can become a little bit of a nightmare.

Real estate website Zillow surveyed 10,000 homeowners and renters about their biggest regrets, and the results, to be honest, aren't extremely surprising. The number one regret, which 36% of those surveyed share, is dealing with unexpected maintenance and repairs. Renters often have it easier, as they can simply call a super or landlord to have some major items fixed.

The second most common regret is not being able to move without having to sell the house — which is why it's really important to do your research about a neighborhood before buying a home.

And the third is a tie between having to deal with too much yardwork and not liking the finishes or layout of the home. Luckily, both of those problems are easy to solve. If a yard is too much work, there are a number of low-maintenance landscape ideas that you can implement. And though you can't really change the layout of a home, finishes are simple enough to swap out to a look you desire.

Take a look at the full results in the image below:

chart showing top homeowner regrets
credit: Zillow

Check out the full survey to see the breakdown of regrets by major metropolitan area.


Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie Waldek

Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.