Turns Out Recent Home Buyers Have Major Regrets

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We don't need to tell you that buying a home is a ​huge​ decision. And yet, in the moment, home shoppers can get really excited and settle on a house they eventually regret buying.

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Zillow has released new information that shows just how prevalent this is among people who bought a home during the pandemic. According to the company, "three-quarters of those who successfully purchased a home in the past two years say they have at least one regret about the home they bought (75%)."

Zillow's data isn't necessarily meant to scare away prospective buyers — the info is good to keep in mind when you're going through the process yourself. It's all about being purposeful in terms of what you're willing to sacrifice, and what needs are non-negotiable.

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"The pandemic-driven feeding frenzy in the for-sale market added challenges for buyers, especially those purchasing for the first time," Manny Garcia, population scientist at Zillow, said in a statement. "This research suggests many of those buyers ended up in a home that was less than ideal. It's important to remember that even in a balanced market, most buyers have to make compromises to stay within their budget. However, to minimize regret, aspiring buyers would be wise to establish where they're willing to compromise and what's a deal breaker before shopping."

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According to the data, 38% of home buyers wished "they had spent more time searching for a home or weighing their options" and 28% report they actually would've "shopped for and purchased a home in a different area."

What are the most common home buying mistakes?

According to Zillow, there are definitely a few trends to keep an eye out for — and knowing about them might help you in the long run.

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The research identified six common mistakes, and how to avoid them. One major regret: The cost of upgrading the new home. "32% of those surveyed regret that their home needed more work or maintenance than expected," the report states.

Zillow suggests using a mortgage calculator but also considering maintenance and repair-related costs. "There are common items, such as fixtures or appliances, that may not be included in your home purchase and could be costly to replace. Be sure to ask your agent if those items are part of the sale and write them into your offer if you want them to stay."

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On a similar note, it's important to make sure you follow the right steps to know your potentially new home as well as possible. Zillow found that "23% of buyers wish they'd waived fewer contingencies (e.g., financing, inspection, sale of a previous home)." Home inspection is a major element to keep in mind.

"Although some home buyers feel waiving an inspection may increase their chances of seller approval, it puts buyers at risk of unknown structural, mechanical or safety defects, which can be incredibly costly to the buyer," the report explains.

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