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The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying a Home

A still from The Money Pit

A still from The Money Pit Shelley Long and Tom Hanks in The Money Pit have a few regrets about buying a home. | Universal Pictures via YouTube

Your home might be the biggest purchase of your life, but there’s a good chance you’re not going to be completely happy with the way the transaction went down. Half of people financial website NerdWallet surveyed said if they could repeat the home-buying process, they’d do something differently.

Some people wished they’d saved more money. Others regretted not learning more about mortgages. And a few realized they should have shopped around for a loan. Generation Xers were the most likely to wish for a home-buying do-over, with 61% saying they had some regrets about purchasing their house. Fifty-seven percent of millennial homebuyers had regrets. But more than half of baby boomers said they didn’t have any second thoughts about buying their home, perhaps because they were either more financially savvy when they bought their home or because they had more time to come to terms with their decision.

Many of people’s home-buying regrets had to do with a lack of financial preparation. People who bit off more than they could chew financially sometimes wished they’d done things differently. To avoid second thoughts when buying your next place, check out this list of 10 of the biggest regrets people have about buying a home.

1. Spent too much money

In 81% of U.S. counties, home-price increases outstripped wage growth in 2016, according to Realty Trac, putting homeownership out of reach for millions of Americans. Those who do take the plunge might end up spending way more than they expected, and some come to regret it. Overall, 4% of homebuyers NerdWallet talked to said they’d bought a house that was too expensive. Millennials and Gen Xers were more likely to say they’d spent too much money on a house than baby boomers.

Spending too much money on a house can have serious economic consequences. More than half of Americans say they’ve had to make sacrifices in order to afford their mortgage or rent, a 2015 MacArthur Foundation survey found. A fifth took on an extra job, 17% stopped saving for retirement, and 14% racked up credit card debt.

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