Should you buy a house right now? Most recent buyers have regrets

The home buying experience in the last two and a half years has been nothing less than extraordinarybut not all owners were satisfied with the process.

Nearly three in four Americans have at least one regret about their new home or the home-buying process, according to a new poll of Estimate at any timea home buying website, based on the experiences of home buyers throughout 2021 and 2022.

Buyers are more sorry for overpay for a property, which 30% of Americans say they did. According to the survey, the median amount buyers paid above the original sales price for their new homes was $65,000.

Between increased demand and low inventory, first-time homebuyers had it especially tough: They offered a median $77,500 off the asking price, while repeat buyers offered $60,000.

This could be because first-time homebuyers felt they had to go to great lengths to win an offer, especially when compete with cash offerssays Joey Jewell, a Wisconsin real estate agent. Repeat buyers, on the other hand, already own a home and may not feel the pressure to move so quickly.

Still, 35% of Americans say they compromised on their priority of finding an affordable home, stretching the budgets of nearly a third of buyers, the survey found.

“Given recent market conditions, a lot of people felt like they just needed to buy a house and maybe they rushed into it, or they just bought something because they had the opportunity,” says Jewell.

And you’re right. One in four recent homebuyers surveyed say they regret buying too quickly. More than half of Americans said they spent less than two months looking for their new home, and 40% spent less than four weeks scouring prospective properties.

But this could even be considered a long time for some buyers.

“I had people come to the houses and on the first day they would write offers because they didn’t want to miss out,” says Jewell.

And other shoppers didn’t even take the time to take an in-person tour before they bought. In an effort to quickly move into a home, 36% of buyers made an offer without seeing the property in person.

Instead, some relied on photos and online tours or solely on their real estate agent’s opinion.

First-time homebuyers were more likely to take this risk than repeat buyers, with 40% saying they made an offer on a home they never visited in person, according to the survey. But this is never recommended, as the photos may not accurately reflect the home’s current condition, says Jewell.

That said, even an in-person tour can’t guarantee a home is move-in ready. Nearly one in four homebuyers say their biggest regret is that their new home requires too much maintenance. More than half of buyers bought a fixer-upper, and nearly a quarter regret this decision.

“Given the time period we were in, I think [having at least one regret] it was almost inevitable,” says Jewell. “But it’s not like you were necessarily making a mistake. It was whether you wanted to buy or wait, and a lot of people chose to buy.”

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