A newly published survey from HomeLight revealed some dismaying, although not necessarily shocking, impacts of the historically competitive housing market on consumer psychology.
Among other takeaways, the survey (which polled more than 1,600 Americans who bought or sold a home in the past 12 months) found that 70% of buyers had at least one regret about their homebuying experience. Cost-based remorse was chief among those regrets, with three of the top four reasons being tied to money.
Twenty-two percent of respondents said they felt they overpaid for their home, while the same percentage said they underestimated how much maintenance a home requires. Another 18% said they underestimated the total cost of owning a home — including taxes, insurance and other expenditures — underscoring the need for homebuyer education, especially in a hot market.
Hasty decisionmaking in the thick of a competitive marketplace also was near the top of regrets, with 20% of respondents saying they decided which home to buy too quickly.
HomeLight’s survey also found that the competitive environment generated substantial anguish for homebuyers before they made their purchases, with 27% saying they struggled with anxiety over bidding wars during their home search. Another 23% indicated that competition with cash buyers in their market was a challenge. The most common challenge for buyers, according to HomeLight, was finding a home within their budget. Forty-three percent of respondents cited this as a struggle and 28% reported it as their “most significant” challenge.
Ultimately, HomeLight found that 80% of buyers compromised on key home features, with 48% compromising on home price relative to their initial expectations. Thirty-one percent of buyers bought a home that was older than they had initially planned, 24% bought a smaller home than they had planned, and 23% bought a home that was in worse condition compared to their initial expectations.