More than 80% of homeowners have no regrets about their most recent home purchase, according to a survey from LendingTree.
The online lending marketplace surveyed more than 1,000 homeowners. Some of these respondents bought their houses in the thick of the COVID-19 housing boom or shortly thereafter while others purchased before the pandemic brought severe distortions to the homebuying market and the economy at large.
Survey respondents who bought a home prior to the pandemic (and likely reaped the benefits of skyrocketing home values during it) are the most satisfied with their purchases. Eighty-six percent of those who bought a house at least five years ago reported having no regrets. But buyers who took action more recently were similarly content, too. Seventy-nine percent of homeowners who bought between two and five years ago said they don’t have any regrets about their purchase, as did 80% of homeowners who bought in the past two years.
Overall, 83% of homeowners in LendingTree’s survey said they had no regrets. The high satisfaction rate, even during the hot market of the past few years, makes sense, according to LendingTree senior economist Jacob Channel. That’s despite heightened competition during the pandemic homebuying surge, which led to many house hunters doing whatever it took to buy a home, including paying above list price.
In fact, 27% of homeowners who bought in the past two years paid more than list price, compared to just 5% of buyers five years ago. Additionally, 24% of buyers in the past two years skipped the inspection process, double the rate for those who bought at least five years ago. Additionally, 27% of more recent homebuyers placed an offer without personally seeing the inside of the home, compared to 7% of buyers who have been in their homes at least five years.
Channel doesn’t recommend skipping an inspection as “homebuyers can potentially miss negative aspects of a house that can end up costing them a lot of money in the future — or, in a worst-case scenario, render their home unlivable.” But with low interest rates in 2020 and 2021, many buyers felt they could make financial compromises to ensure that their purchase was realized, Channel said. And even many recent buyers saw their equity grow almost immediately, given the massive growth in home values over the past few years.
LendingTree’s survey also found that baby boomers were more likely to be satisfied with their residential purchases, with 90% of buyers ages 57 to 76 indicating they hold no regrets. Eighty percent of Generation X buyers (42 to 56 years old) reported that they didn’t regret their decision, while 81% of millennials (26 to 41) and 80% of Gen Z buyers (18 to 25) said they had no buyer’s remorse.