Does everyone experience buyer’s remorse, or is it just me? 🏠 FIRST HOME QUESTIONS 🤷
No! You haven’t made a mistake. Yes, buyer’s remorse IS REAL!!!! But as with anything, the feeling is temporary.
Buying a home is such a big decision and process. There’s a lot of thinking, weighing up, emotions and time invested on that path of looking around, to buying, to moving in. When all this is wrapped up in more zeros than you’ve likely ever have parted with in one transaction, it’s easy to question and doubt the decisions you’ve made – I get it!
Remember, you’ve made the right choice – because you’ve gone through all of these things, you’ve done your research, you’ve asked all of the questions, you’ve looked at all of the right details and you’ve considered everything you can possibly consider that aligns with WHY you chose to purchase your home.
Still, you’re going to feel the remorse for a bit.
We bought our first home off plan. Off plan made sense for us. It allowed us to get into the market. But not knowing if the outcome would match our expectations was overwhelming. Buying new also had its disadvantages: we wouldn’t know what the property would REALLY be like until we committed, handed over the money and was well into the process.
The remorse, anguish and doubt were consistent until we moved in. That’s when the reality hit: we loved the location and that this was a great step for our family.
Five years later, we purchased our 2.0. We wanted a space that could grow with our little family. We ended up downsizing, knowing that we wanted to extend, into a duplex closer to the city.
The night we left our first home, I was very emotional. It represented a big milestone for us—a lot of memories made that we were leaving behind. Then, a week in, all the little niggly things that come with adjusting to a new place came out:
- Where are all the light switches? Why doesn’t that one work?
- I knew this kitchen was small, but this small?
- Why is the laundry leaking?
- We lived with stairs before. How is it that a few extra can make life So. Much. Harder?
And then, kind of like your dad made a well-meaning suggestion, my mum commented on how busy the street was compared to our old place. This time, the remorse was VERY REAL. I also thought that I’d made a huge f***ing mistake.
I had to remind myself why we chose the space in the first place and to focus on the right details. Was a light switch that didn’t work going to stop me from living the lifestyle that I imagined in our new place? Was a few extra stairs really an issue or just an adjustment?
Remembering why we chose and bought our new place was the perspective we needed. The location was amazing, the opportunities that the zoning of the area allowed for extension was exciting and seeing our kids play on a trampoline that could fit in our new backyard reassured us that we had absolutely made the right decision.
Here’s what I’d do when you’re feeling buyer’s remorse. Refocus with these three tips.
Go back to your building inspection
Hopefully, you read the building inspection reports before you signed the contract and you spoke to the inspection company if there was anything you didn’t understand. I know you asked about reading building inspections awhile back so I’m pretty confident you did this.
The report should put your mind at ease that you haven’t missed anything major. You mentioned when we spoke earlier that your house was built in the 70s, so it’s going to have cosmetic problems but if they were major issues the building report most likely mentioned it.
If you’re still worried, consider getting another one now. A post-settlement inspection will give you a different expert’s opinion on whether there are any issues to worry about. Chances are, that brickwork cracking is more minor than you think.
Remind yourself why you chose this property
Go back to your wishlist. You probably wanted something of a certain size, in a particular location, right? And maybe there was something special you hoped for, like high ceilings, a spectacular kitchen or a garden of your own. Chances are, you bought this home because it ticked most of those boxes. Remind yourself of all those great features that helped you fall in love.
Choose three things to do now that you’re in that reinforce why you bought this home. Maybe it’s having people over for dinner. Maybe it’s buying your first non-Kmart artwork. Maybe it’s starting a vegie garden or spending a night watching TV naked because, hey, you no longer have flatmates.
My point is, celebrate a little.
Trust your judgement – not someone else’s
If I may: don’t let your family make you doubt yourself. Parents always worry for their children, and it’s not unusual for them to bring up all the things that need fixing because that is their way of looking after you. Especially since they usually consider themselves the experts on adulting!
Often when I hear from worried first home buyers, it's because friends or family have decided to share their opinions of the purchase. And they’re not always flattering. A friend’s “God, it took me a long time to drive here,” can feel like a gut punch.
Remember: their opinions are probably coming from a good place, but it doesn't make them right for you. Take action on the comments you agree with (if that tree is too close, just cut it down) but if there’s nothing you can do about it, or you can’t change it, just shake it off.
Chill, friend. Everything is going to be fine.
Buyer’s remorse is very common and doesn’t mean you’ve made a mistake:
- Remind yourself what you were looking for and why you loved the house and then celebrate it
- Revisit your pre-settlement inspection report for reassurance
- Don’t let other people’s doubt sway how you feel
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