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Buying a home can be overwhelming, especially in a competitive real estate market like we’re experiencing in Sacramento. After all, a house is likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and it’s a monthly commitment for the long term.
Before you get discouraged and vow to rent forever (local rents are on the rise), think about all the great benefits homeownership offers. Building equity, decorating how you like, stability, enjoying tax advantages, and putting down roots are just a few of the benefits homeowners enjoy. Owning a home is rewarding if you proactively take steps to avoid homebuyer’s remorse.
What do we mean by that? Homebuyer’s remorse happens when a homeowner regrets buying a home. But it can usually be prevented if you follow the tips below.
1. Steer Clear of Budget-Busting Homes
Struggling to meet a mortgage payment every month is no fun. In fact, it’s a real drag. As tempting as it is to dive into the homebuying process, do some planning first. Sit down with your bills and write out your monthly obligations—like your vehicle payment, student loans, gas, utilities, cell phone bill, and anything else you pay every month. Don’t forget to add in what you spend for groceries, clothes, and other expenses. Compare this with your monthly income and see how much is left over.
Don’t assume you can spend the entire surplus in your budget on a mortgage payment. Remember to also budget for repairs, yardwork, extra utilities, trash service, insurance, and taxes. To prevent homebuyer’s remorse, ask people you trust about the type of expenses that go along with owning a home. Your mortgage broker, parents, and real estate agent can assist you in building a realistic budget and learning how to find a home that fits into it.
2. Take Time to Understand Your Options
There are many choices when it comes to getting a mortgage. Long before you make an offer on a home, you need to know about differing mortgage rates, mortgage lengths, and down payment requirements, which can all vary by loan program. Choose the wrong one when you’re buying a house, and you may live to regret it.
Your financing options are key in knowing how much house you can realistically buy. Talk to your real estate agent and your broker, and ask them to explain all the options available to you. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you’re more likely to choose one that fits your budget. The right loan financing is critical to avoiding buyer’s remorse.
3. Craft a “Wants” and “Needs” List
Pinpointing your home’s must-have features can help you prevent homebuyer’s remorse.
When you’re planning a home purchase, think about the amenities you can’t live without. A fenced-in backyard? An upgraded kitchen? A certain neighborhood? A finished basement? By pinpointing what you really want in a home, you can eliminate options that won’t work for you.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to get every feature on a mile-long list, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer on a strict budget. Narrow it down to three to five amenities you must have. Otherwise, you may be looking for a long time—especially in this super-hot real estate market—and could end up busting your budget.
Check out the video below to hear the great advice the New Way Mortgage experts offer about creating your shortlist of must-have home features.
4. Spend Time in Your Potential New Neighborhood
Location can make the difference in being happy with your home purchase or completely overcome with buyer’s remorse. There are plenty of desirable neighborhoods in the Sacramento area: Look at Elk Grove, Folsom, the El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, and more!
If you haven’t spent much time in the area you’re thinking about buying in, take a drive around it at different times of the day. See what’s going on in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
You may even want to park your car and stroll around the streets. Notice the upkeep of the other homes, the traffic, and the noise levels. If anyone is in their yard, strike up a conversation to ask them what they like about living there.
Another smart idea is to get online and measure your commute from your potential new neighborhood to your job, your gym, your friends’ homes, and any other places you like spending your time. While you’re at it, check out the quality of the schools in the area, too. This investigative work can help you make sure the neighborhood is a great fit for you.
Ending Up with the Right Home
Successfully managing the homebuying process takes a bit of research and consideration on the front end. Finding the house you’re meant to buy is worth your time and effort.
Take the first step in avoiding homebuyer’s remorse by reaching out to the team at New Way Mortgage. We can answer your questions and help guide you through the homebuying process—and help prevent homebuyer’s remorse along the way. Call us today at 916-465-6639.