How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse with Your New Home

A man with buyer's remorse talking to his friend among moving boxes.

Buying a home is no simple feat, and it seems that no one prepares you for the waterfalls of emotion afterward. After making such a big, life-altering decision, buyer’s remorse can sneak up on any homeowner. The stress of unpacking, new maintenance responsibilities and renovation needs can turn an exciting time into a tumultuous one.

However, the key is to fight back against these negative emotions and remind yourself just why you loved this house so much in the first place. Here are some tactics you can use — before and after moving into a new home — to combat buyer’s remorse.

1. Love the Neighborhood

Before you commit to owning a home, you should become familiar with the area you’re moving into. Get to know the neighborhood and its proximity to work, schools, grocery stores and anywhere else you frequent.

Around 65% of homebuyers care about the quality of the community they will live in more than anything else. As such, you should take care to learn the environment you’ll be living in before you move in to minimize buyer’s remorse. Your home can always be renovated — your community is the real commitment.

Once you purchase a house, it is also a great time to find the hidden gems in your community. Finding a walking route that brings you joy or a small shop you love to patronize can help you start feeling at home and getting excited to be in a new location.

2. Envision Your Life There

When buying a home, you shouldn’t pick a house that’s too small for your family or one so large that you’ll never fill it or pay it off. Choose one that you can see yourself living and growing in for years to come. Whether you plan to sell it down the road or live there forever, you should be able to picture yourself there.

When you walk through your new home, picture everything that could be placed in each room. While you may have boxes upon boxes stacked up, your rooms won’t look that way forever. Think of which furniture and decorations you want to put in the living room or consider how you’ll arrange your master bedroom once everything is unpacked.

Envisioning your life in your new home can also help you feel more motivated to unpack. Once you feel comfortable there, start going through your things. You may have an opportunity to downsize or design a room like you would never have imagined.

Finally, make sure you don’t envision other lives. Stop looking at homes for sale once you’ve chosen a neighborhood to move into. You’ll never be satisfied with what you have if you keep searching for something bigger and better, especially if it’s out of your price point. You should aspire toward your goals, but don’t let dreams of owning an even bigger home psyche you out of the fantastic dream home you just bought.

3. Get Another Perspective

When you make an important decision, it’s only natural to want supplemental advice and comments. You likely weren’t alone in the decision-making process — you probably sought counsel from someone you trusted or bought the house with somebody. Seek the people that truly matter and discuss your worries with them.

Emotional support helps to strengthen your relationships with other people. Trusting them with your emotions and allowing them to offer you advice or their opinion on your house could help you feel more at ease with your new home.

4. Know What Homeownership Entails

Before making the big purchase, you should look into what will change once you own a home. If you couldn’t gather the information before purchasing your home, now is the best time to learn. It’s true that maintenance and repair duties can create a learning curve that can feel overwhelming if you’re accustomed to renting.

Don’t let this overwhelm you when you move into your new home. While you have quite a few new responsibilities as a homeowner, you’ll find that there are plenty of perks, too. You may receive a tax break on your mortgage interest if you itemize rather than using a standard deduction while filing. You can look forward to planning upgrades as you wish rather than begging a landlord for changes.

Further, you have more space for guests. Since you’re more likely to have spare rooms and more entertaining space, why not throw yourself a small housewarming party? As stated, getting input from your friends and family can help you put into perspective what an exciting time this really is for you.

5. Give Yourself a Break

You just bought a house! That’s a significant accomplishment not everyone reaches in their lives. You’ve earned a rest. Try not to sweat it if your home feels overloaded with boxes — you’ll get to all of them eventually. If you want to feel productive before moving, consider planning how you want to decorate certain rooms in your house. That way, as you unpack, you’ll know exactly where certain items go.

Taking breaks can improve your mental health and increase your productivity, allowing you to work more efficiently. In other words, taking a longer break could help you refresh your mind after the homebuying process.

Your house is new and lovely but focus your attention on something else to give you the time off you need. Then, you can come back to your thoughts on homeownership, refreshed and renewed.

Enjoy Your New Home Without Buyer’s Remorse

Try to enjoy your new home before you let the doubts set in. Make a list of things that remind you why you bought it in the first place. It stood out to you for some unique reason, so appreciate it and remind yourself what led you down this path. Before long, you’ll rekindle your love for your new home and wonder why there was ever a doubt in your mind that this house was meant for you.

Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, an online resource for the real estate market. Her freelance writing has been published by the National Association of REALTORS®, Insights for Professionals and other prominent industry magazines.

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