Few things are as haunting as should’a, could’a, would’a regrets. Worse still, if those regrets involve one of the biggest purchases you’ll likely make in your life — a house.
Apparently, millennials are doing just that. According to a new survey from Bankrate.com of nearly 1,500 homeowners, 63 percent of those polled who are between the ages of 23 and 38 said they had regrets when it came to their home purchase. They had the distinction of feeling the home buyer blues more than any other age group and at a rate nearly double that of the baby boomers surveyed.
What are they ruminating over? Well, 25 percent said their greatest regret was not anticipating unexpected maintenance or digging out hidden costs.
There’s plenty that can get lost in the excitement of buying a home. Here’s how to avoid that sinking feeling later.
Assemble a team
From the outset, your attorney, mortgage person and broker should work together. “Get referrals; price is important, but experience and your ‘gut’ are most important. Ask them to create reasonable expectations for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Michael Xylas, co-partner in charge of residential and banking real estate at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson in Manhattan.
Learn about the product (co-op, condo, town house), the marketplace and the closing process. Evaluate your finances. Run a credit report, pre-qualify for a mortgage, shop around for rates and determine closing costs.
Have a 'walk away' number
Says attorney Anthony Park, author of "How to Buy Your Perfect First Home": “It's easy to get swept up in excitement and momentum, so don't submit a purchase offer without knowing your walkaway number. You can always refinance your mortgage rate, but what you paid is set in stone.”