photography by MOLLY WINTERS
Buying a home is stressful enough, but factors of uncertainty make it all the more difficult. Thankfully, the real estate experts at Trulia just released a new survey in which they polled 2,264 U.S. adults about their biggest home buying regrets—so we can learn from their mistakes, and hopefully relieve a little of the stress surrounding homeownership in the process.
According to Trulia, 44 percent of Americans have some form of regret about their current home or the home-buying process; a slight decrease from the 46 percent of 2012, but a substantial percentage nonetheless. From that, the biggest regrets come from renters who wish they had decided to buy instead (41 percent) and from homeowners who wish they had gone with a larger home (33 percent). It seems that tiny homes are not so trendy, after all.
The survey also found that younger participants were far more regretful than their older counterparts. Overall, millennials were shown to have the most regrets (71 percent) while those 65 years and older had the fewest (28 percent). Though given the fact that a 22-year-old's financial situation is probably not as secure as someone over 65, this is not altogether surprising: Those aged 18-34 were almost twice as likely to wish they were more financially secure before making their housing decision.
Speaking of finances, the consensus surrounding home affordability is substantially negative. More than half of Americans (62 percent) believe housing costs have become less affordable to some degree since 2012. And more than a quarter (26 percent) of those Americans firmly believe that the market has become much less affordable.
Other interesting findings: Higher income showed a positive correlation with more regrets, and survey participants with children were generally more regretful than those without.
The good news is that since 2012’s housing crash, Americans overall tend to feel more positive about owning a home. And compared to 52 percent of homeowners and renters in 2013 who had regrets about their current home or the process of choosing it, that number in 2017 dropped by one whole percent. However small, we’re making some steps in the right direction.
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