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Oh my! What have I done?
RE/MAX Genesis
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 • Posted May 13, 2008 10:00 PM

The day is finally here. You've taken that big leap and purchased a home of your own. You spend your first evening in the new house with a bottle of champagne—toasting yourself on a job well done. But later that night, you wake up in a cold sweat—full of regret. Oh my! What have you done? You've made a terrible mistake. You can't afford this house. You're not even sure if you like it. Who picked out that hideous trim? What if a better, less-expensive house, comes on the market tomorrow?

Hold it right there. Buyer's remorse is common. In fact, it's a natural reaction to many purchases, particularly high-ticket items such as a house. But there are steps you can take to assuage the post-purchase doubts. From pre-purchase choices to options and contingencies, understanding how to alleviate buyer's remorse before it strikes will help you feel more comfortable about your homebuying decision.

The Right Price

It's estimated that 10 percent of homeowners spend half of their income on their mortgage. Many lenders prefer to give home loans to those whose total monthly debt does not exceed more than 36 percent of their gross monthly income. If you are thinking about purchasing a home and your total monthly debt will exceed the 36-percent benchmark, you might want to reconsider. Realizing—after you've moved in—that you just might be in over your head is a sure-fire way to stir up some buyer's remorse.

Also, be realistic about other costs associated with owning a house besides the monthly mortgage, including property taxes, homeowners' insurance, maintenance and possibly homeowners' association dues. Some people don't plan carefully and are shocked to find out that the actual cost exceeds what they had anticipated. However, working with a Texas Realtor to determine an estimate can help alleviate post-purchase remorse.

Nothing's Perfect

In the excitement of finding your dream home, don't forget that the majority are not perfect. Whether its 10 months old or 10 years old, the possibility definitely exists that something may need to be repaired or even replaced. But there are a couple of things you can do to quell that sinking feeling that you've made a mistake.

Hire a reputable inspector to do an overall assessment of the property. A professional home inspection will help you identify potential problems and might also cue you to preventive measures, avoiding costly future repairs and giving you some peace of mind.

Expect a thorough home inspection to reveal some problems. If you find major problems, sit down with you Texas Realtor and discuss how to proceed. Determining in advance whether the condition of the home equates to the purchase price will help you feel more comfortable with your choice.

If you want some added protection, consider a home warranty. Home warranties cover the repair and replacement costs of particular items in the house when they fail to work properly. Home warranties are usually purchased at closing, but are not always paid for by the buyer. If you are looking at a property with an outdated HVAC or plumbing system, you might ask the seller to pay for the policy. If this makes the home more attractive to you and the seller likes the agreed upon price, they may be willing to add this to the package. If you do purchase a home warranty, be sure to read what is and what is not covered. When it comes to costly repairs, surprises are never fun.

Know When It's Too Late

Another way to minimize buyers remorse is to understand and make wise use of options and contingencies. Contingencies are written into a purchase contract, allowing you time to manage one or more aspects of the transaction before closing. The option provision allows you to terminate a new-home or resale contract—for any reason at all—and still receive a refund of your earnest money. So, you can schedule inspections and take some time to make sure you are comfortable with your decision.

Everyone has had buyer's remorse at some time or another. To minimize the chances that you will experience it after you buy a home, work with a Texas Realtor. Having an expert walk you through each stage of the process ensures your interests are protected and may alleviate the post-purchase blues. For more on the homebuying process, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.

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