Buying a home is an incredibly exciting time, but there’s a lot to consider once you’ve bought a home and it’s not unusual to experience buyers remorse after the settlement date.
Some of the more common concerns is the price paid for the home, ongoing costs associated with home ownership, including mortgage repayments, caring for and maintaining a home, and perhaps even taking on the task of renovations or home improvements.
Home ownership is a big step, and whether it’s the first property you’ve bought or the fifth there’s always a bit to consider. Buyers remorse often stems from the anxiety of taking on more than you feel you can handle. So, the easiest way to tackle potential buyers remorse is to have a plan for how you will cover each of the scenarios that concern you.
Below we have some tips you can use to tackle some of the concerns mentioned above.
You’re worried you paid too much for your home
If you’re worried you may have paid too much for your home, there are a couple of things you can do.
- Firstly, take a look at comparable sales data for your area and make sure you’re comparing similar homes that are around the same age, size and have the same number of bedrooms/bathrooms that your property has. This data will give you the best indication that the sales price of your home was on par with the average for your area and style of home.
- Think about how long you plan to live in the home for. Remember that the longer you hold your home for, the greater chance it will increase in price over time, particularly if you plan to renovate the home down the track.
You’re worried about the ongoing costs of home ownership
The best thing to do is identify and be clear on exactly what you need to pay on an ongoing basis and budget accordingly.
In most countries, the biggest ongoing expenses you’ll need to factor in include:
- Mortgage repayments
- Home and contents insurance
- Council rates/Government taxes
- Body corporate/super fees (only applicable in some units/townhouses)
- Utility bills
If you have already purchased your home, you will probably have already factored in your ongoing mortgage repayments. One thing you can do to help your budget is lock in a fixed rate on your home loan so that a set amount can be budgeted for each month.
The price of home and contents insurance can vary depending on your home, the location and the amount you wish to insure your contents for. It’s best to budget enough to properly insure your property, as any damage your property incurs can cost a lot more to repair in the long run. However look around, different insurance providers offer different premiums, so it pays to look.
Council rates, body corporate fees and utility costs usually don’t change any more than yearly, so it’s easier to factor these costs into your budget. For costs like repairs, depending on the age and condition of your home, you may wish to set aside a certain amount each month for maintenance, so if an urgent repair job is needed, you have the funds available.
You’re worried about caring for and maintaining your home
If you’ve recently purchased your first home, you may be used to general maintenance being covered by your landlord or property manager, but with regular, small maintenance jobs, maintaining your new home needn’t be a huge or expensive proposition.
- You can maintain exterior paint jobs by ensuring that cracks and any water damage is patched and addressed quickly to prevent the need for a total re-paint down the track.
- Remember to clean-out gutters regularly. This will ensure that drains won’t clog and overflow, potentially causing water damage, and in dry-seasons means there’s no additional kindling lining the roof of your home, which is a fire hazard.
- Not a fan of gardening? Replace small grassy areas with pavers, or stones which can look modern and chic and require no mowing or weeding. You can also plant hardy, dessert plants which can cope with full sun and little to no watering.
- Make sure sinks and kitchen disposals are cleaned about monthly to avoid build-up and problems long term. This can be done simply with environmentally-friendly vinegar and baking soda.
- Test smoke alarms bi-monthly. This is obviously important for safety reasons, and is one task that is usually taken care of by property managers when renting, so don’t forget when you become an owner.
- Have air-conditioners serviced about once a year. Factoring in this annual expense could save you a lot more in a large repair fee or to replace a unit if one breaks due to lack of maintenance.
You’re worried about the cost of renovations or home improvements
Unless repairs are needed urgently, make a plan and budget to work towards a renovation or home improvements in the future. If you plan on being in your home for a while and the renovations are purely aesthetic or nice-to-haves at this stage, why not wait until you’re in the best position to start them?
If you’re not ready for a full-scale renovation straight away, why not make small, affordable changes instead? Here are some great DIY ideas on sprucing up a new home:
When it does come time to renovate, it’s best to avoid overcapitalising. This means avoiding spending more on the renovation than you’re adding in resale value. The rule of thumb is to spend 5% or less of the purchase price on the renovation, with most well-planned renovations adding an average 10% of value to the average home.
At the end of the day a home is certainly one of life’s biggest purchases, and it’s normal to have concerns, but remember that a home is a long-term investment, and there really isn’t any such thing as a perfect home in the perfect location, or a perfect time to buy. It’s really about what suits your needs best, right now.