We have seen an extremely busy property market over the last 12 months. Buyers have been out in force and some houses have gone from listed to under offer in a matter of hours. This heightened activity has seen people battling for homes and, in some cases, making rushed decisions just so they can get their hands on somewhere to call home. Yet it’s not every day we buy a property and so, due to a lack of experience in this kind of purchase, there is going to be a level of anxiety about making such a huge life and economic decision. Buyers’ remorse is all too common, whether we’ve splurged on a new gadget, designer handbag or even a night out (yes, we can have these now!). Unlike ‘stuff’, a house is something you will be stuck with for a number of years, so if you are looking around the property you now own with regret, we have some tips to help you survive.
What is buyer’s remorse?
Buyers’ remorse is defined by psychologists as a type of cognitive dissonance, a battle of consumption. When you are thinking of buying something, there will be a war of opposing forces battling inside your head. The avoidance system will tell you to avoid taking risks, whereas the approach system is pushing you to do whatever makes you happy. When you have made your decision, you will go through a period of mental discomfort caused by these two conflicting sides.
I wonder if I really wanted this house?
I wonder whether I should have bought this house at all?
I wonder if I have made the right choice?
I wonder if I rushed into making a decision?
Your discomfort is going to be more severe buying a house than a phone, due to the size of the financial investment. As humans, we tend to rationalise the purchases we have made, telling ourselves it was the right financial decision, the house is in the ideal location. When we struggle to find a post-purchase rationalisation, we develop remorse. At Deakin-White we understand how soul-destroying these negative feelings can be, but we hope by looking at common issues in a different light, you will start to see you made the right decision after all.
Location, Location, Location
As we know location is really important when buying a new home. You may have had a dream street or village but feel you were priced out of the market there, and now you are regretting making this huge compromise. If you focus on what could have been rather than what you have, you may never truly settle in your new home, which is never a good place to be. Your preferred location has gone, but what do you really know about where you now live?
Get out exploring and chat to local businesses about what there is in the area that you can do or get involved in. The more connected you start to feel to the neighbourhood and community, the sooner this ‘not so good’ location could turn into something exciting and full of potential. You never truly know somewhere until you live there and start to embrace what is on offer, so get exploring.
The surprise project
Many buyers will purchase a property with the intention of undertaking works to make it their own, but some may quickly discover there is more to upgrade and repair in their new home than they had anticipated. This shock of a revelation can quickly see you starting to dislike your new home before you have had chance to live in it, and who can blame you? With the costs of maintenance and repairs not being something you had budgeted for, it can all feel completely overwhelming.
Take a moment and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes, this home of your dreams could turn into a nightmare – but only if you let it win. Get the superficial jobs done first, a new lick of paint and a good spring clean, then just start to get to know your new home, quirks and all. You may have a jobs list as long as your arm but take it one at a time and, with each change, this home will start to become your own. If you are in the ideal location and the property is amazing, then celebrate – your doubts are all based on something that you can change and resolve.
The size isn’t right
Our minds can play tricks on us during viewings and you can leave with a perception of the property that may be an embellishment on reality. Room sizes can grow and shrink – you can arrive to find that the piece of furniture you wanted to place under the stairs doesn’t fit, or that your dining set looks lost in the grand room. No two homes are the same, and trying to fit one home inside another isn’t always the best option, even if it is the most economical.
Every home has a style of its own, whether that’s period or contemporary. Rooms can dictate how they want to be furnished and, as life changes, you may need to live in the space a different way. You may believe your new home is too big or too small, but as we know, it is actually just right – you just need to find that special furnishing solution to provide you with what you need.
Buyers’ remorse is normal
Unlike other remorseful purchases, we are afraid there is no return policy when you buy a home – you simply have to learn to live with your decision and turn your remorse into love. This won’t happen overnight, but by looking at things in a different way, getting to know your home and area more deeply, and finding a way to connect with your new home, you will hopefully come to see that the decision you made is the right one for now. And if you are still itching down the line, then give us a call and we can help you move.