Now you’ve done it – the legally binding purchase offer you’ve submitted has been accepted and you’re officially committed to closing on your dream home. What have you done? Did you overpay? Did you overlook some ghastly and expensive structural flaw? Is this really the neighborhood you want to live in for the next several years – or the rest of your life? Can you really afford the mortgage payments?
Being gripped by fear and doubt regarding the home you’ve committed to buy is normal, it’s called homebuyer’s remorse. The best defense against a paralyzing case of homebuyer’s remorse is to have a thorough understanding of why you decided to buy the home in the first place and to know that you paid a fair sales price.
Here are some tips that can help you battle homebuyer’s remorse:
Get out that list of wants and needs you made back when you first starting the home shopping process. Does the home include the important features? Provided that you saw a number of homes and thoroughly evaluated what each home had to offer, it’s likely that house you’re about to buy is the best choice for you.
Create a new list that itemizes the pros and cons associated with your home purchase and more generally, with homeownership. Remember that the pros will include income tax deductions, building equity, the freedom to decorate as you wish and any other items specific to your transaction, such as amenities or features that cinched the deal for you – the home’s fabulous view, new roof or fully loaded master suite.
In the cons column, jot down your fears and the general disadvantages of homeownership. This list likely will include financial and home maintenance obligations and issues specific to your transaction – for example the green shag carpeting you’ll have to replace or the ugly wallpaper you’ll have to tear down. Chances are the lists will reaffirm your decision to become a homeowner, and more specifically, why you chose the home that you’re about to buy.
While it may be difficult to stop shopping for homes and visiting open houses, try to resist the urge to window-shop other properties. Unless you have a very solid reason for backing out of the deal, it won’t do you any good to pine for the home that went on the market just days before your closing. Get over it and get on with preparing to move into your new home.
Discuss your concerns with your Realtor. He or she has seen plenty of cases of homebuyer’s remorse and can help put your fears and doubts into perspective. If you’re sweating the price you’ve agreed to pay for the home, your Realtor can again go over with you the comparative market analysis and other data on which you’d initially based your offer price, pointing out any new comparable sales that have closed.