Spending in general has been down for Americans since the onset of COVID-19. This time may have shaped how we spend our money moving forward.
With more focus on necessities vs excess. Will it also impact consumer psychology? After an economic slump and personal financial hardships, will consumers be more intentional about purchases post-pandemic?
Everyone experiences buyer's remorse at some point or another and to varying degrees. Whether it's as small as splurging on a latte or pulling the trigger on a home purchase. Will the new spending psychology make buyer's remorse even stronger as Americans become more thoughtful with their money?
We understand buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. It's normal to have questions, and even a few doubts along the way. But here are some strategies to help you be more intentional and avoid buyer's remorse in homebuying and beyond.
- Don’t Make Hasty Decisions
Big decisions need more time. Before you set out on your home search, make a “Wants and Needs” list with characteristics and amenities that are important to you in a home. What are the features you really can’t live without, and some that you could? Keep this list handy and visit it often while looking at homes. Sometimes flashy details and amenities outshine the fact that a home may not exactly fit our needs, so pay attention to that!
If you find a home you really like, ask yourself: Does the home include all of the most important things on your Wants-Needs list? What makes it stand out from other homes you’ve looked at? Were there several houses that checked all the boxes? What makes this one unique?
When it comes to other types of purchases, try the 24-hour rule. If you’re online shopping, try putting the item in question in your Shopping Cart and leaving it there. If you still want to buy it the next day, go for it! Sure, we’re all deserving of little indulgences here and there, but by and large, think about why you want it and if it’s a timeless purchase!
- Ignore External Opinions & Pressures
We’ve all been there. You’re super excited about something you just bought, but the minute you share it with your friends or family, there’s always one person who has something negative to say that makes you doubt yourself. While getting advice from others can be helpful, it’s important to listen to your gut. Remember why you chose the house you settled on. Think about your "Wants and Needs" list. Other people’s personal opinions and values like what neighborhood they prefer, or if they want a one or two-story home, often color how they offer up advice.
Consider the source! Do your friends know the market? Are they a housing professional or did they recently buy a home in the area themselves? People often mean well when they provide input on big purchases like a home search, and it won’t be uncommon for people to chime in (especially family), especially if it’s your first home purchase.
- Stop Looking
This is a tough one. Scrolling Zillow and real estate Instagrams gets addicting. Creating Pinterest mood boards and saving dream properties is a fun part of the homebuying process. And there will always be great homes out there. So, if you’ve found “the one”, revel in the joy and celebration of your new home! Stop looking at other properties that could have been, it will just fuel remorse and make you doubt yourself unnecessarily.
A best practice? Unsubscribe from any email alerts and delete home search apps from your phone to avoid temptation as soon as your offer is accepted. Your sanity will thank you and you’ll be able to completely celebrate your new home.
Listen to your gut. Here are some instances where you might want to consider cancelling your contract:
- Issues with the home's title history
- A home inspection reveals serious problems
- The seller won't handle requested repairs or offer repair credits
- The home doesn't appraise at the price you offered
- Your financing falls through
If you do have concerns or questions about a home that you're interested in or have put an offer on, talk to your loan officer or real estate agent! That's what they're there for.