A few weeks ago I heard that a couple I know put their home up for sale after just one year of becoming homeowners. They bought a home in the same town as me a few months after I did. They were first time home buyers as well. Their home was a short sale and had several offers on the table but they were still able to buy it at a low price which appeared to be a great deal for them. I started wondering what happened? Why are they selling so soon? I found out later that they have encountered several issues that many first time homeowners sometimes don’t realize.
Their home is in a flood zone and their home insurance is very expensive, about $2,000/year. This is a big issue and I don’t know why they didn’t back away from this home when they found out about this. If you’re in the market for a home make sure you know if the home is in a flood zone. When I bought my home this was one of the first things my real estate lawyer made sure to check and we had a clause in the contract to protect us where we could back out of the deal if the home was in a flood zone.
Home Maintenance and Related Costs
The harsh winter was another issue that pushed them to sell so soon. They were not really expecting so many snowstorms and the constant shoveling of snow really put a toll on them. This couple is in their late 40s so I can see how this could be an issue and the husband travels a lot so the wife was the one constantly shoveling snow alone. The very cold weather conditions and the Polar Vortex added to their heating costs as well. Many of us suffered from this this winter season. It was no joke.
They also felt that the house was eating up a lot their monthly income. After putting in a new bathroom and a fence around the property they really fell out of love with the home. They felt it was just too much money being pulled out of savings and they didn’t want to continue down that path by upgrading the rest of the home. They are also not big DIYers and really don’t enjoy the constant maintenance work on the home. They were just not fans of spending so much time and money on home updates and maintenance. It’s not easy going from calling your landlord for repairs to being in charge of all the maintenance yourself.
High Mortgage Payments
Though they bought the house at a low price they only put a 5% down payment. So, with the extra costs for PMI and the high cost of home insurance, add to that the property taxes, I can see how they probably are not seeing much of an advantage to owning in their case. In addition, the wife is now only working part-time after loosing her job at the end of last year. I’m sure this has made it more difficult to keep up the mortgage payments and maintenance costs.
All of these issues have caused them to have home buyers remorse after one year. It’s unfortunate, but it happens to many people. Probably the biggest issue this couple had was buying a home when they were not ready to be homeowners. Perhaps they were lured in by a low price and probably low-interest rates at the time. I’m assuming they did not have much knowledge about the issues involved when buying a home in a flood zone either.
Being a first time homeowner comes with a big learning curve for many, myself included. I hope this couple is able to sell their home soon without losing too much on the deal. So far they have had to drop the selling price by $6,000. Now that the prime season for selling real estate is here they may find a buyer before having to drop the price again.
Have you ever had buyers remorse after making a large purchase such as a home or a car?
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