Trulia survey casts light on homeowner regrets

In a nod to today's acute inventory shortage, Trulia recently conducted  a "regrets survey," saying in a blog post that the survey's results are particularly relevant because the tight supply of the current market is likely to rush buyers into making purchases without doing proper due diligence. 

"Many homes don't stay on the market for long, so buyers will have to move fast - especially in markets with bidding wars and competing investor activity," Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko wrote in a blog post. "But when it comes to searching for a home, as with everything else, moving too fast leads to mistakes and regrets."

Existing-home inventory was 19.2 percent below the inventory level from a year before, with the amount of time it would take to sell all homes now on the market at the current rate of sales at 4.7 months in February, NAR reported last month. The current supply of homes represents close to a 12-year low, Kolko said. 

The survey, which polled a little over 2,000 renters and homeowners, found that renters harbor regrets about their homes more often than homeowners. Fifty-six percent of renters and 50 percent of homeowners said they have regrets about their homes.

The top three regrets for homeowners who expressed dissatisfaction with their home purchases were: 

  • "I wish I had chosen a larger home" (34 percent)
  • "I wish I had done more remodeling when I bought the home than I did" (27 percent)
  • "I wish I had more information about the home before I decided" (22 percent)

The top three regrets for renters who said they regret their homes were:

  • "I wish I bought instead of rented" (42 percent)
  • "I wish I had chosen a larger home" (39 percent)
  • "I wish I had been more financially secure before I decided (on the first apartment)" (27 percent).

Connect with sources used in this story: Jed Kolko (@JedKolko

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