Despite a cutthroat market with multiple bids and successive failures to secure a home, 71% of successful pandemic-era buyers say their new home meets their needs, 75% say it was a good decision, and 45% wish they moved sooner. Only 19% say they should have waited.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The frenzied housing market where buyers must act quickly and compete against multiple bidders prompts conversations about buyer’s remorse, but of those who successfully closed on a home during the pandemic, more than two-thirds say they found happiness, according to a survey by HarrisX sponsored by realtor.com.
Of 1,000 homeowners who purchased a home during the pandemic (March 26, 2020, to April 7, 2021), 71% feel buying was a good decision and 75% say their new home meets their needs.
“Most of us spent more time at home during the pandemic than ever before, so it’s no surprise that it changed what many people want from their homes and neighborhoods, and created a greater sense of urgency to find a home that satisfied those needs,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com. “With the number of available homes for sale in short supply, buyers didn’t have many choices over the past year – or a lot of time to consider their options in a very competitive market. However, as our survey shows, pandemic buyers generally feel good about the choices they made; and while the homebuying process itself is stressful, new homeowners feel their new homes meet their needs and do not regret the choices they made.”
Finding happiness in a new home
- 55% had a new home that is exactly what they need for working or schooling from home
- More than 70% felt “happy”
- 45% wish they had moved sooner
- 19% say they should have waited
Not rushed, on-budget and no regrets
- 75% of new homeowners surveyed were planning to buy before the onset of COVID
- 25% decided to purchase a home because of the pandemic
In many regions, pandemic buyers had to do more of their home search virtually and make quick decisions. As a result, buyer’s remorse could have been a common outcome.
Despite the frenzy, however, buyers have few regrets when it comes to how quickly they made their purchase and how much they paid. Less than one-third said they wished they’d spent more time on the home search, and nearly half (48%) did not feel rushed or pressured into making a home-buying decision. A majority also didn’t feel as if they overpaid, with 61% saying the purchase price of their new home was either at or under their original budget.
Prioritization key in a fast-paced market
With a lack of inventory and quick home sales, buyers had to move quickly, but they often had to compromise their priorities. Trade-offs are inevitable even when inventory isn’t tight, and part of the process, especially for first-time buyers who don’t have equity from a previous home sale to use as a down payment.
“Buying a home is the biggest financial decision most people make and, while there’s pressure to move more quickly, especially today, it’s not a decision you want to make lightly,” says Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at realtor.com. “Nothing in life is perfect, and a new home is no exception, so compromises are always part of the buying process.”
Holbert suggest that buyers start with their budget and then move on to priorities. “Is it square footage, number of bedrooms, outdoor space or location? Once you have an idea of what’s most important, you’re ready to make confident decisions.”
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