Four Millennials Explain why they Regret Buying a Home

There's a new article from CNBC which says that 70% of Millenials who bought a home regret their purchase.

This isn't exactly true, as the underlying survey asked Millennials if the have regrets about there purchase (which is different than regretting it.)

Nonetheless, some Millennials do regret buying their home. I was interested in the reason why. If you're a Millennial who is on the fence between buying vs. renting, or just assumed buying was the best choice without considering whether you should be a buyer or a renter, consider what these folks have to say:

1. "Holy Shit, I Just Bought Someone Else's Problem"

After spending the first night at my house, on a mattress among several open boxes labeled "essentials". Outside, the bus began to accelerate after stopping at the stop sign. The house vibrated and the windows shook gently.
I thought to myself, "Holy shit, I just bought someone else's problem. 
My biggest issue is insulation during the winter. My house isn't even 1700 sq/ft, but the colder winter months cost me $180 in gas heating. Where as my friend's house costs $150, but her house is twice the size of mine.
The house is nearly 80 years old, and it has a lot of problems I thought I'd have time to work on, but truth is life has only gotten busier and it's easier to choose overtime over home improvement.

2. Houses are a Lot of Work - Even To Sell

I regret buying due to the amount of work required to maintain. Additionally, I still live in my first home, and I'm hesitant to sell due to the amount of work I need to put into it to make it presentable.

3. Turns Out Home Inspectors Can't See Through Walls

Millennial here, bought my house at the end of last year. Man what a craphole it is turning out to be. Had a proper inspection done but the real problems inspectors cannot detect (read: they cannot see through walls).
Turns out the owners didn't disclose major basement water issues that they clearly tried to cover up which needs to be fixed via an $10,000 internal drain tile system. Oh and the roof leaked the winter we bought the home even though the inspector said it had at least 5 more years left on it. There goes $6000. Our neighbor on one side sucks and has two loud ass dogs that never shutup.
The detatched garage has no gutters which causes water to seep in when it rains hard. I dunno, some things you just can't plan for but if I could do it again my gut says to just buy a nice condo to build equity with and eventually rent out when I'm ready to purchase an actual home.

4. I Had No Idea Replacing a Roof Would Cost $10,000

My house is fine. Not the location I absolutely love but bought it when the market was down and have hella equity now, so that’s cool.
However, I had no earthly idea what home maintenance was like. Luckily we’ve been able to basically scrape by getting necessary work done without using debt to cover it so far, but it’s beyond what I ever imagined. For that reason alone 0/10 do not recommend.

I do regret buying this place but I think I’m sort of not cut out for homeownership. And it’s stuff that just happens, loooots of water damage that we couldn’t have foreseen. Old wooden deck went out, roof needed replaced, odds and ends everywhere that needed done. It’s expensive. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined replacing a roof would cost $10,000 or fixing basement plumbing would cost $3,000.
Also time consuming. Cleaning this place, yard work, and doing the maintenance on it is no joke. I spend hours a day just trying to keep up around here. My house is only 1600 sq ft with a 1/3 acre lot and it’s insane the amount of work it takes.

For the curious, here are the results of the study's survey:

  • I have no regrets (32%)
  • Costly to maintain (20%)
  • Realized there was damage after moving in (20%)
  • Space doesn’t work well (19%)
  • Should have put down more money from the start (19%)
  • The space doesn’t work well for my family (19%)
  • I feel stuck in one place (18%)
  • Homeownership is too much responsibility (14%)
  • I am stretched too thin financially (13%)
  • My home was not a good financial investment (13%)
  • I don’t like the neighborhood (11%)
  • I didn’t realize building an addition would be so expensive (8%)

In conclusion, most Millennials who regret purchasing their home were either shell shocked by regular, ordinary maintenance, or they realized that the home was damaged only after moving in- a real risk when it comes to buying a house.

Remember, there are risks involved in home buying that don't exist for renters. There's no one-size-fits all right answer to the "buy or rent" question. The extra cost of renting isn't just wasted money: you're buying flexibility, freedom, and the security of knowing that it's someone else's problem if the water heater dies.

Buying is a great way to build equity and gain some stability... if you want to sign up for the commitment, the risk, and the work.

What kind of person are you- a buyer or a renter?

Note: If you're trying to save for a down payment, the first step is reigning in your expenses so your savings can start to grow. I'm a big fan of  Trim Bill Negotiator - it helps you ferret out and cancel out all those subscriptions you don't use, and its chat bot can even negotiate your Comcast bill for you!

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