Nearly everyone’s felt it before, but it’s usually a cheap and simple fix that involves returning the offensive purchase. But with a new home, you can’t just hand back the receipt and get a refund – once it’s yours, it’s yours, at least until you decide to sell.
It can be avoided, however. Follow this checklist to make sure you never feel that familiar pang of regret after you walk away with a new home.
1. Have you see the house more than once?
You might be able to get away with this if you’re lucky, but for added confidence it’s always a good idea to check out the potential home multiple times. See it during the day, but also try to see it at other times too – maybe the light in the morning comes through the bedroom and blinds you. You’ll notice things that you didn’t notice the first time, things you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t taken your time. It’s a competitive market, and it’s normal to be worried that the home might be snatched out from under you if you don’t act fast enough, but in the long run it’s better to be simply outbid than to burden yourself with a purchase just for the sake of beating someone to the punch. That being said…
2. Have you seen absolutely everything?
Walking into the living room and glancing about the rest of the house may seem reasonable if you’re on a tight schedule, but it isn’t going to give you the right impression of the house. Walk through every room at your own pace, taking every detail in. Visit the attic or the basement and notice everything. Tour the garage, and then park your car in it to make sure there’s enough room. Take a look at the surrounding landscaping, and ask if there’s an included maintenance crew or if you’ll be mowing yourself. This could be a place you end up living in for a very long time – don’t write anything off as unnecessary.
3. Are you just trying to win?
Make sure you aren’t going into a bidding war for all the wrong reasons. Be positive that the place you’re vying for is everything you’re looking for, and if it isn’t, stop. Take a deep breath. A bidding war is a quick way to get a house well over the listing price, and you don’t want to end up going over budget on a house that you have second thoughts about.