A house may be the largest asset you’ll ever own. Between buying a home and selling it, it's important to make smart decisions.
There are common regrets (and non-regrets) homeowners have about maintaining a home. Check out this list to make more informed choices as a current or future homeowner.
What homeowners regret
1. Buying a home that’s too big The thought of a big house is exciting. And while buying one has its perks, many homeowners wish they had chosen a smaller home. Here’s when to know it’s a good time to downsize.
Just because you get approved for a home doesn’t mean you can comfortably afford it. There are plenty of hidden costs, more than just the cost of the house and the potential monthly mortgage payment. Additional expenses include property taxes and basic upkeep, plus emergency costs and surprise assessments.
2. Buying a home in the wrong location Location is one thing you can’t change. But it’s not uncommon for homeowners to buy a nice house for a great price in the wrong location and have regrets later on, because of how close it is to the highway or how far their commute is.
3. Buying a home too quickly The home-buying process can be long and time-consuming. If you hope to buy a home before your new job starts or baby is born, you may settle for a house that you eventually regret buying. If you can afford to be patient, you may find a better house for a more affordable price.
Decisions homeowners don’t regret
4. Updating the kitchen Kitchens have evolved over time into gathering spaces where families and friends come together to make great memories. Kitchen renovations can increase your home’s resale value and boost its appeal to buyers. If you invest in a $15,000 kitchen update, you can enjoy a payoff of 92% when you decide to sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine.
5. Adding an outdoor living space An outdoor living space like a deck, patio or screened-in porch can help you maximize your existing yard. Homeowners, especially those with smaller homes, enjoy the increased communal living space. Compared to other renovations, outdoor living space additions are also typically affordable.
6. Finishing the basement If you don’t have a finished basement, transforming your underground space into a home gym, playroom or recreation room can be a good idea. Take your basement up another notch by adding another bathroom, if you have the plumbing in place.
7. Hiring an inspector You aren’t required to hire a home inspector when you buy a home. But doing so, and knowing how to read the inspection report, can save you money and stress later on. An inspector can identify major and minor issues with a new home, helping you make a more confident buying decision and avoid surprise repairs in the future.
The average cost of a home inspector is $315, according to HomeAdvisor. Most homeowners believe dishing out the extra cash for an inspection was worth it.
Another important part of owning a home? Getting the right insurance. Here are 20 questions about homeowners insurance you may be too embarrassed to ask.
Image: Brad Wilson
Get essential money news & money moves with the Easy Money newsletter.
Free in your inbox each Friday.