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Americans Struggling with Homebuyer’s Remorse, Housing Costs

Moving to a new home can be labeled a fresh start, a new chapter, or a change of scenery for many Americans. But for others, the process can be a major hassle and financial burden. The ever-challenging and, on occasion, lengthy experience can sometimes bring on doubts and even regrets. In a new study, All Star Home surveyed 1,000 Americans to learn about their moving habits and the obstacles that can come with them.

The study found more than 1 in 3—an estimated 36%—Americans have moved in the last three years, revealing the majority of those who have moved did so in 2020 during the pandemic housing boom.

According to many Americans, moving can be full of emotions and financial struggles. The hassle of packing up belongings, moving to a new place, and possibly even dealing with unexpected home repairs are reasons why some aren’t completely happy with their move.

Among homeowners who have moved in the last 3 years, roughly 1 in 5 regret doing so.

The top reasons why people regret moving (in order) include:

  1. Unexpected costs
  2. Missing their old neighborhood or city
  3. Missing their old home
  4. Wanting a bigger home
  5. Paying too much for their new place

The study found the average American spends an estimated $4,200 on moving costs, and that may be why 30% of respondents regret how much they spent on moving. While some people enjoy the convenience of hiring movers, some 54% of Americans chose not to. Among them, 23% regret not hiring professionals to help with their move.

Buying a home can not only be time consuming, but it also has a major impact on finances, affecting most homebuyers and those who choose to relocate. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of people regret how much they paid for their new home and 22% have buyer’s remorse. Among those who moved in the last few years, some 46% were first-time homebuyers and 35% bought a starter home. Others were ready for a challenge as 22% bought a fixer-upper, but now nearly 1 in 3 regret doing so.

The study also found that sometimes the spending doesn’t stop once you’ve bought your new home, with some 28% of Americans citing unexpected repair costs while moving. On average, they spent $4,000 on those unexpected expenses. With a competitive housing market, 15% waived the inspection for their new home. It may be a lesson to future homebuyers as nearly half (47%) who waived their home inspection regret it.

Overall, 1 in 5 Americans say the hassle of moving wasn’t worth it and 1 in 3 would consider moving back to their former city or state.

For Americans who haven’t moved in the last 3 years, 31% feel trapped in their current living situation due to high interest rates. Additionally, 79% believe buying a home is significantly more difficult in 2023 than previous years. Around half of Americans are considering moving to another state someday. Additionally, 1 in 3 plan to move within the next 3 years.

So, what is the main reason people are looking to pack up and leave? The reasons may vary, but the answer is simple: they want to buy a new home.

While moving can be a challenging process, homebuyer regrets will persist, but that doesn't necessarily mean buyers can't and won't find a home they're satisfied with.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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