Biggest regrets of first-time buyers

By Kelly Leighton | Jan. 31, 2019 | 2 min. read

Settling for a house that was too small is the top regret for most first-time homebuyers.

According to, baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials all agreed that their first home was not large enough, and it’s their biggest regret of first-time homeownership. The second biggest regret was underestimating how much homebuying requires and the third was not saving enough money before buying their property.

Yet, despite regrets, the top reason first-time buyers chose their home, across generations by a wide margin, was because it fit their budget. Sixty-seven percent of boomers, 61 percent of Generation X and 48 percent of millennials all cited this factor when it came to choosing their home. Again, for all three generations, the neighborhood and “move-in readiness” were the other top two influences they considered before purchasing.

However, buyers were generally prepared, but maybe not prepared enough, for additional expenses that may occur. More than half of first-time buyers (52 percent) reported they planned financially for additional maintenance for their homes in the first year. The biggest expense was new appliances (16 percent), followed by a replaced roof (13 percent) and a replaced furnace or air conditioner (11 percent). Forty-six percent of first-time buyers reported they had not budgeted enough for these, while 16 percent were on par with what they had saved. And 38 percent reported they had saved more than they spent.

Despite the hiccups that come along with buying their first home, the majority of respondents, regardless of age, said they were either mostly or completely satisfied with their first home purchase.

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