Many homeowners and renters are feeling the sting of regret when it comes to their choices and experiences, but less so than five years ago—a progression in perspective as the effects of the housing crisis continue to fade, according to a new survey.
Forty-four percent of respondents in a recently released survey by Trulia look back on the decisions they made about their homes with remorse, a slighter share than the 46 percent who reported similar sentiments in the survey in 2013.
Regrets still exist, however—and on all sides. Twenty-one percent of respondents, importantly, believe a past blunder regarding housing is preventing them from moving on today. Forty-one percent of renter respondents wish they had bought a home, while 33 percent of homeowner respondents wish they had bought a bigger home.
Regrets appear to be fueled by uninformed decisions—in fact, 15 percent of homeowner respondents and 14 percent of renter respondents wish they had more information prior to choosing the home they did. Regrets seem tied to timing, as well: 84 percent of respondents who moved into their current home before or in 2012 were happy they did not buy a home, compared to 57 percent of those who moved into their current home after 2012.
A shocking 71 percent of those aged 18 to 34, in addition, harbor regret about the home-buying process, or their home in general—a sign there is an opportunity for further education—compared to 28 percent of those aged 65 and older. Those aged 18 to 34, however, hold the most positive perceptions of homeownership of all the generations.
The survey also uncovered a link between income and regret, with 50 percent of households earning $100,000 or more yearly having regrets, compared to 44 percent of households overall and 40 percent of households earning less than $50,000 yearly. For those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more, not buying a bigger home is the most common regret, followed by not making a larger down payment.
Remorse, overall, is largely related to financial missteps, and reflected in current views on housing. Sixty-two percent of respondents believe affordability has gone down since 2012, and 26 percent believe it has gone down considerably. Careful attention to the numbers, according to the survey, will be key to avoiding future mistakes.

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Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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