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JamesLondon

Have I Got A Dose Of Buyer's Remorse?

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I am a long-time visitor to the website but finally posted because I am experiencing a healthy dose of buyer's remorse before I've even bought a property and don't know whether to go through with it! (Gentle) comments or feedback would be very welcome.

So, our status: my wife and I are in the process of buying our first property. Up until now we have rented but now really feel the need to get our own (larger) place. A few weeks ago, after seeing 15 or so properties, we put an offer on a place and then had our improved offer accepted.

Initially we were ecstatic, or rather trying not to get too excited. I felt there was a reasonable chance of another buyer coming in so I have been in a whirlwind of sorting out surveys/loan etc. All that is now progressing fine.

But something hit me towards the end of last week, pretty much as soon as I had any breathing space. (Because up until then I was just focused on filling in about 12 forms, finding a surveyor, verifying ID and salary for the bank etc. - bearing in mind this was all new to me!) So as soon as I didn't have to think about the paperwork any more I started to have cold feet...

It started with a visit to the property - when I started to note all the less attractive features of it that I think we kind of ignored first time round (the garden is bothered by traffic noise and it's nearer to an unattractive main road and busy junction than I would like). Also the walk to the house from the station is pretty grotty and I have to do that twice a day. Sure, once you get to the house - which is kind of 'on the edge' of where everything turns nice - it's a different story. But the location is very much one that can be viewed from two sides: on the edge of lovely parkland and greenery or on the edge of a busy junction and throughfare.

I'll just say that it is very weird to me how big an ambush these feelings have been. When my wife and I left the property after our viewing our reaction was "We should buy it." Stronger than our reaction has been with any other property we've seen. Much as I tried not to, I spent the next few days thinking about the property and looking at its photos. So we really were very enthusiastic.

But now I have all these mixed emotions and am wondering whether to call the whole thing off. I guess a part of these feelings are driven by a degree of sadness at changing and leaving the area we currently live, which we both like.

I am really looking for advice or thoughts from anyone who has had a similar experience...how they dealt with it and decided what to do.

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Everyone has second thoughts about a major commitment. I'm sure over the years a fair few weddings have been called off at the last minute :D

Go and have another look at the property. Do the walk to the station again. Go on a rainy day. Visit the local corner shop and see what they sell - nice bread or Diamond White. You will either overcome your (perfectly normal) hesitance or confirm that you have accepted in haste and will repent in leisure.

You will get a lot of views about prices but only one matters right now - the cost of buying and subsequent selling. Stamp duty (if any) plus legal costs and the cost to sell if you change your mind - 2% EA fees and legal costs plus removals. Probably 10 to 15 grand for most people. That's the figure to think about - don't confuse yourself with property prices. If you're happy at that stage then the longer term potential is an issue. I think prices will fall but over 25 years that might not matter to you.

(edit) - if you want to look round and don't want the EA to know why make up an excuse of measuring for the curtains/carpets etc.

Edited by non frog

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I noticed that your regrets are not related to the price of the house - if you were worried you had paid too much then possibly we could have assisted with some online price comparisons. But since you're only concerned about the location and disadvantages of the house and it's surrounding area only you can make the final decision.

Just remember that probably most people have an element of doubt creep in when they are making the biggest financial committment of their lives. You just need to be very rational and logical - visit the house again if necessary, write down all the pros and cons and think carefully about which are important to you. Since you looked at lots of houses and this is the only one you really liked, it must have some redeeming factors to it.

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Everyone has second thoughts about a major commitment. I'm sure over the years a fair few weddings have been called off at the last minute :D

Go and have another look at the property. Do the walk to the station again. Go on a rainy day. Visit the local corner shop and see what they sell - nice bread or Diamond White. You will either overcome your (perfectly normal) hesitance or confirm that you have accepted in haste and will repent in leisure.

You will get a lot of views about prices but only one matters right now - the cost of buying and subsequent selling. Stamp duty (if any) plus legal costs and the cost to sell if you change your mind - 2% EA fees and legal costs plus removals. Probably 10 to 15 grand for most people. That's the figure to think about - don't confuse yourself with property prices. If you're happy at that stage then the longer term potential is an issue. I think prices will fall but over 25 years that might not matter to you.

(edit) - if you want to look round and don't want the EA to know why make up an excuse of measuring for the curtains/carpets etc.

Cognitive dissonance, is highly likely with a major purchase. The best advice I was ever given is what does it feel like, (the house that is). Personally I would wait but that is my detached view, best wishes

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Many thanks for the thoughts and advice so far.

It's very true that my anxieties were not directly linked to price. Yes, I have had the occasional flicker of doubt about that too (and I'm guessing most house buyers do) but honestly the price doesn't seem *totally* out of whack for the area and the mortgage payments will be more than manageable. I guess the financial worry I have is that this is using up the majority of our savings - including a big chunk of stamp duty - and if we didn't like it we would be stuck or at least unable to move somewhere in the same bracket for a while. The property being in london makes me think prices are fairly solid but who knows really.

OK, so it seems like I need to make an action list to try to help determine what is natural anxiety that would come with any house purchase vs what are material concerns about the house:

1. Read up on cognitive dissonance :)

2. Talk to wife about 'cold feet' feeling. Haven't done this yet.

3. Arrange with the EA to visit the house again and have a good poke around.

4. Take wife, sit in garden for a bit, see if traffic bothers us (it's hard to tell from the road because obviously less of the noise gets into the garden).

5. Do the commute a couple more times and see how it feels.

6. Make a list of pros and cons and discuss with wife.

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Similar to my experience but you have got much further than me.

I was starting looking with my girlfriend in January after I decided that HPC was not going to be anytime soon so decided to buy and hope for thew best. I think I could survive the interest rate rises, tax hikes and job losses.

We found a nice little terraced cottage which was perfect for us, best location we could ever hope for in a beautiful hamlet not far from our places of work. I'm fairly certain we would have been very happy there. The only problem was with the price I couldn't see how the price of the property was justified. So I made a low offer which was rejected, then increased it to within 10% of the asking price and was rejected again. There was no way I was going to pay any more for the property even though we could afford it and we loved it.

At the time I was gutted for weeks, continuously arguing with myself whether to increase the offer. But now after all the evidence that seems to point to a house price crash relatively soon I am hugely relieved. If our offer had been accepted we would be moving in about now and I know I would be sh1tting myself thinking that I had made the wrong decision.

Luckily for me the misses allowed me to make the final decision and she is happy with the outcome too so it didn't cause huge arguments. I'd talk it over with her first. But I personally can see no sense in buying at the moment. Unless either you have loads of money and find the house of dreams or you really like losing your deposit and negative equity.

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Visit the local corner shop and see what they sell - nice bread or Diamond White.

I'd normally agree with this advice, but in London most corner shops will invariably sell Diamond White. Those in good areas will sell nice bread as well!

The the OP - I think that you really need to question if you need to move or not. The details given point to the fact that you are considering moving to a worse area than the one that you live in just to get a larger property. Do you need that extra space, and do you need to actually own it?

I am in a relatively similar situation in that I can afford to buy the type of house I would like in a 'lesser' area a couple of miles down the road from where I am now. The commute is longer and not as nice, and the area itself does not have the facilities that I enjoy currently. For me, that has been enough to make me wait a while longer as I cannot accept living in an area that I am not happy with. If prices don't go down in the next couple of years, then I may have to re-think, but I think that most people agree prices are unlikely to go up any more, so there should not be a case of 'missing the boat'.

In your case, you might move into the house, get used to the negatives really quickly and enjoy living there. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

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I'd normally agree with this advice, but in London most corner shops will invariably sell Diamond White. Those in good areas will sell nice bread as well!

The the OP - I think that you really need to question if you need to move or not. The details given point to the fact that you are considering moving to a worse area than the one that you live in just to get a larger property. Do you need that extra space, and do you need to actually own it?

I am in a relatively similar situation in that I can afford to buy the type of house I would like in a 'lesser' area a couple of miles down the road from where I am now. The commute is longer and not as nice, and the area itself does not have the facilities that I enjoy currently. For me, that has been enough to make me wait a while longer as I cannot accept living in an area that I am not happy with. If prices don't go down in the next couple of years, then I may have to re-think, but I think that most people agree prices are unlikely to go up any more, so there should not be a case of 'missing the boat'.

In your case, you might move into the house, get used to the negatives really quickly and enjoy living there. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

this feels like what im feeling - I currently live(rent) in a better area than I can afford to buy... but maybe I could get used to the less good area and just get on with it!

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Thanks Worried1 and others for some good insights.

I think we do honestly feel we need to move somewhere...apart from anything else we'd like to start a family. I would personally be ok moving into other rented accommodation but the general (if gentle) resumption of an upward trend in house prices in London meant we have focused very much on buying.

I'm a bit puzzled though as to why posters have said that they think there's a crash around the corner. Perhaps this is getting onto topics covered amply elsewhere, but I'm finding it hard to form the same level of certainty. At the very least, I guess my feeling has been that London property prices are (long-term) pretty well insulated?

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I think it's only fair that I post the conclusion to this affair...

Did the commute a couple of times and asked the wife to do the same. Then went back and reviewed (despite seller protestations), checked it out in detail again with wife, and decided that it wasn't right. Pulled out.

I have to say, having pulled out, we were totally, totally convinced that was the right decision. A big relief.

So OK, now I have a mortgage offer, a pile of liquidity and all I need is a few houses coming onto the market...

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things happen for a reason..well done..i have just bought for cash and for a fift of my savings so not too much of a worry.....good luck and i think right now is not the time to buy if you need a mortgage..

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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