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63% of millennial homeowners regret buying home: survey

Nearly half of all homeowners have buyer’s remorse, according to a new survey from Bankrate. While 44% of all homeowners have regrets, that number swells to 63% for millennial homeowners. It’s the highest proportion of any generation, and nearly double that of baby boomers – 35% of those aged 55-73 regret buying a home.

But what’s the source of their regret?

Homeowners identify the costs of owning a home as the primary source of their buyer’s remorse. Nearly 20% of homeowners said that unexpected maintenance and other hidden costs were their largest pain point. That number jumps to 25% among millennials.

“Buyer’s remorse can easily be avoided with adequate research and planning,” said Bankrate analyst Deborah Kearns. “Repairs and maintenance costs are something all homeowners face. Consumers should expect to set aside 1% of their home’s purchase price each year to keep in a savings account to cover these expenses. Budgeting early on can prevent dipping into emergency savings or going into debt to handle these added expenses.”

This Jan. 26, 2016 file photo shows a "For Sale" sign hanging in front of an existing home in Atlanta. Short of savings and burdened by debt, America's millennials are struggling to afford their first homes in the face of sharply higher prices in many of the most desirable cities. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

But unexpected costs aren’t the only reasons for regret. Homeowners also say that bad location, high mortgage payments, and buying the wrong size home can cause them to think differently about their purchase.

Despite these findings, the report shows that buying a home is still popular.

A whopping 79% of Americans still think that owning a home is the trademark of the American dream. That’s ahead of retirement, having a successful career, and owning a car.

Though a majority of Americans want to buy, more than half say they don’t have enough income to buy a home. Nearly half — 41% — say they can’t afford a down payment or closing costs. Other reasons include bad credit, and too much debt.

For millennials, the $1.5 trillion student loan debt crisis is preventing nearly three-quarters of millennials from hitting major milestones, like getting married or having children. Almost 35% of millennials have put off buying a home thanks to the burdens of student debt.

Kearns says you cannot expect to buy a home overnight, and need to start putting money aside as soon as you can.

“You have to spend time saving up,” she says. “Not only do you have your down payment and closing costs, but then you have all the other expenses that are hidden.”

Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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