But nationally, nearly 1 million regret their homebuying choice
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Where are homebuyers happiest, and why? LawnStarter reveals the answers to those questions and more in a large-scale New Homebuyer Happiness Index survey released today.
Among the 5,672 homebuyers surveyed, all who bought a home in 2019, Iowans expressed the greatest satisfaction with their new homes. They scored 86.6 on the Home Happiness Index. Wisconsin, Nebraska, Alabama and North Dakota were the other states in the top five.
The national Happiness Index number was 81, showing that a large majority of homebuyers were happy with their purchase.
But many homebuyers nationally expressed regret about their decisions. More than one in seven homebuyers (15.3%) say they regret the purchase. And 11.6% said if they knew at the time of purchase what they know now, they would not buy the same home. Extrapolated nationally to the 6 million home purchases made in the United States in 2019, that means 925,000 buyers regret their purchase and 678,000 wouldn't buy the same house.
What makes for a happy homebuyer? The results:
- Bigger is better. Happiness rises steadily with the number of bedrooms: People with five or more bedrooms are 17% happier with their purchase than those with just one bedroom. Square footage matters, too. Those with homes of 3,000 square feet or more reported the greatest happiness. Those who bought tiniest homes expressed the smallest amount of happiness.
- But paying more does not lead to happiness. The unhappiest homeowners were at either end of the price scale: Those who paid more than $900,000 for a house, and those who paid less than $100,000 were both significantly less happy. The happiest homeowners were those in between, who paid between $100,00 and $900,000.
- People are willing to make significant sacrifices for their homes, with 23% saying they took on a second part-time job, and 11% saying they got another full-time job. But significant sacrifices didn't equate with happiness. Those who had to take on a second, full-time job to pay for the home were especially disgruntled.
- Wyoming homebuyers were least happy, scoring 68.7 on the index. The other least-happy homebuyers were from the District of Columbia, Alaska, Montana and New Mexico.
"They say you can't buy happiness, and that can be true even on the most-expensive purchase some people make," said Logan Freedman, director of research for LawnStarter.com. "While most recent homebuyers are happy with their purchase, nearly 1 million regret their choices. We found that the less people know about the homebuying process, the unhappier they were with the outcome. So when it comes to buying a home, knowledge isn't just power — it's happiness."
The survey was conducted from Dec. 22, 2019, through Jan. 22, 2020, from 5,672 respondents who purchased homes in 2019.
Logan Freedman, Research Editor, LawnStarter.com