If you’re a first-time Chicago home buyer, you might be anticipating all the great things about home ownership. Things like, the chance to build equity and control your own living space. But home ownership is a long-term commitment, and buyers can be under-prepared for the costs and responsibilities that come with it.

A 2018 study by Porch.com surveyed nearly 1,000 home buyers about their first-time home ownership experience. The survey sampled Boomers, Gen-X’ers and Millennials. Each generation shared similar regrets to varying degrees. Here are the top 4:

Not buying a big enough home. Baby Boomers, Gen-X’ers and Millennials listed this as their #1 regret. Boomers and Gen-X buyers seemed to feel more strongly about this issue than younger buyers.

Not saving enough money before buying a home. For Millennials, this regret was tied with #1, buying a home too small. Financial concerns appeared to impact Millennial home buyers somewhat more than their older cohorts.

Under-estimating the full costs of home ownership. All 3 generations were closely ranked on this one. Surprise home repairs, property tax increases and ongoing maintenance costs were the main culprits.

Not doing enough research. Interestingly, the percentage of respondents admitting to this one was relatively small for every age group, coming in at less than 10% each.

The takeaway is this: first-time buyers who gave these responses thought they were ready for home ownership, but were financially under-prepared for the market. In turn, it’s possible this caused them to buy homes that were smaller, older, and in need of more updating than they expected to face. Given the buyer competition for affordable homes in recent years, this isn’t too surprising.

What the survey doesn’t tell us, is what kind of market information or home buying advice these buyers received. Obtaining the guidance of first-time home buying experts can make a world of difference!

StartingPoint Realty – serving first-time home buyers since 2004!

StartingPoint Realty proudly serves first-time home buyers throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs. Get an introduction to home buying by attending our free home buying seminar! There’s no sales pressure and no obligation. Space is limited, so please register your choice of location and date to reserve your seat!  

Always feel welcome to contact us for help with your Chicago home buying questions!

Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
Phone: 847.348.1154

Email: RyanGable@startingpointrealty.com
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