Real Estate

Have Homebuyer’s Remorse? 5 Practical Things You Can Do

By Chelsea Levinson
homebuyer's remorse

Feeling the pang of homebuyer’s remorse? You’re far from alone. In 2022, 78% of homeowners said they had regrets with buying their homes in the last year. And for those who bought during the pandemic, a whopping 87% expressed regrets.  

It’s not hard to see why. Home prices are still significantly higher than they were even just three years ago. Mortgage rates are now consistently over 6%, and further rate hikes may be on the horizon. Plus, inflation and increasing economic uncertainty continue to put further financial pressure on homeowners.

In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of homeowners are so concerned with inflation that they’re delaying maintenance on their properties. Unfortunately, putting off important home maintenance today could create even more expensive problems tomorrow.

So what’s a regretful homeowner to do? We’ve got a few ideas. Let’s jump into it!

Why Do New Homeowners Get Buyer’s Remorse?

First, let’s talk a little bit about buyer’s remorse. It’s common to experience regret after making a purchase. Remember that watch you swore you couldn’t live without, but then never wore? 

But what if you regret a house, one of the biggest purchases you’re likely to make in your lifetime? It turns out, homebuyer’s remorse is incredibly common. Here are some of the usual reasons homeowners cite for feeling regrets:

  • Homeownership is more expensive than anticipated: 49%
  • Unexpected issues with the home: 47%
  • Too much maintenance and upkeep: 47%
  • Compromised too much on the new home: 46%

As you can see, most of these home buyer regrets are connected to money. Repairs, maintenance, and upkeep are expensive, and unexpected issues can easily upend your budget. 

5 Things You Can Do for Homebuyer’s Remorse

Homebuyer’s remorse can feel overwhelming, but it’s best to avoid making rash decisions. Remember: Just because you feel regret doesn’t mean you need to immediately sell your home! 

Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you have options. Speaking of which, let’s talk about a few of those options now.

1. Re-evaluate Your Budget

Take a good, hard look at your monthly budget and see if there’s anywhere you can cut back on spending. Then you could put any savings generated towards regular home costs and maintenance.

It’s recommended to set aside 1% to 4% of your home’s value for yearly maintenance. The closer you can get to this goal, the better. 

Maybe you’ve got monthly subscription boxes piling up that you’re not really using. Or maybe you’re ready to forgo fancy brunch a few times a month, opting to host a potluck at your new home instead. 

If you’ve already made all possible budget changes and you’re still struggling, it might be time to try raising your income. You can do that through finding a side gig, asking for a pay increase at your current job, or finding a higher paying job elsewhere.   


  • Simple and straightforward way to save money
  • Costs nothing 
  • Many budget cuts can be made without sacrificing lifestyle


  • There’s only so far you can cut spending before you run out of “fat”

2. Try Renting Out Extra Space

Do you have extra space that you could potentially rent out? Maybe you have an extra bedroom, an inlaw suite, or a basement that could be converted into a studio apartment. 

These extra spaces could translate to money in the bank; money that could be used for home costs and maintenance. And in locations where there’s a high demand for short-term rentals, you might even be able to earn a sizable side income. 

However, if you have homebuyer’s remorse and are looking into your options, it’s important to thoroughly understand the tax implications of renting out parts of your home. And you should always comply with all local rules and ordinances (including any rules at your HOA!) if you plan to go this route. Be sure to check with your town on rental laws, and talk to a trusted financial adviser before proceeding. 


  • Earn extra income while keeping your home and earning equity
  • Doesn’t increase debts


  • Could be uncomfortable sharing your home
  • Taxes and local regulations may make it harder to earn money renting
  • There are costs associated with renting out your space (furniture, amenities, maintenance, cleaning, etc.)

3. Weigh Getting a HELOC or Home Equity Loan

If you’ve maxed out what you can accomplish with budgeting and earning extra income, you might consider tapping into your home’s equity with a HELOC or a home equity loan. Here are some basics on each option.   


A HELOC is a revolving line of credit like a credit card, where your credit limit is tied to your home’s equity. And like with a credit card, you can make purchases, pay them back, and repeat. 

For a set period of time called the “draw period,” typically between 5 and 10 years, you’ll only pay interest on your purchases. After that period ends, you’ll be responsible for paying back the principal and interest. 

The nice thing about HELOCs is they’re flexible. You can make purchases as you need, and you’ll only pay interest on what you spend. 

The catch? HELOCs have variable rates, making repayment and budgeting a bit more unpredictable. 


  • Tap into your home’s equity without selling 
  • Flexibility of a revolving line of credit


  • Must meet lender requirements (credit score, income, debt-to-income) to qualify
  • Variable interest rates can make budgeting unpredictable  
  • Increases your debt  
  • Adds an extra monthly payment
  • Must pay closing costs 

Home Equity Loan 

A home equity loan is a second mortgage that’s secured by your equity. You receive the funds in one lump sum, and then pay them back on a set schedule, typically at a fixed rate. This is similar to repaying your primary mortgage, except it’s an extra payment you’ll make each month on top of your mortgage payment.  


  • Tap into your home’s equity without selling
  • Repayment is straightforward thanks to a lump sum and fixed interest 


  • Must meet lender requirements (credit score, income, debt-to-income) to qualify 
  • Increases your debt
  • Adds an extra monthly payment 
  • Must pay closing costs

4. Or, Consider a Residential Sale-Leaseback 

With a residential sale-leaseback, you sell your house to a company and convert your equity into cash, then rent the home back from the company for a set period of time. 

This allows you to get financial relief when you need it the most, without having to leave the home you love during an economically uncertain time. 

Some residential sale-leaseback companies even allow you to pocket any appreciation in your home’s value during the lease term.

Worried about qualifying? Take heart! Residential sale-leaseback companies may have softer qualification standards than what you’d encounter with traditional options like refinancing. There’s often no hard credit score or debt-to-income requirements. 

For those who want to convert their home equity to cash but can’t qualify for more traditional solutions, a residential sale-leaseback may be a solid option.  


  • Convert your equity to cash without moving
  • No worrying about current mortgage rates
  • Could potentially accumulate more equity during lease term 
  • Softer qualification standards than traditional refinance options 


  • You’re selling your home
  • May have less control over what you can do with your property

5. Remember: You Could Still Refinance If Rates Fall

If all else fails, keep in mind that your current mortgage rate doesn’t necessarily need to be your rate forever. If rates drop significantly at some point, you might weigh refinancing your mortgage. With a refinance, you’re essentially trading in your current mortgage for one with a better rate.

In some cases, refinancing could help you save hundreds on your monthly mortgage payment. Plus, you can typically cash out your equity.

Of course, you’d need to qualify for the refinance. And remember that if you refinance, you’ll have to pay closing costs again. Closing costs can add up to thousands of dollars, so make sure to run the numbers to see how long it will take you to break even. 

Your break-even point is when you’ll start actually saving money, after considering the costs of refinancing. So if the refinance closing costs are $10,000 and you save $500 per month on your monthly mortgage payment, it will take you 20 months to break even. 

With that, it’s always worth considering how long you plan to stay in the home before choosing whether or not to refinance. 


  • Take advantage of mortgage rate dips
  • Cash out equity while still keeping your home
  • Save money on monthly payments
  • No extra payments 


  • Must meet lender requirements (credit score, income, debt-to-income) to qualify
  • Must pay closing costs
  • Not a great option when rates are high

Key Takeaways

Homebuyer’s regret is extremely common, affecting 78% of homeowners in 2022. The top reasons homeowners feel remorse? Affordability and maintenance costs. If you’re a homeowner feeling the pinch of financial regret, you’re in good company — and you’ve got options! 

Consider re-examining your monthly budget, or renting out some extra space to help offset your housing costs. Alternatively, you can explore your options with HELOCs, home equity loans, residential sale-leasebacks, or refinancing. 

Whatever you do, you’ll want to prioritize protecting your biggest investment. If you have homebuyer’s remorse, speak with a trusted financial adviser to learn more about your options. 


  1. Business Wire.  
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. FreddieMac.
  4. International Monetary Fund.
  5. State Farm Insurance.
Real Estate
Chelsea Levinson
Written by Chelsea Levinson
Freelance Writer, Juris Doctor, and Mortgage Compliance Expert
Reviewed by Meela Imperato
Senior Director of Brand and Content, Real Estate & Finance Journalist

This article is published for educational and informational purposes only. This article is not offered as advice and should not be relied on as such. This content is based on research and/or other relevant articles and contains trusted sources, but does not express the concerns of EasyKnock. Our goal at EasyKnock is to provide readers with up-to-date and objective resources on real estate and mortgage-related topics. Our content is written by experienced contributors in the finance and real-estate space and all articles undergo an in-depth review process. EasyKnock is not a debt collector, a collection agency, nor a credit counseling service company.