Don't let buyer's remorse take the joy out of home purchase

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Buyer's remorse is a feeling of regret after purchasing a big-ticket item - such as a house. It usually results from feelings of choosing the wrong one, spending too much or not enough, or settling for something less than what one really wanted.

Here some suggestions for preventing buyer's remorse in a home purchase.

1. Don't go big or small, just go right. It might be nice to have lots of space, but think about what rooms you will use now and down the road a bit. If you buy too big a home, you might regret the cost of cooling and heating, or time for cleaning. If you economize too much, you might feel cramped. Follow your heart, listen to your head, and buy what's right for you.

2. Don't let yourself get boxed in. Think about the home's layout, especially if you plan to stay for a while. How will you use and enjoy the space now and in the future? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a large tiled and screened in porch overlooking that lovely lagoon? Will the current floor plan easily accommodate such modifications or additions?

3. Ask yourself what's missing among the features you want. For example, hardwood floors throughout the house might be preferable to carpeting - they look nicer, they are easier to maintain, and they are healthier than carpet (e.g., they don't trap the allergens like carpeting does). And what a difference an updated kitchen makes!

4. Carefully consider luxuries that are nice but costly. In the heat of the Lowcountry, cooling off in your own pool sounds like the way to go. However, opening, maintaining and closing a pool is costly, time-consuming and might create numerous safety issues - all of which one might really regret.

5. Stay away from the fads. A kitchen island that takes up half the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, towering vaulted ceilings, and flashy paint colors might be fashionable now. But beware! If you buy a trendy house, you might regret it if it's not practical or if styles change.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com, RealEstateFive.com, SunCityOpenHouses247.com

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