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14 Best Reasons Not to Wait for Your Forever Home

By Christy Bieber - Oct 20, 2022 at 11:00AM
A two-story brick home.

14 Best Reasons Not to Wait for Your Forever Home

A forever home isn't all it's cracked up to be

Many people dream of buying their forever home, the house they plan to live in for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, if you choose to put off purchasing a home until you find your vision of perfection, it could end up being a big mistake. Here are 14 reasons you may not want to make that choice when buying a property of your own.

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1. It will likely take much longer to buy a home

It can take a lot more time and cost a lot more money to buy a forever home rather than just buy a house. You could, ultimately, put off the purchase of your home for months, even years, as you continue saving up and searching for the perfect property. This delay could come at personal and financial costs, as you won't begin reaping the benefits of homeownership for many years after you could have.

ALSO READ: Is 2022 a Good Time to Buy a Home?

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Pretty single-family house with a turquoise door.

2. The process of purchasing will feel far more frustrating

Putting a lot of pressure on yourself to find the perfect home can take the fun out of buying a property. You may pass up plenty of perfectly good houses only to find you're never satisfied because you're too focused on finding something that will work for decades. The stress of seeking perfection can lead you to make bad choices during the homebuying process.

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Real estate agent talking to a couple and showing them a property on a tablet computer.

3. You could miss out on property appreciation

Property values could go up as you wait to find (and be able to pay for) your forever home. While waiting, you could miss out on owning an asset that could grow your net worth.

You could be far better off getting on the property ladder, watching your current home's value increase, and then selling it at a profit to generate money to buy a "better" home if you still want one.

ALSO READ: How to Start Investing in Real Estate: The Basics

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Keys sitting on top of mortgage paperwork stamped Paid.

4. You'll take longer to start building equity

The sooner you buy a home, the sooner you can start paying off your mortgage. As you do, you'll build equity and acquire a greater ownership share in a valuable asset.

Putting off purchasing a house until you find the one of your dreams will cost you months, maybe years, of payments that could be paying off your mortgage instead of going into your landlord's pocket.

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A pile of square pieces of paper with an interest rate written on each and one in the middle with a question mark on it.

5. Mortgage rates could go up while you wait

Mortgage rates have been climbing this year. And they will likely continue to rise for a while due to the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in an effort to fight inflation.

If you turn your nose up at every house that doesn't check all your boxes, you could miss out on a chance to borrow at today's rates. And that could mean paying much more in the future when you finally get ready to make your purchase.

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Jar full of cash and labeled Retirement.

6. You could end up carrying a mortgage into retirement

Many people pay off their mortgages over 30 years. If your forever home takes too long to materialize, you could find yourself still working on paying off your mortgage as a retiree. That would mean your limited retirement income won't go as far.

ALSO READ: Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement? You Might Regret That

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A relocating family is moving boxes into their new home.

7. It's hard to predict whether a home will really suit you forever

The downsides of delaying until you find a forever home might be worth it if you really do eventually find the perfect property to stay in for the rest of your life. But the reality is it's impossible to predict how your desires and circumstances will change over time.

What you think is your forever home might end up being a place you cannot imagine staying in indefinitely. So you could sacrifice a lot for nothing by waiting to find the perfect house and then finding out it's not right after all.

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Person using calculator while holding cash and looking at papers on a desk.

8. You could end up going over budget

When you're putting off homeownership in the hopes of finding a forever home, you could end up paying too much when you do finally identify a property that seems like a fit. There's a lot of pressure to come up with the cash to buy, especially if you've been looking for a long time or saving for years. But if you give in and make yourself house-poor by buying something at the top of your price range, you could regret it for years to come.

ALSO READ: How Much House Can I Afford?

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Building inspector checking exterior of building being sold.

9. You could end up paying more than the house is worth

If you think you have finally identified the perfect property, chances are you won't want to lose it -- especially if you've delayed your home purchase for a long time in search of that elusive forever house. But the fear of missing out could lead you to pay more than what the home is actually worth. If a bidding war happens or you make too high an offer to avoid losing out, you could find yourself underwater and owing more than your forever home is worth.

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Family standing in front of a house with a sold sign in the yard.

10. You could make bad decisions based on emotions

When you have the idea in your head that you'll buy a certain type of house, you could easily get carried away with your emotions and buy a property that doesn't really make sense. It's easy to lose sight of the big picture and, for example, focus on the beautiful kitchen rather than the bad school district or the cracked foundation.

You don't want to go into the transaction purely focused on finding the dream home you can live in forever. Instead, you should treat the purchase of your house as not only a financial decision but also an emotional one.

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A digital screen says Account Balance Zero.

11. Saving for your forever home could cause financial stress

Pushing yourself to save a huge down payment and afford large monthly mortgage payments could cause a lot of financial stress -- and interfere with other financial goals. The reality is that most people are better off with a starter home they can easily afford. You can move up to a forever home once your income increases and finances stabilize. But if you are committed to waiting for your forever home, you could push yourself to take on bigger costs before you're really ready.

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People standing in home with sold sign and boxes.

12. You could miss out on the good enough home

If you're waiting for the perfect property to come along, you could end up passing up lots of houses you would have been perfectly happy in. Those opportunities won't necessarily come back around. Your quest for the ideal home could mean you regret not buying a good enough house when you could have.

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Contemporary dining room interior.

13. You could end up trapped in a home that doesn't suit you well

If you've spent years searching and sacrificing to buy your forever home, you'll naturally feel a lot of pressure to actually live there forever. But you may discover after moving in that the house isn't right for you.

By then, you may have sunk so much time and money into finding it that you'll feel like you can't leave -- trapped in a house that's not a good fit for years, even decades.

ALSO READ: Is Relocating in Retirement the Right Choice for You?

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Person talking on phone in front of a fence with a sign hanging on it that says Room for Rent.

14. You may end up never owning a home at all

If things don't work out with your finances or you can't find a forever home, you could end up being a renter forever. Since homeowners have higher net worths, you may end up worse off financially because you put off the purchase in your quest for the perfect house. And if you had hoped to become a homeowner, you may wish you'd made different choices.

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Two adults and a child under a tiny roof in a home.

Don't set yourself up to be left with regrets

As you can see, waiting to buy a forever home may not be the best move for many reasons. Rather than putting off your purchase, consider whether you're in good financial shape to buy. If you are, start looking for a home that works for your life ASAP. You can always move later if you want to.

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