The Definitive Guide to Buying Your First Home

This is the No. 1 thing buyers regret about purchasing a home

Still from CNBC's "The Deed: Chicago"
Still from CNBC's "The Deed: Chicago"

Maybe you should think twice about that tiny house.

More than half of all buyers have regrets about their purchase of a home, Trulia reports, and the No. 1 mistake buyers feel like they made is choosing the wrong size. Forty-two percent of those polled by the real estate site say that they picked a place to live that was either too large (9 percent) or too small (33 percent).

Almost the exact same number of renters, 41 percent, "wish they had bought instead."

Twenty-six percent of buyers also wish they had done either less or more remodeling.

While it's easy to return a pair of shoes you bought online, houses are harder to trade in when you realize you're dissatisfied with the size. And owning is so expensive that many who would like to make a change find that they're stuck. According to Trulia, "one in five Americans say a housing decision they made in the past is holding them back."

That's why some experts advise against buying a home in the first place.

"I bought a house when I was 30 years old," self-made millionaire and Grant Cardone tells CNBC. Looking back, "I would never buy one."

Houses are "traps that prevent people from ever having enough," Cardone writes on his blog. Homeownership is less like "the American dream" and "more like the American nightmare where people can't move, don't ever truly own and must continue to spend."

That thinking may be becoming more common. For over a decade, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies' detailed and comprehensive 2017 State of the Nation's Housing report, fewer and fewer Americans have been buying homes. That's also in part because prices in many markets have continued to go up but wages have not. In 2016, researchers found, "the homeownership rate fell to 63.4 percent, marking the 12th consecutive year of declines."

But renters have been hit hard, too. In coastal cities especially, rent has gotten so expensive that GOP Representative Jason Chaffetz said even members of Congress need help making ends meet. He said that "a $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate" per month. Overall, according to research by Harvard University, almost 40 million Americans "live in housing they cannot afford."

If you are content in your current housing situation, you may be one of the lucky few.

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