Some Homeowners Regret Pandemic Purchases


A number of people who bought homes during the bidding wars – often foregoing inspections and making offers sight-unseen – are discovering problems with the property.

NEW YORK – Some homeowners who bought their homes during the pandemic say they are starting to feel some buyer’s remorse, especially those who bought their homes sight unseen.

“I feel lied to and ripped off,” Mikhekla Hunnicutt told NewsNation.

Hunnicutt, a first-time homebuyer, bought her home in St. Louis in October 2020. Not long after moving in with her husband, they started having major plumbing issues.

“Toilet paper, sewage,” she said. “Anytime we would run the laundry, the amount of water coming from the laundry machine would force what was in the pipes back up into the house.”

She said the inspection prior to the purchase of their home found problems with a sewer pipe underneath the house. The previous homeowners agreed to fix it, but Hunnicutt said the work wasn’t done properly. Hunnicutt said she feels angry.

“I’m also very tired,” she said. “This has been dragging on for a couple of years now. And I’m very frustrated by it. I had to take out a large loan to get the repairs done.”

Hunnicutt isn’t the only one feeling this way.

A Zillow survey on pandemic homebuyers found three out of four buyers in 2020 and 2021 have at least one regret about their home purchase. With homes quickly getting snatched off the market, more than 12 million Americans were quick to buy homes during the pandemic. Now, many feel they are paying the price.

Kay Kingsman, who bought her first home in Portland, Oregon, in August 2021, said she felt swept up with everything at the time of purchasing, but on move-in day, she said there were already problems with the house.

“I noticed the worst smell of my life,” Kingsman said. “When I stepped in, it was overwhelming like cat urine. Everything was just really dirty and like grimy, to the point where it was hard to believe someone had lived in this house. They also had to shut off the water for the downstairs bathroom because the toilet was just draining water out of the bottom.”

Kingsman said she was the first in her family to be able to buy a house, but said she has mixed feelings about the experience.

“I’m still very proud of myself that I did it, but I am disappointed that I feel kind of taken advantage of,” she said.

A study by Redfin found nearly two-thirds of homebuyers made offers on homes they never even saw in person.

Tarek El Moussa, an entrepreneur, real estate expert and investor, joined “Morning in America” to offer some tips on how to avoid home issues.

El Moussa said knowing what is being purchased when entering a real estate transaction is important. He explained that the problem with both Hunnicutt and Kingsman wasn’t that they bought their homes during the pandemic, but that they didn’t have correct representation.

“They didn’t find major issues with that property, which they could have found through a home inspection,” he said.

El Moussa said there isn’t really a way around spending money on repairs, especially when you’re dealing with plumbing issues. He said a licensed, bonded contractor who knows exactly what they’re doing needs to be hired.

“When the seller agreed to do those repairs, they should have had it in writing that it was done by a licensed, bonded contractor and that repair should have been warrantied,” he said.

If El Moussa was a homebuyer today, he said he would look for properties that have been on the market for more than 60 days and have had price reductions over the last couple of months. He explained that those are signs that the owner is a motivated seller.

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