But 92% would rather own than rent

The large majority of homeowners don’t envy their renter peers: Only 8% of homeowners wish they were renting instead, according to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report[1]

Still, homeowners do have some regrets – most notably the curse of unexpected repairs: 36% of homeowners wish they didn’t have to deal with unexpected repairs and maintenance. The next-biggest regret is the inability to relocate (27%), followed by the bane of too much yardwork (25%).

Almost three in four homeowners (72%) have at least one regret about their home, though rarely that it’s too big. Despite the tiny home craze and a trend toward downsizing, only 11% of homeowners think their house is too large.

Age plays a role, with 81% of younger homeowners (age 18 to 34) registering at least one regret, compared to 65% of homeowners older than 54. The biggest difference in regrets between those age groups is financial: 30% say their mortgage payment is too high, compared to 12% of older homeowners.

Younger homeowners also are more than twice as likely as their older counterparts to say they regret rushing the process of buying a home: 29% compared to 12%.

Children up the ante: More homeowners with children have housing regrets (79%) compared to homeowners who are childfree (69%) – but both groups are more satisfied than renters with each of those family make-ups.

In fact, renters[2] in general have more regrets. The biggest: 52% of renters wish they were building equity in their own home, equal to the share that said they wish they could customize their home to suit their needs.

Kathryn Courselle joined Zillow in March 2018 working to create survey data and comprehensive research to understand the demographic and housing patterns of buyers, sellers, renters, and homeowners. Before joining Zillow, she worked in institutional analytics for Capella University. Kathryn also worked for the University of Minnesota to integrate and disseminate census and government survey datasets to the public. Kathryn received her Ph.D. in Sociology/Demography from UCLA and a Master of Business Administration from Capella University.

Manny Garcia joined Zillow in October 2018 to work on analysis and research for publications and visualizations, helping to ensure that the brand’s public-facing survey data are accurate and reputable. Previously, Manny managed a survey data pipeline for thousands of survey and census datasets at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Manny received his Bachelor of Science in geography, with a focus on geographic information sciences, from the University of Oregon.


[1] A semiannual survey conducted by Ipsos of 10,000 homeowners and renters in 20 of the country’s largest metro areas.

[2] Renters refer to those who rent their home or live with family members or in another living situation but do not own their home.


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