Could have, would have, should have! Learn from the most common mistakes people make when it comes to purchasing (or not purchasing) real estate so you can avoid the same regrets. By Adena Leigh

1. Misunderstanding the Buying/Selling Process

According to a new survey by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), 38 per cent of homeowners wished they had a better grasp on the buying and selling process when purchasing their home. Make sure you’re well versed on the intricacies of making a real estate purchase before you get pressured into a deal.

2. Not Buying Sooner

According to the 2012 TD Canada Trust First Time Home Buyers Report, 55 per cent of home buyers wish they would have purchased a home sooner to avoid wasting money on rent.

3. Not Making a Bigger Down Payment

On the contrary, 60 per cent of new home buyers wish they would have made a bigger down payment, which would likely require more time to save before getting locked into a mortgage.

4. Not Budgeting for Ongoing Costs

29 per cent of those surveyed said they overlooked some of the additional costs of owning a home like maintenance and utilities, while 13 per cent overlooked some of the fees associated with buying a home, such as inspection fees and land transfer costs.

5. Not Buying Closer to Work

So the saying goes, “location, location, location!” According to a Trulia survey, 15 per cent of homeowners wish they had chosen a home with a shorter commute to work.

6. Seeing More Houses

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases a person can make, so it’s no wonder that RECO found that 21 per cent of homeowners wish they had shopped around more before making a decision on a house.

7. Interviewing More Real Estate Agents

Home buyers often focus more on shopping for a property than shopping for a real estate agent, but RECO reports that 9 per cent of homeowners wish they had spent more time researching and interviewing real estate professionals before selecting one.

8. Using All Their Savings

One mistake some home buyers make is putting their entire savings into the purchase of their home. Buyers should be prepared for unpredictable circumstances, like losing their job, before borrowing the maximum amount approved from the bank.

9. Not Getting a Home Inspection

Not getting a home inspection is a sure fire way to have regrets after buying a property. RECO reports that 15 per cent of homeowners wish they had had one when purchasing their home.

10.  Not Buying Bigger

Sounds like home buyers tend to downplay their size needs, because according to Trulia, 34 per cent of homeowners wished they had chosen a larger home.