Tips for dealing with home buying stress
- Get pre-approved.
- Hire the right real estate agent.
- Follow a checklist.
- Ignore FOMO.
- Forget the idea of the "perfect home."
- Connect with others.
- Don't be afraid to assert yourself.
- Ask for help.
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The stress of buying a home is a lot to handle. Not only does it take tons of work to find and buy the right home, but it’s likely you’ll face disappointments as the process unfolds.
To help you keep your stress in check so you can actually enjoy the fun and excitement that comes with the purchase of a new home, let’s look at some logistical and emotional ways to manage your stress throughout this endeavor, as well as the steps you can take to make the process go smoothly from the get go.
Why is buying a house so stressful?
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of buying a house, it’s understandable why. The stress of buying a home is very real, and it’s common for home buyers to feel strain or pressure as a result.
These are some of the reasons it is so stressful to buy a home. You need to:
- Qualify for a mortgage. It takes a lot of work to shop for and apply for a mortgage, and you have to play the waiting game to find out if the lender will approve you for a loan. Not to mention, mortgages come with hefty closing costs that you need to budget for.
- Find the right home. It can take months of weekends spent at open houses to find the right home to meet your personal and financial needs. Once you do find the perfect home, you may need to bid amongst other eager buyers to get your hands on it.
- Wait for the seller to accept your offer. When you really want to buy a home, the days you need to wait to hear back from the seller feel long and tiring.
- Undergo an appraisal and inspection. Even after a seller accepts your offer, the work isn’t done. Most buyers need to arrange for an appraisal and home inspection which takes time and energy, and can uncover issues with the home you weren’t aware of or cause financing complications.
Stress often comes from feeling as though you have a lack of control, and all of the above steps have some element of helplessness as you wait for decisions to come down. Combine that with the fact that you are about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, and it’s no wonder you’re overwhelmed.
What logistical steps can you take to reduce home buying stress?
While you should always expect a few hiccups throughout the home buying process — no matter how prepared and organized you are — there are some logistical steps you can take that will help you cut down on stress.
- Get pre-approved. Before you even start house hunting, it’s helpful to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you have a good idea of how much you will be able to borrow once you apply for a loan. Being pre-approved also helps strengthen your bid in a bidding war as the sellers know it’s likely you’re able to finance the sale of the house if they choose to accept your offer.
- Hire the right real estate agent. Take your time to interview multiple real estate agents and to get referrals from friends and neighbors. If you have the right agent on your side, the whole process from start to finish will go a lot smoother, especially if you choose an experienced agent who knows the ins and outs of your community.
- Follow a checklist. When you tour homes for sale, there’s a lot of details you need to focus on. To make sure you don’t forget any important elements of the process, it’s helpful to bring a house hunting checklist with you. To make things easier for you, we made a downloadable and printable checklist you can snag for free here.
What can you do about it emotionally?
If it was just the logistical elements that caused stress during the home buying process, you could just make a to-do list and check things off until you were stress-free. Unfortunately, the act of buying a home is also emotionally taxing — and for good reason, as it’s a big undertaking that we’re not necessarily taught how to navigate.
Keep the following tips in mind to help keep your anxiety in check when you’re on the hunt for a new home.
- Ignore FOMO. The fear of missing out (FOMO) on the perfect home makes it hard for you to be happy with many great homes you’ll come across in your search. While it’s tempting to wait for the next amazing home to come on the market, you need to push FOMO feelings to the side so you can appreciate what’s right in front of you.
- Forget the idea of the “perfect home.” One way to escape FOMO and make your home search less stressful is to let go of the idea of the perfect home. There is no such thing as a perfect home. A home that’s the right size, in the right neighborhood, and at the right price, is a big ask. On top of all of that, you have to find a home that meets your aesthetic preferences. If you manage to find a home that checks off all of those elements, then the lack of a walk-in closet or stand alone tub shouldn’t be a deal breaker. (That being said, you can get as close as possible using something like our Home Match tool.)
- Connect with others. You’re not the only one who finds the process of buying a home stressful, so reach out to friends and family who have been there and done that. They can help you feel less alone in your struggles and you can learn from their experiences. At the very least, make sure you meet up with that friend who always makes you laugh.
- Don’t be afraid to assert yourself. Now is not the time to be passive. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself during this process, whether it’s with your real estate agent, partner, or any of the professionals you’ll encounter throughout such as a mortgage broker. Advocate for what you want and need, and don’t let a fear of confrontation stress you out. It’s better to get your feelings out now than fret about them until you close on a home.
Don't forget to ask for help
As good as it feels to do things on your own, buying a home is a major undertaking that no one needs to deal with alone.
At Orchard, our goal is to make home buying stress-free. We help homeowners make their next move, so they never have to miss out on a great home because they haven't sold their current one. Orchard allows homeowners to unlock their equity so they can access their home value before they list, which makes covering a new down payment or moving expenses a lot easier.
To make things easier, we can also list and show your current home for you so you can focus on your move. On top of that, we’ll manage the process of any repairs that need to happen in order for your home to sell. With so much off your plate, who knows — you might even enjoy the adventure of buying a new home.