Buying a home is definitely one of the biggest purchases you are likely to ever make. No matter what stage you’re at, deciding to invest money in a home is a decision that will impact the next chapter of your life significantly. We need to understand that this choice shouldn’t be made lightly!
Because of this, it is VITAL to enter into this search and journey towards a happy, healthy home life with a certain level of CLARITY.
Knowing what you want in your new house reduces a significant amount of stress for both yourself AND your real estate agent. This ‘plan ahead’ strategy narrows down the search significantly and helps you realistically shop for a suitable abode. And you’ll also be less likely to get tempted by over-budgeted, unrealistic, and unsuitable homes for your needs. It will also help YOU to make that final all-important decision more efficiently when the right place appears.
What are YOU looking for in your dream home? Write it down, dream big, and don’t hold back!
Set realistic goals & be open to compromise
While it’s definitely important to be clear on your needs and to set realistic goals for your new house, it’s equally as important to have a certain amount of flexibility too.
House-hunters who are willing to compromise with their goals and accept small variations on their ‘ideal home’ outlines are often more satisfied with house findings. It is more likely they will achieve higher levels of satisfaction with their eventual purchase, and this guarantees an overall less stressful experience in their home-buying journey as a whole.
Detailed checklists will likely never be entirely checked off, so make it a goal to reach a majority of checks, or at least narrow it down to the most important!!
It’s inevitable that you will encounter difficulty somewhere along the line of dealing with real estate agents. It’s important not to let this dictate any decisions or actions which will impact your home choices and also reserve judgment before assuming the worst in people.
Here are some ways to deal with difficult dealers and reduce stress:
- Make sure your goals are clear, concise, and well-communicated.
- Draw up a contract which outlines your wishes and goals EXACTLY and which role you wish your real estate agent to play in manifesting these goals.
- Double-check all communication with real estate dealers and make sure there are no discrepancies or misunderstandings before signing anything.
- Report any evident instances of misconduct immediately.
- Don’t make down-payments until everything is clarified and double-checked.
Effective communication is a key life skill that should be learned and practiced by everyone.
Between yourself, your partner/prospective housemate AND the real estate agent, communication is everything. This is because it helps all of your goals and expectations become clear and in alignment with one another. It’s also important for the agent to continue clarifying each element of the house buying process as it unfolds.
If this is not already in the contract you have drawn up together, then you should reconsider immediately and make sure it is.
One of the most stressful situations that can arise and possibly threaten the success of your house-hunting search is the process of acquiring a loan. Applications, dealing with rejections, and relying on their success in order to achieve your dream can be stressful and downright upsetting.
A good way to practice ease and calmness during this process is to remain open to things not playing out EXACTLY as you’d planned them. Patience is also key.
Therefore it’s good to have a Plan B, such as another bank or lender to try should your first choice fail. Being willing to negotiate on the amount is also an important factor.
Overall, it’s best to be honest and open about your plans – knowing you have entered into an agreement with full disclosure about why you need the loan, when you will repay it, and how you’ve earned the funds will mean your mind is fully at ease in the knowledge that you’ve done all you can to achieve your goals.
Approval of Home Purchase
Once your loan has been approved, the next reason for concern and cause for you to be waiting around is to see if your offer on a home has been approved. This wait can be equally as stressful as the wait to see if your loan has come through, for several reasons:
A) You’ll be wondering if you should have invested all your finances in this one place – what if another home comes up as you wait for acceptance?
B) It’s kind of a ‘limbo’ period as you may feel you’re waiting around, uncertain if you have a home or not!
C) Periods of rushed and stressful searching to get loans approved, view houses, and be the first to make moves are all of a sudden slowed right down.
One thing we have to advise home buyers to do in this kind of stressful situation is to know that even if their offer is not accepted, it is usually not a personal reflection or a view as to their capabilities as homeowners. Unless specifically stated, many times offers are refused because of sellers receiving another more appealing offer. The wait is also a normal part of the process and you can be sure it poses some frustrating aspects to the seller as well as to you.
Make sure to ask for specifics if your offer is refused – this means you can know where you may have shortcomings in other areas for when the next offer is ready to happen.
Dealing with unforeseen circumstances
The sale of a house can often come accompanied by difficult circumstances whereby owners are either forced or obliged to sell the property due to sudden unforeseen circumstances – like the death of a loved one or family member.
This can be a stressful negotiation to enter into, as there can be things like wills and familial issues to deal with alongside the normal waiting periods associated with home buying. It can also be difficult to assert your buyers’ rights to a family dealing with grief, so making sure you are dealing with a Realtor and/or impartial salesperson is important here.
Dealing with the stress of tiptoeing around a difficult sale can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth, but in the end, the rewards are usually plentiful. For the family of the deceased homeowner, it is advised that legal support be sought to ensure the rights of everyone involved are maintained.
Know your rights
Avoid unnecessary stress by reading up on your rights as a home-buyer in circumstances such as these:
Another circumstance that can negatively impact a homebuyers’ experience is if the owners of the property are a divorced couple waiting to settle arrangements. This means that you are liable to wait for their wishes to settle any outstanding ownership disputes before purchasing or making an offer. Like the issue of deceased ownership, this can lead to extended waiting periods and heightened uncertainty for any potential buyers.
This is why it’s so important for both sellers and home buyers to have full disclosure regarding the situation surrounding the sale of the property. The entire process of searching for a home is stressful enough without these added factors. Please be wary of entering into any unsettled arrangements with this kind of property.
First time fears
It’s normal to have ‘first-timers’ fears about home-buying. In fact, it can actually be of assistance to you in the sense that your concerns will ensure that you double-check every agreement and arrangement, every step of the way!
But the nerves can also be a pain as you navigate difficult salespersons, reluctant or inflexible sellers, and harsh Realtors. If you are open about your newness to the world of real estate, there can also be the concern that you’re being taken for granted!
Ultimately, the best advice we’ve come across for new home-buyers in dealing with the stresses associated with being new on the scene is to make sure you are CLEAR about every interaction, downpayment, and application for EVERY step of the way.
Know that’s it’s important to take your time with these big decisions and make sure you can have full confidence in your chosen agent. If this means shopping around, then do so. In the end, it’s YOUR home that you’re investing in, your future, and your sense of accomplishment which will be strengthened once the dust has settled and you’ve moved into your new life.
Take your time!
Stress will arise wherever there is uncertainty. That is a fact.
No matter what the situation, the mind creates potential ‘what-if’ scenarios and anxious ramblings whenever it feels a little out of control or unsure of what the outcome of a given situation might be.
When house-hunting, it can help to stick to your routine as much as possible.
Managing stress is all about emotional awareness and being able to adapt to unpredictable situations without overreacting.