Home is where the heart is. But, buying a house can be enough to put a strain on your heart as well as your mind. It’s extremely expensive, requires an infinite number of decisions, and it comes with a variety of pressures and anxieties that can be hard to cope with. It’s no wonder that, when asked, 40% of Americans said that buying a new home is the most stressful event in modern life.
If you’re thinking of buying a home soon — or you’re in the middle of the process and looking for some sweet relief — don’t worry. You’re not alone. Nor are you doomed to an experience defined by irrational fears, sweaty palms, and clenched teeth.
Here are a few tips to help you cope with the stressors that come with the home buying experience.
Heading Off the Stress
Before you worry about defusing ongoing stress, it’s worth taking some time to head off as much of that stress as possible. Now, there will always be a certain level of stress and anxiety when making a decision this big. Nevertheless, there are a few ways that you can minimize the stress going into the process.
Do Your Homework
When buying a home, it’s hard to be overprepared. There are so many factors to consider, that it’s well worth taking the time to read up on each one beforehand. Some major areas to touch on include:
Your budget: A budget is ground zero for your home. As much as 50% of millennials consider coming up with a down payment for a house the number one biggest challenge in the home buying process. Make sure your finances can handle the shock of buying a home.
Your preferences and needs: Buying a home requires an intimate knowledge of what you need in your long-term living space. Start with basics like square footage, number of bedrooms, and so on. From there, dig deeper. Do you need to look for universal design aspects that will make your home more accessible? Are you committed to green living? If so, use a checklist to help you find an energy-efficient house that has the appropriate appliance and upgrades. If you can’t find the perfect energy-efficient house, look instead for one that will make adding energy-saving improvements easy.
Study your local markets: Along with general and personal knowledge, also look into your local market. What are homes in your area worth? What are reasonable prices? What neighborhoods or school districts do you like?
Building up a solid foundation of knowledge is a great way to de-stress the entire home buying experience.
Along with knowledge, it’s also important to stay flexible. While you may have a good idea of what you want, you may not find an option that truly checks off everything on your list. In fact, you most likely won’t find something that perfect.
That’s why you should know your negotiable and non-negotiable items before you start the process. Figure out where you’re willing to compromise and what things you’re truly committed to finding in your next home.
Find a Professional Lifeline
Finally, remember you’re making a huge life decision. You don’t want to go into the experience with nothing but your gut instinct and intuition to guide you. Instead, make sure you have the right professionals by your side.
Start with a good real estate agent. This is imperative. Having a professional home buying agent to lean on is well worth the investment that it may cost.
Also, look for a well-recommended and reviewed home inspector. You want to find someone that you can trust to be pragmatic about a home without completely scaring you away in the process.
Addressing the Stress
Once you tackle the home buying process, you’re going to run into stress sooner or later, no matter how well you’ve prepared. When that happens, here are a few tips to help you get back to a calm, cool, and collected state.
Talk things through: If you have a partner, stay in open and honest communication. If you don’t, find someone that you can trust to help you process things.
Don’t create unnecessary pressure: Remember that even if you find what you consider to be “the perfect house,” there will always be other options. You have time to shop around!
Plan time to not shop: Schedule out self-care time to relax and check out. Run through a progressive muscle relaxation script, get some exercise, or just breathe for a bit.
Stay in the right mindset: It’s important to avoid slipping into a negative or scared mindset. Instead, strive to practice thankfulness and gratitude for the fact that you’re even able to consider buying a home for yourself.
Having de-stressing tools like these in your back pocket can help you guard against making anxiety-induced decisions as you look for a new home.
Finding the Right Home Without Stressing Out
Many factors can make home-buying an overwhelming proposition, however, if you take the time to prepare beforehand, it can help you take each step of the process in stride. By approaching your home buying experience in a de-stressed, calm, and collected manner, you can rest in the knowledge that, sooner or later you’ll be able to find the perfect home for you and your loved ones.