Powerful Ways to Reduce Stress
When Buying Your Next House
Buying a house is challenging, time consuming, and filled with ups and downs. But it doesn’t have to be a frustrating and stress-filled process. With the right approach, mindset, and proactive decision making, you can make buying your next house an enjoyable process. Ready to find out how?
Why is Buying a House So Stressful?
Approximately 40 percent of Americans say buying a new house is the most stressful event in modern life. Another 44 percent say they feel nervous throughout the process. But why? In other words, what makes buying a house so stressful?
Well, it ultimately comes down to a combination of factors - including:
- Finances. Money is obviously one of the primary stressors when buying a house. Whether it’s improving credit, saving up for a downpayment, budgeting, finding a lender, or negotiating an offer, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of dollars and cents.
- Outside pressure. There are often external pressures in play, as well. You have friends telling you where to buy, loved ones who want you to buy this house or that house. Everyone has an opinion (and they are often different from what you know you want or need to do).
- Transition. Whether you’re moving a mile down the road or clear across the country, moving is a transition. This increases the stress level and commands a lot of your emotional energy.
- Moving. Everyone hates moving - and rightly so! It’s physically and emotionally exhausting. And if you hire a company to handle the move on your behalf, it gets really expensive. (See the first point above.)
- Paperwork. There’s so much logistical paperwork you have to do in order to legally move. You have to write an offer letter, negotiate, change your mailing address, get a new driver’s license, switch insurance, etc. These tasks can easily add up and lead you to feel overwhelmed.
5 Tips for Mitigating the Stress
While you can’t completely remove the aforementioned factors from the equation, you can limit how they impact your stress and anxiety. Here are a few helpful tips:
1. Get Pre-Approved
The sooner you can get pre-approved for a loan, the faster you can focus on finding the right house. While pre-approval is by no means a guarantee, it’s a step in the right direction. Do it as early in the process as you can.
2. Set a Reasonable Budget
Once you find out how much you’re pre-approved for, you can set your budget. While the pre-approval figure is the maximum amount of money the bank will lend you, you certainly don’t have to spend that much. Set a firm number for your budget and let these parameters guide your home search process. (It’ll keep you grounded and prevent you from purchasing something unaffordable once the emotions set in.)
3. Differentiate Needs and Wants
When buying a house as a couple, one of the biggest sources of stress is disagreement over what you want out of a house. You can avoid a lot of this friction by getting clear on what you need out of a house and what you want.
Needs always come first in the home search process. Once a property checks all of those boxes, you can consider some of the wants.
4. Hire a Good Home Inspector
You want to be confident that you’re buying a good house that won’t have any major unforeseen problems (like foundation issues, roof leaks, or expensive electrical challenges). Hiring a good home inspector - someone who is experienced and thorough - is worth every penny. Ask your lender and real estate agent for recommendations.
5. Take your Mind Off Things
The home buying process can take months. And if you aren’t careful, it will consume your life. One way to break this cycle of obsessive thinking is to schedule “downtime” into your day.
For example, you and your spouse might make a rule where you don’t look at houses online after 7pm each evening. This frees up your evenings to focus on other things (restoring balance to your thought life and sanity).
Enjoy the Ride
Buying a house might not be your idea of “fun,” but it doesn’t have to be miserable. Armed with the tips and tactics discussed in this article, you now have the option to slow down and enjoy the ride. Good luck!