The stress of buying a house is so prevalent that a 2018 survey found that 33% of Americans are reduced to tears when purchasing their first property.
So, if you’re thinking ‘buying a house is stressing me out!’ or ‘why is buying a house so stressful?’, you’re not alone.
On the other hand, you could be a seller currently dealing with the stress of selling your home. You may be thinking, ‘I’m so stressed about selling my house, I never thought the anxiety over selling a home could be this bad.’
In this post, we’ll outline some tips on coping with the stress of a sale, focusing primarily on a buyer’s perspective. We’ll also provide some home buying information that should help streamline the purchasing process and look at home-buying stress statistics.
How to Manage the Stress of Buying a House
Dealing with the stress of buying a house can be challenging. However, the following tips can make life easier:
1. Decide Exactly What You Want
Although they are very helpful, real-estate agents are not mind-readers. Therefore, if you don’t know what you want, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time viewing houses that don’t suit your needs. If you’re precise about your requirements, an agent will find it much easier to find your perfect home.
Things to consider include:
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
Desired square footage
Single-level or multi-level
Type of housing
Distance to shopping and expressways
Schools in the area
Age of the home
Amount of maintenance required
Type of exterior
2. Make Sure You’re Flexible
Unless you have the money to purchase some land and construct a property from scratch, it’s unlikely you’ll find the perfect home. So, learn to be flexible and understand that it’s not likely you’ll find an exact copy of the property you’ve imagined.
Write down a list of your wants and work out which features you can do without. Doing so will help you determine what’s most important to you and your family and be realistic about your requirements.
3. Seek Pre-Approval for a Mortgage Loan
Financing a property directly contributes to the stress of buying a house . It may seem like qualifying for a home loan isn’t that difficult. However, after combing through your credit record and income, lenders may think otherwise.
We always recommend seeking pre-approval for a mortgage before you start making offers on properties. Without pre-approval, you could waste a lot of time falling in love with houses that you can’t get eligibility to finance.
Additionally, some agents and sellers will only work with potential buyers who have been pre-approved by a mortgage lender. To smooth your path to pre-approval, pay all your bills on time, and try to pay off any outstanding debts. These actions will help raise your credit score, allowing you to qualify for the best possible interest rates. Also, keep your bank statements and records handy. Lenders will need all this information when they determine mortgage eligibility.
4. Take Advice from your Real Estate Agent
Unless you have a background in real estate, you should consider the advice your real estate agent offers. You chose this professional so that the stress of buying a house would be manageable and bearable, so heed their words.
For example, if your agent recommends adding specific contingencies to an offer, consider putting them in place.
They may suggest making sure the property passes a home inspection or adding a requirement for your seller to honor repairs. Whatever their professional opinion is, trust that they know the industry well and follow their advice.
5. Save Enough Cash
Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make. Therefore, you must understand the cost of purchasing a property before you take this giant leap.
Your mortgage lender will require a down payment of anywhere between 3-5%, depending on the type of loan you need. Next, you’ll be charged a credit check fee and mortgage applications, cash deposits, appraisal fees, and home inspections. Then, there’s title insurance, recording fees, origination fees, underwriting fees, and discount points to add to your budget.
Is it Normal to be this Stressed Out While Buying a House?
Yes, there are three main reasons why buying a house is so stressful:
People Need Security: A property is more than a roof over your head; it helps protect you and keep your family safe. The act of looking for a new home challenges our primal sense of security.
People Hate Uncertainty: As humans, we have varying levels of tolerance towards uncertainty. Therefore, the stress of buying a house can lead to excessive worrying.
People are Resistant to Change: The majority of our feelings, behaviors, and thoughts are habitual, and many of us thrive on predictability and familiarity. Although moving is exciting and positive, change is an inevitable source of stress.
House Buying Tips and Tricks to Streamline the Process
The following tips will help to lower the stress of buying a house:
1. Don’t Move Your Money Around
Try to keep your money in one place for three to six months before purchasing a new home. Making big purchases or flipping cash between bank accounts can lower your credit score. Lenders want proof that you’re reliable so that they can give you the best loan possible. If you amass too much debt, open new credit cards, or buy multiple big-ticket items, it will be more challenging to secure a loan.
2. Invest in a Home Inspection
You wouldn’t buy a car without checking beneath the hood, would you? Therefore, you should always hire a home inspector before finalizing the purchase of a property. Home inspections cost about $300-400, but they can save you thousands. It’s the responsibility of an inspector to provide you with critical information before you decide to purchase a home.
3. Survey the Neighborhood
Before you buy a property, thoroughly check the neighborhood. Many homebuyers become distraught because they presume they’ve found the perfect home, only to discover that it’s in a bad area.
We recommend that you drive by the property at different times of day and night to see what goes on in the neighborhood. Be sure to survey the noise level in the area, check the commute to work, and get a feel for the location of nearby amenities.
4. Negotiate with the Seller
When managing the stress of buying a house, negotiation is a powerful weapon. It can help you save money by getting the seller to cover repairs in advance or lower the property’s price to compensate for repair costs.
Ultimately, your negotiating power depends on the current property market. It’s challenging to bargain when demand is high for property in your area. Therefore, you should work closely with your real estate agent and understand the local market.
Home-Buying Stress Statistics
Viewing after viewing, open house after open house, the stress of buying a house can be exhausting. A 2018 survey conducted by homes.com revealed that out of 2000 U.S-based respondents:
38% of first-time homebuyers found the home-buying process took much longer
than they expected.
On average, people viewed six properties before finding ‘the one.’
One in 10 people suffered from buyer’s remorse.
13% of people thought they had overpaid for their home.
28% of homebuyers failed to purchase the property that they most desired.
40% of first-time homebuyers described purchasing a new home as ‘the most stressful event in modern life.’
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re dealing with the stress of selling a house or suffering from home buying stress, you may benefit from the FAQs below.
What is the most stressful part of buying a house?
Low inventory occurs when more people want to purchase homes than there are homes for sale. This is known as a seller’s market. It is a fantastic situation to be in if you’re a seller but very stressful for buyers on the hunt for their dream home. Homes move fast in a seller’s market, so make sure you’re ready to move quickly.
What’s more stressful, buying or selling a house?
Buying and selling homes are both stressful, but selling is considered more stressful. Selling a home often requires many months of hard work. However, this inconvenience will pay dividends, and you’ll soon be able to move on with the next chapter in your life.
Is it normal to feel nervous about buying a house?
It is normal to feel anxious, nervous, excited, stressed, even sad. You may feel some or all of these emotions when buying a home, even if you’ve been planning homeownership for months. Don’t worry; all of these feelings are to be expected.
See How Stress-Free Home Buying Can Be with Reali
Sometimes, a quick cash-injection can help to ease the stress of buying a house. Our team of real-estate finance experts can help you get approved for a loan within minutes. In fact, you can get a home loan today and be well on your way to buying a house.
Check your mortgage rates and take a step toward financial freedom today.