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Is buying a home stressful?

Feb 28, 2023
Is buying a home stressful?

Homeownership is one of the biggest commitments you can make - and it should be a journey filled with excitement rather than house-buying stress. We’re here to make the process as pain free as possible with our top tips for dealing with stress.

Right up until you collect your keys, there’s a lot to take in. From securing your ideal property to working out all the legal and administrative processes, the stress of buying a home can have effects such as:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Reduced appetite
  • Headaches and stomach aches

In fact, house buying is seen as the 7th most stressful event in life 1 – even more so than having a child or starting a new job. Before you take the leap, explore our tips on managing the pressure below.

Why is buying a home so stressful?

Buying a property isn't something you do every day, so it's no surprise that more than half of homebuyers surveyed by Moneybox said the experience was more stressful than expected 2.

Let's take a look at 6 of the top causes of home-buying stress:

1. The search

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all property. From finding a location with great schools to landing on the perfect home office setup, it’s tricky pinpointing a place that ticks off all your needs and wants.

2. Financing

According to money.co.uk, 37.5% of the UK population are homeowners with mortgages or loans 3. But it's hard to know where to begin finding the right mortgage, and you'll need to weigh up things like your deposit size, salary and personal circumstances.

Beyond your mortgage, there are legal, admin and conveyancing fees to budget for, along with any moving and maintenance costs.

3. The legal process

Complex legal processes undoubtedly add to the stress of buying a home. Whether you’re chasing solicitors for important documents or sorting through lengthy paperwork, it’s arguably the most time-consuming aspect of the homeownership journey.


Learn more about the legal steps of buying a new home.

4. Coordinating calendars

Moving house can feel like a juggling act as you have to coordinate the scheduling of inspections and completion dates. The home-buyers that financial adviser Moneybox spoke to reported that it took, on average, 5.2 months from putting in an offer to completing and collecting their new keys2.

5. Hidden surprises

No one likes uncertainty. But if you’re buying a pre-owned property, it often plays a part in house-buying stress from fears the sale might fall through to issues arising with the property you're purchasing. Faced with an unpredictable housing market, buyers may also worry they're paying too much for their new home.

6. Getting cold feet

Committing to a process you have little control over – and keeping it moving – requires a lot of effort. After assessing all the admin you'll need to attend to, plus the responsibilities attached to a new property, it’s easy to find yourself questioning whether moving is the right choice – another source of anxiety.

How to deal with home-buying stress

Why is buying a house so stressful? Partly because most of us don't know what to expect. Now we've covered the primary causes of home-buying anxiety, let's walk through 6 steps that can help you deal with stress when buying a new home.

1. Set realistic expectations

We all have an idea of what makes the perfect home. To avoid disappointment, try to keep your expectations in line with your budget.

If you can, it's also wise to take a flexible approach to your moving date. Giving yourself more time to move will open up your options and help minimise house-buying stress.

2. Create a budget – and stick to it

If you don't set and stick to a strict budget, house-buying costs can quickly spiral out of control. Whether you're arranging a conveyancer, mover or solicitor, get quotes to ensure you're getting the best deal – and make sure you have back-up funds ready for unexpected costs.

Barratt Homes offer a range of useful schemes to help you manage your costs throughout the entire process. Some of our schemes, like Deposit Unlock, can help you purchase a new home with only 5% deposit, so you don’t need to save as much to begin the process. And some of our other schemes are designed to help you save on particular costs – through our Movemaker Scheme, for example, we can help you sell your current home and even cover the estate agent fees.

3. Seek professional help

When making a move, it's tempting to turn to Google for easy answers – but what you'll find is often contradictory.

Getting professional advice early on helps ease the burden. Ask service providers such as mortgage brokers and removal companies critical questions, so you have a clear idea of everything from financial processes to moving logistics.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to mortgages? Take a look at our guide to speaking with a mortgage adviser.

4. Remember self-care

When trying to manage the stress of buying a house, remember to take time out for yourself. Schedule regular breaks from homeownership admin, and use the time to relax, get support from loved ones, and recharge your batteries.

5. Think of the bigger picture

There's only so much you can control in the house-buying chain, so try not to worry about things outside your influence. Instead, focus on the big picture: looking after your health and finding a home you love that also meets your needs.

6. Make a to-do list

Getting your key documents ready as early as possible. Arranging bed and board for your pets during the move. Whatever your objectives may be, writing them all down in one place helps you keep on top of them – plus, it's an easy way to reduce the stress of buying and selling a home.

Emotional benefits of buying a new-build home

Ready to make your move? Choosing a brand-new Barratt home helps you avoid the stress of pre-owned purchases – and the emotional benefits don't stop there.

No external risks of the sale falling through

Buying a brand-new Barratt home is typically more straightforward because there's no chain – your purchase doesn't depend on other transactions.

Once you've found a development you're interested in, simply speak to one of our Sales Advisers to get started.

Built with energy-efficiency in mind

All our homes are built to be 58% more energy-efficient, cutting your bills by up to £2,600 per year^. Each one is designed to high modern standards, featuring thermally-efficient insulation and argon-filled double-glazing.

No refurbishment, no repairs

While renovating a character property might be an exciting idea, it's tough to work out what it will cost – or what repairs might come out of the woodwork mid-project. A brand-new home is ready to be enjoyed from the moment you pick up your keys.

Quality you can count on

An old property such as a Victorian terraced house may have been well designed, but time can take its toll.

A brand-new Barratt home is constructed by a housebuilder with a focus on craftsmanship and a proven track record. The Home Builders Federation has consistently awarded us 5 Stars – so you can rest assured you're buying lasting quality.

A future-proofed investment

With the minimum band for EPC rising to 'C' in 2025, it’s good to know our energy-efficient designs are both cost-effective and future-proofed.

A Barratt home is also closely inspected by specialists before you move in and is backed by a 10-year NHBC Buildmark warranty. This includes a 10-year structural warranty and a
2-year fixtures and fittings warranty, so you don't need to worry about unexpectedly paying out for things like faulty wiring, floorboards or plumbing.

A streamlined process

House buying doesn’t have to be so stressful. You'll receive support every step of the way when you buy a Barratt home – and with no external parties involved, there's far less admin to deal with, freeing up more of your time.

1 The top ten most stressful life events revealed, Benenden Health.
3 UK mortgage statistics and facts: 2022, money.co.uk.

^Indicative figures, based on HBF "Watt a Save" report published Oct 2022.