How to make homebuying as stress-free as possible

Sep 21, 2018
How to make homebuying as stress-free as possible
People will always tell you there a few things in life that really push up the stress levels. There’s getting married, having children, and of course buying a new home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning, a structured checklist for moving apartment or house, some flexibility and the right attitude you can reduce the time spent worrying. We can’t guarantee it will be stress-free, but it will go a long way to make sure you keep a level head.

Make some key decisions early on

Before you begin your search, look critically at what you want and make some bold decisions. This could be a choice between an apartment or house, a short-list of areas, or a maximum commute time. If you go into the search with some important choices made, you’ll be able to quickly make decisions about certain properties.

 Put a strategy in place

Which area will you visit first? How many properties can you realistically see in a day without being overwhelmed? Will you spend any time in the chosen area to really get a feel for it? What will you do? How long is long enough? Answer these questions and get your strategy set in stone. Bringing an element of organisation into your search and planning it appropriately will provide some much-needed structure to the operation.

Be organised

You’ve got your strategy in place. You’ve got enough time and you’re seeing a good number of properties each day. But are you looking critically when you get through that front door? Too often, it’s easy to visualise yourself in a property when you’re there, but can you remember the small details later that day when you’ve seen six others? When viewing, take a checklist, write things down and always look critically at every detail. Doing this for every property will give you the best chance of comparing, contrasting and narrowing down your search according to your key requirements.

Give yourself enough time

According to Which? more than half of homebuyers (52%) who spent less than 10 minutes viewing a property paid the asking price or more, while 71% who spent 90 minutes viewing the property paid under the asking price.

Be flexible too

If something comes up, you weren’t expecting. Maybe in an area that wasn’t top of your list, or for a property type that you first discounted, always allow yourself the flexibility to change things up. You never know, it could truly be the perfect one. This flexibility should also carry through when it comes to making important decisions. If you find somewhere you like, don’t worry about cancelling your planned appointments for later on, to instead view this one a second time at a different time of day.

Don’t sweat the small things

When hunting for a new home, things change. Homes can go before you even get a chance to view them. Sales can fall-through and the chain can get in the way. There are different types and levels of stress as you move through the homebuying process. Things can and always will go wrong. It can be hard but try to not let every small detail affect you. If you do, the stress will rise. If you can shrug things off and never waiver from your ultimate goal of finding your dream property, you will eventually get there with as little stress as possible.

Get clued up

A lack of understanding and the feeling of not being in control can be extremely stressful. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure you know the ins and outs of the entire homebuying process and what should be happening at each stage. This includes what it means when you have an offer accepted, whether or not you need a mortgage in principle, the documentation requirements when applying for a mortgage, and the legalities of the conveyancing process. As we said before, it can often be a long and drawn out procedure. Take your time, do your research on everything (not just the properties you’d like) and ensure you understand what should be happening at each stage. This will enable you to do something about it if things aren’t going as they should, rather than remaining in the dark, and ultimately stressed out.

Use people you trust

One of the most stressful things about the entire homebuying process can be how much you feel you’re relying on other people to make sure the right things are happening. This includes your independent financial adviser or mortgage adviser at the mortgage application stage, and your conveyancing solicitor during the completion process. If you work with people you’re happy with, who you can trust, and who keep you updated throughout, your stress levels shouldn’t get out of control. They say it’s stressful. It doesn’t have to be.