As a first-time home buyer, the home buying process can seem like a daunting task. But you’re probably pretty excited about your new endeavor, even if it is the biggest purchase of your life and you’re unsure about the process. There are things you can do to take some of the pressure off.
There’s not much that’s more stressful than packing up your life and moving, except for maybe death, divorce and starting a new job.
In fact, in a poll of 2,000 adults who have moved into a new home in the past three years, almost two in three (61 percent) rank moving at the top of their stress list. Ranked second were a crumbling relationship, divorce and starting a new job — less than half (42 percent) say those areas are the most stressful.
As a first-time home buyer, the home buying process can seem like a daunting task. But you’re probably also pretty excited about your new endeavor, even if it is the biggest purchase of your life and you’re unsure about the process. There are things you can do to take some of the pressure off. Here are a few considerations.
Work With a Real Estate Agent to Ease Your Anxiety
Hire a real estate agent to work on your behalf so that you don’t have to sweat the details as much. Unless you have experience with real estate, it’s much easier to hire an agent who knows the ins and outs of how the process works.
They will make sure your new home will meet your needs because the inspection could reveal some deal-breaking problems, such as a cracked foundation. You’ll want to know the age of the roof, water heater, and heat and air conditioning system, as well — these are big-ticket items that need to be addressed before signing the deal. If you’re not good at advocating for those things yourself, the realtor will go to bat for you.
“If, for example, your real estate agent recommends adding certain contingencies (conditions that have to be fulfilled before completion of the sale) to an offer, such as a requirement that the seller make a certain repair, or that the house meets a satisfactory home inspection, heed the advice – it can save you a lot of money, labor, and stress,” according to Money Crashers.
The downside is it only takes one issue to make the deal fall through. It happens all the time.
Another piece of advice is to look for a buyer’s agent who will represent only you. Calling the listing agent on a home may not be in your best interest.
“You might be better served by an agent whose sole practice is buyer representation,” according to real estate broker Elizabeth Weintraub. “There are buyer specialists in the industry. You do not have to work with an agent who also works with sellers, unless you want to.”
Don’t Procrastinate Packing
Cramming a bunch of stuff into boxes at the last minute probably isn’t the best advice for how to pack before moving, nor is waiting the last minute to find packing boxes. Some people walk into a grocery store and expect to get old produce boxes that are going to be thrown out anyway. This isn’t always the case as different stores have various policies on this.
“I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s like going into a restaurant at the end of the day and asking for any spare food; On paper, it makes sense since they’re gonna throw it out anyways,” writes “Moving Sucks” author Chris O’Brien. “But in practice? Places of business don’t want to deal with this every single day.”
Once you do round up some boxes, whether its from friends, Craigslist, Home Depot or at a U-Haul exchange, don’t set yourself up for chaos by randomly placing items into boxes. If you your kitchen appliances are mixed with bathroom stuff, you may not find what you need when it comes time to put each room together. You’ve probably found yourself looking frantically for plates only to find you didn’t pack them with similar items.
Label each box by writing the contents on the top of the box and organize boxes by room. This will not only make it easy for you but the movers as well. Packing tape, bubble wrap, durable boxes and Sharpies are your friend.
Breathe, Breathe, Breathe
As humans we are always looking for ways to improve our mental health to make life a little less stressful. It’s definitely easier said than done. We can try by getting enough sleep, exercising, and incorporating breathing techniques into our daily lives.
This is all good advice when it comes to moving, too. Developing the right mental attitude by realizing that grief for the life you’re leaving behind is a normal reaction. As they say: Feel your feelings. Trust that you’ll move into a happier state of mind eventually, but first you need to experience whatever it is you may be feeling, including grief and depression.
Another tip includes relying on your friends to help you. That’s what friends are for. Just be sure to give them plenty of notice on the dates you’ll need assistance with moving. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Having a support system there could be the best thing for you during your actual move. You can always thank them with pizza and beer afterward.
Think of it as a new beginning. Uprooting your life is a big deal, and it will take time to unpack and settle. Just when you think the work is done, there’s always more to do. You got this. You’re a first-time home owner now. It should be an exciting and fun chapter in your life.