Are you considering buying a new home? If so, are you perhaps a first-time homebuyer? Are you feeling slightly (or considerably) anxious about the prospect of closing on a residential property, signing a mortgage, and moving into a new place?
These are valid questions and deserve carefully thought out answers. Therefore, by way of answering these questions, let’s consider the following points:
Buying a home in the New Normal: Setting the scene
Buying a home can be anxiety-inducing under normal circumstances, especially for first time home buyers. However, the world has moved past what is understood as normal and into the post-COVID-19 era or New Normal.
The novel coronavirus was first noticed in Wuhan, China, in the last days of 2019. It has since spread rampantly throughout the world, resulting in most of the world’s governments shutting down their economies, closing all non-essential businesses, and ordering residents to stay at home for weeks on end in a desperate bid to prevent the virus’s spread.
Millions of people were laid off or furloughed as businesses that could not pivot their operations online in a very short space of time, costing the global economy about $US21 trillion dollars.
Fast forward to fall 2020.
There seems to be a general feeling that the worst of the pandemic is over, the global economies are rebooting, and people are getting back to work. Bruce Y. Lee notes in his article titled “Covid-19 Coronavirus Won’t Be Last or Worst Pandemic, How to Stop Panic-Neglect Cycle” that there are “several certainties in this world. Death, taxes (for most people at least) … and unless things drastically change, more pandemics occurring.”
Consequently, there is a general and pervasive underlying feeling of stress and anxiety. No one knows what the future holds, and what the lasting impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will be, never mind what will happen if future pandemics occur.
Ways to reduce stress and anxiety when buying a new home
Without the added stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving home is ranked in the top 25 most stressful life events on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
Therefore, the question that begs is, how do you reduce the stress and anxiety that arises when you start the home buying process?
Here are five ways to mitigate or reduce your stress levels during the home buying and moving experience.
1. Work with a trusted agent
The home buying process is rarely hassle-free. It is a complicated process involving many different entities, including lawyers, mortgage lenders, banks, and condo associations. There is also a good chance that the people on both sides of the equation, buyers and sellers, are emotional as a result of the stresses that are part and parcel of such a drastic change.
Therefore, it’s vital to work with a reliable agent such as those found on the Movoto site. They all have vast experience with the processes involved with closing on a new home. And they are in a position to guide you and your family through any potential minefields with a minimum of fuss.
2. Concentrate on the benefits of moving to your new home
When it looks as though the buying process will never end, and there are more unexpected delays, it is essential to remember what attracted you to this residence in the first place, aspects like:
- The neighborhood or the house’s address.
- Easy access to good schools.
- The size of the house and yard.
- And the house’s interior design features.
Focusing on the reasons for buying this property will help you get through the challenging parts of the purchase process.
3. Getting cold feet at the last moment is normal
Towards the end of the journey, just before closing day, you might end up with cold feet and want to withdraw from the purchase transaction. This is absolutely normal. And, in itself, it is nothing to worry about.
You might find faults with the house that you never noticed before, like a living room that is too small, an outdated kitchen, and the ceilings are too low. This does not mean that you should try and get out of buying your new home. It is essential to remind yourself that your closing day is on its way, and you’ll be able to put this process behind you and move into your new home.
4. Draw a layout of your new home
It is a good idea to work out ahead of time what furniture will fit into your new home and what you need to sell, donate, or dispose of. This point is particularly relevant if you are downsizing. A plan of your new home’s layout, including room sizes, will help you decide what to keep and what to sell.
Needing to downsize and reduce the number of household items you currently have is also very stressful. Consequently, it is a good idea to look at the downsizing exercise as a way to sort out what is broken and can’t be repaired, what can be donated to charity, and what you will take with. The floor layout of your new home will help you decide what furniture items will fit into your new home.
For example, you might have a 10-foot dining room table with 14 chairs because you are part of a large family and love entertaining. It will not fit into your smaller home. While selling the table and chairs is probably heart-rendering, focus on the fact that you will have to buy a new table and set of chairs. And you can still entertain your family; it might have to happen at another family member’s home.
5. Plan your move
Once your closing date has arrived, you can negotiate a moving in date with the current tenants. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to sort out what household items to keep and what to donate. Using a floor plan of your new home, as described in the point highlighted above, will help you make these decisions.
Another reason why you should sort out your possessions before you leave is that it costs money to move. Consequently, there is very little point in moving unwanted items.
The next step is to book your movers. Shop around for value for money. The lowest price might not buy you the best service. It might be worth considering moving on a traditionally quiet day for the removalists as the cost of the move will more than likely be lower.
There is no doubt that buying a new home can be extremely stressful. However, as described in this article, there are ways to mitigate the stress and anxiety and turn what is inherently a negative experience into a positive experience looking forward to new memories and new adventures.