A real estate transaction can be an emotional roller coaster, especially for first-time buyers. A home is not an everyday purchase—you’re buying your future, the place where your kids will grow up and a lifetime of memories will be made. And a house has a much higher price tag than anything else you’ve ever bought. That alone can be scary. The money and emotions make up a big cocktail of stress. A study commissioned by homes.com shows that first-time buyers find the process overwhelming;
- 1 in 3 buyers cried during the process.
- 2 in 4 experienced anxiety.
- 44% of buyers felt nervous throughout the process.
- The average buyer had four arguments.
- 2 in 5 described buying their first home as “the most stressful event in modern life.”
As someone who has been involved in thousands of real estate transactions, I concur that it can be stressful. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind to feel more in control and have less stress with your transaction.
1. Your broker has seen the problem before
A real estate transaction without any bumps and bruises is a unicorn. Buying a house is a complicated transaction involving lawyers, mortgage lenders, condo associations, co-op boards, banks and lastly, emotional people.
While your broker is there to guide you through the process, know that getting from point A (making an offer) to point B (actually closing) will involve challenges. You might find a problem during the inspection. Your seller might have second thoughts. The key here is to communicate with your broker. Ask questions, be open to their advice. Whatever the problem is, know that your broker has seen it all before and knows how to solve it. What may seem like a big problem to you is something they may deal with on a day to day basis. Work as a team.
2. Cold feet are totally normal
As clients get closer to closing, there are often problems where there once were none. Suddenly that beautiful tile floor in the kitchen looks crooked and the ceilings are too low. And wait, was the living room always so small? When the reality of the purchase sets in, the emotional floodgates open: Is this the right home? Am I spending too much? Should I spend more? Will I love this? There are so many other houses, why am I buying this one?
Sure, you could look forever, but the end goal is to buy a home and live your life in it. But the truth is, sealing the deal on a house (any house) is hard. It’s easy to second guess your choices when making a purchase of this magnitude. Know that the feeling of ill ease is incredibly common, and it will pass.
3. Remember why you fell in love
When the going gets rough—the paperwork is slower than you’d like or the co-op board has more questions—and it feels like you just want to toss your hands in the air and give up, remember why you fell in love. What was it about the property that made you want to snap it up? What about this house called to you? When the obstacles arise (and they will), envision yourself gardening in your very own back yard or entertaining friends in that amazing living room with the huge windows. Let that vision inspire you to keep a positive mindset. Remind yourself that it will be worth it in the end when you’re pouring a cold glass of rosé on your back deck come summer.
I know the stress and anxiety over buying a home can be real, but generally, the best things in life come with challenges—college, getting a first job, planning a wedding, none of these things are easy. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t great and worth all of the effort.
When buying a home, stay focused on that end goal: moving in, decorating the space, building your amazing life. Once you’re settled in your new home, kicking back with a glass of wine and your favorite Netflix show, you won’t remember the glitches, the waiting, the years left until you pay off your mortgage or how deep you had to dig into your reserves of patience. You’ll look around at your home, the one you bought, and think that it was all worth it.
Are you looking to buy a house? Before you start going on showings, contact the loan officers at Wintrust Mortgage to discuss your options.