30 Years to Life: How to Curb Anxiety and Avoid Buyer’s Remorse When Buying Your First House
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Reading Time: 4 minutes, 21 seconds
It’s easy to understand why buying your first house could be stressful. There’s a lot to think about and a lot that can go wrong. As much as you fantasize about relaxing in your new home, you probably have a bit of anxiety about the path that you’re taking. It’s a big step, a milestone even, in your life. Change can be scary, but there’s no need to worry.
Buying a home isn’t just one big decision but dozens of choices that you’ll navigate. When you’re buying a house for the first time, all of these choices are new to you. So how do you reduce your anxiety and keep your sanity? Put away the Xanax and make some hot tea. Here’s how to curb your anxiety and actually survive buying your first house.
Make a List of Priorities
When you’re thinking about buying a house, you probably have at least a vague image of what your new home will look like. How many bedrooms, a general idea of location and maybe even how big the kitchen should be are all things that are floating around in your mind. It’s important, at some point, to move past vagaries and start putting down your must-have amenities on paper.
Make a list of all the things you absolutely need in your new home. Next to it should be a list of all the things you’d like to have and a list of deal breakers. As you search for your new home, you’ll likely be adding and removing things from these lists. What might be an absolute necessity today might be in the nice-to-have list tomorrow.
Having a list will keep your search on track, but remember to be flexible and open minded. Many people start their search with a particular space in mind and end up with something completely different. The home you eventually fall in love with may be a different size, shape, or in a different place than you initially thought and that’s alright.
It's Not a Starter Home, It's Your Home
There’s no such thing as a starter home, regardless of what your agent said or how a listing is promoted. When people start talking to you about starter homes, they’re asking you to make compromises. They’re trying to put an image in your head that this is just a temporary house or that you should settle now and get your dream home later.
While almost everyone needs to make some compromises when buying their first home, you don’t need to settle for anything. Don’t let anyone push you to make a decision or sell you on less of a home than you want. This is your house, not your friend’s, not your parents’ and definitely not your agent’s. If your agent starts using the phrase “starter home” it might be time to start looking for a new one.
Take Your Time House Hunting
Finding the right house is a little more time consuming, than say, finding the right apartment. It’s also much more permanent decision. This is a home that you’ll be living in for years to come so it only makes sense that not only will it take more time to find, but that you should take more time to find it.
When you first start searching, you can quickly be overwhelmed by all the choices and wonder how you’re going to survive buying a house. With your priorities list on hand, however, you should be able to widdle it down to a handful of options.
But guess what?
You don’t have to buy any of those homes. There’s a good chance the perfect home for you isn’t even on the market yet.
While you may have to make some compromises when looking for a new home, it should never turn into a case of the lesser of evils. This is your home and finding it will take as long as it takes. Have patience with your search and with yourself.
Once You Decide, Stop Looking
You’ve been searching for months and you’ve finally found the perfect home. You’ve put in an offer and it’s been accepted. You’re in the final stages of purchasing your first home.
Congratulations! Now tell me, why are you still looking at houses?!?!
Once you’ve bought a house, stop looking for houses to buy. No good will come of it. Now is not the time to start second guessing yourself. There’s no reason to keep looking at homes that are on the market. You made a great choice! And you have more important things to do with your time.
You’re moving in a very short while, remember? Once you decide on a house, you need to start working on moving into that house. You have a million things to organize, to pack and to get ready. Now is not the time for buyers remorse. It’s a time for action, and, in a very short while, celebration.
When you’re buying your first home you’re going to run into hiccups. Things will come up. Things will go wrong. How you deal with those things is the important part. Control the things you can and be ready for things that are out of control.
Have faith in yourself. You got this.