Each month thousands of people make the decision to buy a new home. In fact, figures from the HMRC show that 90,000 property transactions were handled in May 2019 alone.
The joy of buying your first home or climbing the property ladder is often accompanied by home buyer anxiety. This is caused by the stress of handling the purchase.
But it doesn’t have to be that way and we’re going to explain how you can make the house buying process a stress-free experience.
Why is buying a home so stressful?
People say that buying a house is one of the most stressful life events you can go through. And, if you’re selling a property at the same time as buying a new home, the stress is two-fold.
We all know that increased levels of stress and anxiety aren’t good for your health. Unfortunately, home buying can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. It’s been reported that the home buying process can age you by two years! It can also lead to stress and anxiety based depression.
The charity, Anxiety UK puts homebuying anxiety down to change and unfamiliarity, particularly around a change in routine.
The charity explains that moving house has a ripple effect on other areas of your life, such as:
- The commute to work
- Settling kids into a new school
- Saying goodbye to friends
- Making friends with the new neighbours
- Searching for a new doctor and dentist
- Personal relationships
- Starting a family
Many feel they have to rebuild their lives due to the compromises and changes.
How to reduce home buyer stress and anxiety
Most people decide to start looking for a new home in spring / summer, but the process starts months before this.
In fact, there are several stages involved with purchasing a property and the key to reducing homebuyer’s remorse is to understand what is involved in each stage. These different stages are:
With a budget set and a location mapped out, you can begin your search for a new home. In areas homes sell incredibly fast, so sign up to property portals to be notified when new properties come the market. When you see one you like, contact the agent and arrange a viewing for as soon as possible.
If you love the property be prepared to move fast to negotiate an offer. Make sure that the property you’ve fallen in love with is right for you with Phil Spencer’s property report. This offers a range of information, from purchase prices for similar properties in the area to crime rate stats.
Alternatively, if you’re struggling to find anything suitable you may have to compromise on location or shorten your list of wants.
Applying for a mortgage
The first stage to owning your own home is saving for a deposit. This is usually 10% of the property price. The average UK house price is £228,903, which means you’ll need to save around £23,000 or more. So, the sooner you start the better!
This is even higher in the cities, particularly London. In fact, here, the average first time buyer age is 34!
Next, you’ll have to search and apply for a mortgage. With over hundreds of products available with varying interest rates and conditions attached, it can be a difficult and lengthy search. Save yourself time and stress by engaging with a mortgage broker who will search through the numerous lenders to find the best mortgage for you.
Offer and survey
Securing an agreement in principle from your mortgage lender will show sellers that you are a serious buyer and may give you more leverage when negotiating an offer. If the owner is not willing to budge on the price, you may have to be prepared to walk away.
If your offer is accepted, the next stage is arranging a survey. There’s no need to spend valuable time looking for a qualified surveyor, as we can connect you with our panel of local and professional, RICS qualified surveyors. Get a free survey quote here.
Next you need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to carry out the necessary checks and searches. Your mortgage lender may recommend a solicitor but do your own search to compare costs, as they can vary widely.
Exchange and complete
If nothing unexpected comes back on the survey and your solicitor is happy to proceed, you can exchange contracts and set a date for completion. You may be tempted to sit back, relax and dream of getting the keys to your property. Don’t!
Delays can happen or things can go wrong even at this late stage. Keep on top of your solicitor to move things along swiftly. If they’re not replying to calls or messages, you’ll have to exert pressure other ways like visiting their office or speaking to their manager.
Round up of tips for managing home buyer anxiety
If you’re nervous about buying a home, the following tips will make your next property purchase go ahead without feeling an ounce of stress:
- Know what you can afford
- Be flexible on location
- Get expert help from a mortgage broker
- Ask the estate agent to feedback to you with regular dates and chase them up if you don’t get them
- If you’re in a property chain, keep pushing your solicitor to move things along
At the end of the homebuying process you can look forward to relaxing with your loved ones or socialising with friends, old and new in your new home. Many find that afterwards, the stress had been worth it.
Do you want to avoid the stress of buying a new home?
Get clued up on everything that is involved in the homebuying process by using our top tips! We can help you overcome the challenges and hurdles of the property minefield. Find our buying a home tips here.