Manging the Emotional Rollercoaster of Buying Your First Home
Househunting is an emotional process. You may swing between being excited, nervous, stressed, and a dozen other big feels. One survey found that one in three buyers ended up crying at some point during their search. So, if you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone and I am here to help! Here are six strategies that I recommend to my first-time buyers to help maintain balance and keep a clear head.
1) Establish Priorities
Dedicate some time before meeting with a realtor to define your top home priorities. If you will be buying with a partner, make sure you come to an agreement on your top preferences and share an understanding of what's motivating them so you start this exciting journey off on the same page.
2) Set Realistic Expectations
A good agent will ask questions about your priorities and lifestyle to understand your motivations and then will help establish realistic expectations of how you'll best be able to meet those goals in your current local market. There is no "perfect home", and your priorities may change throughout the process, but if you're mindful of your motivations and informed about the market, you'll be in the best frame of mind to make a decision you'll be happy with.
3) Be Comfortable with Being Curious
As a first-time homebuyer, it is completely natural to have many questions! Real estate transactions are full of acronyms and jargon and nobody is going to judge you for not knowing the dictionary definitions of "escrow" or "encroachment". Your agent, lender, and other professionals helping you through the process want to provide comfort and clarity - there is no such thing as a silly question!
4) Don't Let a Bidding War Get the Best of You
In a home that checks all your boxes, it is easy to start imagining your future in vivid detail as soon as you decide to make an offer, but making strong emotional investments in a property that's not yours yet can set you up for a bitter disappointment if you don't get your offer accepted or cause you to act rashly during negotiations. Your agent will be invaluable in guiding you to make a competitive offer, but if you find yourself in a bidding war, establish your cut-off price before you begin to avoid making an impulsive decision.
5) Trust Your Gut
House hunting can be exhausting, and after a few lost offers, you might want to settle for a house you know doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe it even meets a fair number of your priorities but you just don't see yourself there. "The vibes are off" is a perfectly acceptable reason to move on!
6) Remember, You'll Get Those Keys Eventually
While the process can be stressful, keep in mind it is only temporary. You will eventually get an offer accepted on a home you love. Once you are kicked back watching Netflix in your new den or hosting a summer bbq on your new patio, any bumps along the journey will feel more than worth it and I am here to help you along the way!