Moving is always stressful — whether you built a new home, chose a larger home, move to a new neighborhood, or a new town. Organization, planning, and a good Realtor® are key to taking the stress out of buying a home. Say goodbye to home buying stress with these 10 proven strategies.
It doesn’t matter the circumstances for your move — married, new baby, new town, or new neighborhood — it’s easy to get stressed out when you’re buying a home. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a careful plan, that starts long before your move, it’s possible to buy a home stress-free. Here’s the secret to making that happen.
Downsize before you move
Downsize and declutter before you move to a new home. Even if you think you’ll fit all of your belongings in your new home, don’t skip this step! Pack only the essentials when you’re moving to a new home.
Most movers charge based on rooms, boxes, or weight. There’s no reason to pay to move items that you don’t need.
I suggest making three piles. The first pile stays, throw the second pile away, and the third pile goes to charity. If you haven’t worn it or used the item in six months, it gets thrown in the trash or goes to charity. Take your time decluttering. Load your car up every night with the items you no longer need.
At the end of a week or two, your load is lighter! Decluttering will make it easier to decorate, find stuff, and organize once you’re in your new home.
You don’t want to bring your old baggage, or old clutter, with you to your new home! It’ll likely sit in boxes, taking up space and collecting dust.
Related link: Ultimate Moving Guide: How To Move Like A Pro
Tap into your Realtor®’s knowledge
Before you hire a Realtor®, interview them. Make sure they have the experience to find you the home you want in the neighborhood you want.
A Realtor® is a great asset because they know the area. I have tons of recommendations for my buyers. I have you covered if you want to know the good, bad, and ugly of a Lee’s Summit, Grain Valley, or Blue Springs neighborhood.
I’ve lived in the Lee’s Summit area for years, so I know the best restaurants, neighborhoods, and schools. I can help you pick a home that fits your lifestyle. If you want to live close to restaurants and shopping, I can give you neighborhood options.
Metropolitan areas like Kansas City offer a lot of diversity. Homes in Brookside are much different than the subdivisions of Grain Valley. Choose a Realtor® who knows the area, as each area varies so much. As a former television news reporter, I’ve been to most of the city, so I know what each city in Kansas City has to offer a home buyer.
I can also help you with a reliable plumber, electrician, or landscaper for your new home. Real estate agents make moving easy, by providing vetted and trusted contractors. Inevitably, you’ll have to hire one or two during the move.
Think of your Realtor as a treasure trove of information. They have inside knowledge of the area, and if they don’t know the answer to a specific question they have a network that does.
Stay focused, yet realistic when searching for homes
Before you buy, create a buying roadmap, so you’re not distracted by features or houses that are out of your price range. This list will keep you grounded, and help you maintain a realistic viewpoint while shopping for homes.
You have to be realistic about your budget, timeframe to move, and a home’s features. No home is perfect. Along with some fantastic features, come flaws. For example, the house may be the right size for your family, but the yard is too small. You have to take the good with the bad.
Depending on the market, your schedule, and your budget you may or may not get everything you want in a home. Your Realtor® can keep your expectations in check throughout the process, so you’re realistic about the home you purchase.
You also have to be realistic about the costs associated with buying some homes, especially fixer-uppers. If you know there are improvements you’ll want to make, have a contractor visit the house to give you bids. It’s better to know what costs will be associated with your home purchase before you buy, than after. The last thing you want is buyer’s remorse!
Look beyond a home’s structure
When you’re buying a home, you focus on the design and layout. Once you’ve considered those elements, look beyond the structure.
Consider the neighborhood; proximity to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment; and noise. Is it near a major road, highway, or railroad tracks? Don’t make a decision based on a five-minute walk through a home.
Spend time in the home. Go back a second or even third time to look at it. Sit down and think about how your lifestyle and family would use the space.
It’s possible to find a perfect neighborhood, but it takes time and research.
If you have a Realtor® who has a design background, ask them about the space. Where would they place furniture?
My partner and I are Accredited Home Staging Professionals. We’ll help you envision your new home! Home staging isn’t just for sellers. It’s an asset for buyers too.
Visit the neighborhood during the day and at night. Walk the streets, meet the neighbors, and ask them questions. You’ll learn a lot from current homeowners.
Finally, drive to your favorite restaurants, shopping, and child’s school from the neighborhood. Is it close enough to your potential new home?
The structure matters, as you spend a lot of time there. However, other factors matter just as much as they all affect your lifestyle!
Don’t ask your whole family for their opinion
Home buying is a personal decision. You should have an emotional connection to a home, that’s unique to you! That’s why you want to keep opinions to a minimum.
Opinions matter and open your eyes to the pros and cons of a home, but don’t get too many opinions. They’ll sidetrack you from your home buying roadmap, and they’ll tarnish how you feel about specific homes.
After all, your uncles and aunts are not living in the home. You are! So, let your opinion count most!
If you want another opinion, ask your Realtor®. He or she knows the market pricing and decorating trends which can help you make a purchasing decision.
Prepare pets ahead of time
Moving is difficult for animals. They’re easily spooked. So, remember them when you’re packing and settling into your new home.
First and foremost, keep a routine. It will help your pet adjust pre and post move.
Plus, give your pet a new home base in your new home. Let him adjust to one room at a time. Fill it with his favorite toys and food.
Related Link: 10 ways to prepare your pet for moving.
Don’t get too emotional
Emotion drives home buying decisions, but don’t let it get the best of you especially during negotiation. You’re negotiating the purchase of a home because you’re emotionally attached to it. Don’t forget; the seller is attached too! They lived there for years and had many memories in the home.
Emotion is important, but don’t let it overpower your decisions. Stay open-minded and listen to your Realtor®.
Home negotiations are a give and take. Don’t make it a battle over who is going to “win.” There are no winners or losers.
Be open-minded throughout the home buying process, and you’ll get the home you want. If you fail to compromise, you may lose it.
The home buying process should start long before you look at your first house. Create your list of must-haves in a home, so you have a roadmap to guide you through the process. Create a budget, and get pre-approved for a mortgage.
A pre-approval letter makes a big difference! Sellers are more likely to accept an offer from a buyer who is already pre-approved.
Prepare for the unexpected
When you buy a new home, it’s impossible to catch every issue with a house. A quality home inspection helps, but the reality is you’ll find things once you live in the home for some time. Sometimes, it takes a year to reveal flaws or issues that need fixing.
Prepare for the unexpected. Consider a home warranty if you’re concerned about the age or condition of appliances. Sometimes, the seller will pay for a home warranty.
Financial preparation also goes a long way. Make sure your budget includes an emergency fund.
Also, ask the sellers about their average utility expenses. The costs may be higher than expected if you’re moving to a bigger home.
With other expenses, like homeowner’s insurance, call your insurance agent before you put an offer in on the home to find out the premium price. Then call two other agents, as shopping around for homeowners insurance can save you more than a thousand dollars.
Stress is natural when you’re buying a home. After all, it’s a big purchase that will affect your finances for the next 15 to 30 years. Follow these 10 steps, and you’ll lower and possibly eliminate the stress of buying a home.