…before starting this house hunting journey.
Life lately has been stressful. I wish there was another word for it but honestly, the term “stressful” is the only one that encompasses how I have been feeling lately. House hunting has become an all consuming process. Even going to the gym has felt more like something to just get over with rather than an outlet to relieve stress. I haven’t had much alone time with my husband or friends since each day is filled with work, looking at houses, worrying about finances, visiting my husband’s Nana in the hospital, and taking care of family obligations. All of this is the reason for my absence on the blog but I promise, I will be back once things settle down a bit. I have some great news which I am happy to share but that will have to wait for a different post.
Today I wanted to share 5 things I wish I knew before starting this arduous process of house hunting. This is in hopes I can shed some light for those in the middle of it, or just starting, or even just thinking about selling and buying a home.
- The process is draining. People warned me that it would be stressful but I guess you don’t know just how draining it can be until you are really in it. Worrying about finances and if you will ever find the home of your dreams can be all encompassing. Texts and emails from the realtor and mortgage lender all day can be consuming. Thinking about the pros and cons of each house as well as thinking in hypotheticals (would this be safe for kids? will this heater blow? what would it cost for propane?) is also stressful. I think my husband and I are doing a great job of making the process as fun as possible but it definitely can get to be a drag.
- Asking for opinions can be helpful. We hesitated asking my parents for advice because we didn’t want to give them the impression we a) couldn’t do the process ourselves and b) we didn’t want them to feel like they had the right to choose OUR forever home. Ultimately we realized that they come with a wealth of experience as homeowners and know what to look for when it comes to houses. C and I narrowed down to a few houses we liked and then asked them to come and see what they thought. It was helpful to hear their feedback and turns out, they love being included in the process. Whether it is your parents, family members, friends, or someone else in your life, it sometimes can be helpful to get an extra set of eyes.
- It is the ultimate test of patience and faith. I am not the most patient person and neither is my husband. This process has been definitely the ultimate test of whatever semblance of it we have. There are days we feel fed up and angry. Sometimes I have to be the strong one, reminding myself and my husband why we want to move in the first place. Other times it is the other way around. Having a support system that listens and allows you to vent is super important.
- Don’t settle and don’t get attached. On days when we feel like there is no inventory, C and I go back on Zillow and Trulia to homes we didn’t initially like and slowly over time they are looking more and more appealing. But we refuse to settle. We know what we want in our next home and some days it is easy to say, screw that! Don’t let the process get to you. Remain steadfast on what you want and adjust expectations as necessary. And don’t get attached. We lost a home a while back and it is so hard to not compare everything to that one house and feel brokenhearted about the “one that got away.” It can cloud your judgment when looking at other perfectly good homes.
- Your schedule is turned upside down. Because we are also selling a home, showings can come at any time. We had one showing at 7:45 p.m.! We never wanted to deny a showing which led to lots of running around, bringing our dog to random places for half hour time windows, and putting our free time aside. Just be ready to be made inconvenienced during the week and weekends.
And last but not least… Never go to an open house hungry. Okay, okay… I know I said “5 things” but this is important. If you are someone who gets hangry, you can’t even begin to look at a house when your stomach is rumbling. Nothing will annoy you more than the chipper attitude of a realtor showing a house that is overpriced when you are starving. It just isn’t a good idea. Trust me. Eat before you go to open houses.
Best of luck to you if you are knee-deep in the house hunting process and if you are thinking of selling/buying, take your time! Do your best to enjoy the process.