A survey commissioned by estatesdirect.com highlighted that house buying was one of the most stressful things you can do in life; above that of getting a divorce, having a new baby, being made redundant or planning a wedding.
Whether you are a first time buyer already feeling the pressure building or are haunted by a previous experience, this article explains why anxiety is caused, explores whether a new build property could be an easier pathway and shares some of our top stress-busting tips.
Why is house buying so stressful?
I bet we all wish house buying was as simple as popping to the shops.
The reason for your move is perhaps space or a change of location, but whatever is driving you to make a change, you know you want to move. You’ve likely got a picture in your mind of an ideal home, but whether it is trawling the internet daily trying to find it or trying to unravel the documentation involved it all seems so complicated. Your head hurts even thinking about it.
You’ve probably even wished that you could just pay someone to take care of the whole darn thing, including the move. Allowing you to turn up a few days later opening the door to a glass of champagne with all your belongings nicely in place around you.
So what is it that gets our blood pressure rising?
No matter how much solicitors say they will talk you through it, the legal jargon still seems overwhelming.
The amount of money at stake
Buying property is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. The stress created by our fear over making the wrong decision and then having to live with the consequences.
Disagreement over properties
When you fall in love with a property it is easy to become defensive when your partner or family member starts to poke holes in it. Damage that requires immediate attention or a smaller than average garden; one of you may be happy to compromise and deal with the situation whereas the other will see it as a red flag and shut it down as an option, leading to potential resentment.
Our busy lives are already filled with emails and phone calls; but when buying a home this is taken to a whole new level. The juggling of information between parties and the filing in of documentation on top of our typical working day is just exhausting.
Duplicating information between partners
When the ball starts rolling there can be many threads of communication; making it easy to become confused and lose track of who is dealing with what. Arguments can easily be started as gaps start to emerge in communication.
Disagreement over moving in dates and fixtures & fittings are the two key things that tend to get people hot under the collar.
The waiting time
At times it can seem agonizing. You just want to move things forward and know where you stand; rip the plaster off as such. However, with home buying there are long lag times for home reports, mortgage reviews and offer acceptances which seem to leave you scared to draw breath for days, sometimes weeks!
Forgetting to budget for additional costs
When buying property it is not just the price that is involved. Finding your dream house and then realizing that costs such as; stamp duty, professional fees; re-decorating and removal charges leave you out-stretched can be heartbreaking.
The distraction from every day life
Just because you are making one of the biggest decisions of your life doesn’t mean that you get to put everything else on pause. When planning to move it can be frustrating to miss out on precious time with your kids, friends or even just downtime for yourself; it can feel all encompassing.
The stress of worry over the chain breaking
You’ve found your dream house, the offer has been accepted. You’ve even found a buyer for your existing home. However it all feels like it is held together by a thread, easily snatched away by someone else just simply changing their mind. As if they hold the key to your future happiness.
Trusting 3rd parties to carry out their role competently.
Whether it is the mortgage advisor, solicitor or surveyor you have to put your trust in the information provided to you by these qualified people. It can feel exposing, and out of your control at times, especially if you start to lose confidence in their actions.
Why A New Build Home Could Be Less Stressful To Buy.
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”
What this quote chooses to omit is that you might not make it due to exhaustion, stress and money problems.
While many inspirational quotes encourage us to seize at the challenge so that we can reap the benefits, we need to remember what is important.
When buying a home, it is a lifestyle that we long for rather than the particular bricks and mortar. So while you might like the romantic idea of renovating an old farmhouse for your family, it might not provide you with the lifestyle you had hoped while you go through the years of complex construction work.
Each of us has a limit to our mental capacity and with many of us already at full tilt due to work and family commitments it is easy to see why many people prefer to take the simpler route to homeownership by opting for a brand new home.
Reasons why a new build home is less stressful to buy:
No onward chain
When buying a new home, you can move in as soon as it is finished. There is no need to wait impatiently while a chain of multiple parties takes its time to work through.
No blind bidding
In Scotland, a property seller will set a price and then invite people to place offers through a system of blind bids. If bids lie too similar, you will be asked to re-submit your best offer with no knowledge of what the other party is offering. This means that you could be forced to spend thousands of extra pounds just in order to win the deal, risking heartbreak over purely choosing the wrong figure. When buying a new build property it is based on a fixed price.
Relationship is less emotionally charged.
When buying a new build; your relationship is with a commercial team who is eager to see that you have the house of your dreams. When buying an existing home, the seller is much more concerned about where their move is taking them, rather than using their precious time to help out the buyer of their property. At Fotheringham Homes we aim to provide you with a buying experience that is second to none; quite simply we hope that by making you happy with your home purchase you’ll tell all your friends about us! It is therefore to our benefit to help you out as much as possible.
A huge advantage to buying a new property is that you can be involved in all of the finishing touches such as décor and kitchen layouts. The earlier you reserve your property the more opportunity you have to make changes and make it your own before you even move in. At Fotheringham Homes we introduce you to our contacts at Laings of Inverurie who are luxury kitchen & bathroom experts and together we guarantee a polished finish to your home from the moment you open the door.
With an existing property you have to take what you are given and can only start to make changes and improvements from the day that you get the keys. Meaning that it could be weeks or even months before you can really relax into your new home and it can also prove to be far more costly.
Save time on viewing endless properties.
You can lose out on lots of precious weekends touring the family about potential properties that you’ve found on ASPC. Alternatively, with a new build you can sit down with a cup of tea and pick out your ideal home, discussing all the finer details with a dedicated property coordinator. As Fotheringham Homes is a small family company, you’ll find that you get to know us really well through the experience. We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in providing a first class experience for all of our clients.
Snags are covered usually for first year
When moving into a new property you have the reassurance that the builder will solve any snags or building defects within the first year. When moving into an existing property you will have been made aware of the majority of issues by the surveyors report, however you will have to negotiate with the seller to resolve the situation and then wait until it is implemented. When you buy a Fotheringham Home an initial snagging list is carried out one week after move in, and again at your first year anniversary.
Your property is covered by a 7 year structural warranty
All new homes in the UK are covered by a warranty and insurance guarantee. The warranty is free to the customer and is a way of providing you with reassurance and confidence in the completion of construction work. After the initial year discussed above the warranty protects you against structural defects and for issues such as double-glazing, staircases, and the heating system. With an existing property there is no back up; unless that you can prove the surveyor was negligible in his work.
You will have a dedicated point of contact
Once you’ve decided on your property, it is hard not to get excited and start planning out the finer details of your new home. With a new build you have the benefit of a dedicated contact who can give you the answers to your questions.
At Fotheringham Homes we have been fine tuning our customer experience over the years, to ensure that we can provide you with valuable advice and useful information that will make your home move as magical and stress free as possible.
When buying an existing property there is no requirement for the seller to provide you with any additional information or provide access; often leaving you frustrated at being unable to move forward.
Government initiatives available
It can be difficult getting onto the property ladder, especially due to the shortage of affordable homes. The Government supports this through providing initiatives such as the Help to buy scheme and shared ownership on new build homes. This can be lifeline to many people who thought property ownership was going to be out of their reach.
9 Tips for coping with stress when buying a home
Our lives are now action packed, and buying a home as already explained is one of the most stressful things you’ll do. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips we’ve gathered over the years that will keep your anxiety at bay.
- Speak to a friend who has been through the experience themselves recently and ask for their advice.
- Bring someone along with you to look after the kids or arrange childcare when viewing properties or meeting a developer. Rightly so you want to involve the whole family, however when trying to concentrate or have important conversations it can be frustrating when you are constantly distracted.
- Delegate responsibilities between you and your partner to minimise gaps in communication. Copy each other into emails, but decide who is the main point of contact so that it is clear who needs to do what.
- Decide on your priorities before you go looking at properties. Write down a list of the essentials you need from your property and a separate list for luxuries. Include things such as commute time, school catchment areas, large garden, number of bedrooms, double garage. It will focus your attention, saving you time viewing unsuitable properties and keep your head in check when your heart starts to rule!
- Get a notepad or folder and use it to record everything. There is a lot of information to remember and it is easy to forget to do things. By having a central record it will keep you and your partner on the straight and narrow ensuring you get everything ticked off as you go along.
- Get your mind ready for compromise. No it’s not easy, but as Which? Magazine found out in a 2015 survey, 7 out 10 house buyers have to compromise when buying property. It’s not saying that your dream property isn’t out there; you just might have to wait longer than you can afford to, or be squeezed out on price.
- Take the time to file emails, hours can be lost trying to track down communication, so take the time to organise them so that they are easy to find.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will allow you to soft check how much money you can borrow, and tell you how much deposit you’ll need along with your monthly payments. Don’t go house hunting until you know this information, otherwise your expectations may not align with reality, wasting you precious time.
- Make a thorough budget and save up! Take the time to forecast out costs such as removal charges, professional fees, redecorating plans, stamp duty etc this will give you a far more realistic picture of what a property will cost and avoid you getting heartache later on into the sales process.
Minimising stress is all about preparation. Rather than jump into a home purchase blindly, take the time to educate yourself so that you are equipped to deal with whatever arises. You will have to live with your decision for a longtime so don’t feel pressurised to make it too hastily.
Trying to excel in your career; juggle childcare responsibilities; spend time with the family; maintain a social life; stay fit; the list is exhaustive and already difficult to squeeze into normal hours.
Buying a new build home is a far more enjoyable experience as you have a dedicated support team who can use their experience to guide you through the pitfalls and reduce your stress levels. At Fotheringham Homes it is important to us that you look back on your home buying journey with fondness. It is for that reason that we prioritise our relationship with you so that you can have the home and lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of, without the stress that so often associated with house buying.