I’ve moved many times in my life, but none of those experiences could hold a candle to how stressful it is to buy a house. This isn’t my first time buying, so why is this time more stressful? Because I’m selling too. Isn’t house hunting supposed to be fun? I often watch real estate shows on TV, and it seems much easier than I’m experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, my real estate agent is awesome. But the market isn’t quite as awesome. Right now, the winners are the sellers. So on one hand, I’m in a good position. But on the other hand, I’m also looking to buy, and for us buyers, the market is drab. There are more people looking for houses, than available stock. If my budget was unlimited, or even considerably higher, I might be singing a different tune.
This is not to say that I can’t find a decent house in my price range, but the issue is that the houses are flying off the market faster than you can say “House Hunter”. So where does that leave me? In a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. I can’t go and look for houses, until mine is conditionally sold. But I can’t wait too long to start looking, or I’ll be in a situation where I potentially could be homeless.
I went and looked at a house on the weekend, and I fell in love with it. I mean, in love. The walls were painted a perfect Tiffany Blue, and the matching white wainscoting was all I needed to know that it was for me. I am pretty pragmatic when it comes to these kinds of decisions. Normally, I couldn’t care less about how a house looks. If it’s functional, is in a decent location and fits my budget, its perfect. But suddenly I’m wanting more. I don’t want it to just be a place where I live, I want it to be my home. When I purchased this house five years ago, I didn’t care what it looked like. I was in a hurry to move. I had just started a new job and there was no way I was going to commute 2 hours each way.
It all worked out in the end, but I was less concerned about what the house looked like, and more concerned about finding a place to live. My focus was on finding a “house”, not a “home”. Fast forward five years, and while I wouldn’t say that I’m nesting, I am definitely looking for something that I can call my own. Something that is a piece of me. A sanctuary of sorts.
I doubt I will get the Tiffany Blue house, and that makes me a little sad. In my attempt to stay positive through this experience, and really be present, I keep telling myself that “everything happens for a reason”. I guess I’m not meant to have a gorgeous walk in closet, or a fun accent wall, and that’s OK. There is something out there for me, that will be even more perfect. I’m just a bit impatient waiting for it to happen!
Here are some tips to help make your house hunting experience a bit more positive.
- Know your budget. Especially your outer limit. With the market being as hot as it is, there is a possibility that I will be bidding over the asking price. This is only possible when you know what your maximum budget is. Stick within it. Nothing can make you feel more negative than feeling like you over paid for something.
- Know what you want. OK, so this is me giving advice. Not necessarily being able to take it. My real estate agent hates the fact that I don’t know what I want. I like different things. I don’t have a checklist of my wants, necessarily. There are many parts of the city that I’m willing to live in, so location isn’t finite. I know the type of house I want, and if it happens to be painted Tiffany Blue, then it will make me happy.
- Be realistic. Not everything you look at is going to be perfect. Which means, it’s not for you. Don’t expect all of the houses to be everything you ever dreamed of.
- Relax. This is one that I need to practice a bit more. I get too caught up in the moment, and need everything to happen right now. I need this house to sell and I need to find the perfect house to move in to. None of that is realistic. I need to keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason, and to be positive that I will get through it.
If you find your thoughts are on the fast track to the dark side, you’re not alone. A quick Google search showed many articles in the catchment of “house hunting is difficult”. It’s also very difficult to stay positive. While writing this post, I received a request from my real estate agent to show the house tomorrow. While this is positive news, I find myself dwelling on all the things I need to do before I can leave the house tomorrow morning. It’s these thoughts that bring me from positive to negative in a matter of seconds. But I am going to power through and find ways to distract myself.