4 Ways To Keep From Getting Overwhelmed When House Hunting

Young couple buying new house, handshaking with realtor in agreement

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There's no getting around the fact that house hunting can be stressful at times, especially in this market where the few properties available tend to move fast. However, there are things that you can do to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed during this process. I've explained a few of them for you below. Take a look and try to incorporate these into your house-hunting routine in order to keep it as stress free as possible.

Having a firm idea of what you want

The best thing that you can do to reduce stress when house hunting is to go into the process with a firm idea of what you're looking for in a home. While you still should keep an open mind during this process, doing so will keep you from wasting time and energy looking at properties that aren't a good fit for you.

In order to give yourself a better idea of what you want in a home, I suggest making two lists. Make a "must-have list" with all the essential features that your new home needs to have, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Then, make a "wish list" full of features that would be nice to have but aren't essential.

When you're done, be sure to share this list with your real estate agent so that he or she knows which features you hope to find in a home. Ideally, your new home will include all the features on your must-have list and at least some of the items on your wish list.

Only viewing a few houses at a time

There's no getting around it, setting aside time for showings is hard work. Since many people have packed schedules, they tend to want to cram as many showings as possible into one outing. However, doing so might be an easy way to set yourself up to become overwhelmed.

Put simply, when you view too many houses at once, they all have a tendency to blend together. It can be tough to remember important details such as which home had the updated kitchen and which had the overly small bedrooms. For this reason, I recommend only going to see a maximum of three houses at a time.

Researching neighborhoods as well as homes

Another house-hunting mistake that people make is that they only take the time to view the home during a showing. However, that home does not exist in a vacuum. It's part of a larger neighborhood. Taking the time to get a feel for the area, as well as the home, is key to keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.

With that in mind, any time you see a home that you're seriously considering buying, take the time to go for a tour of the neighborhood. Judge it on multiple factors like its distance from your work or the amount of available amenities like gyms and grocery stores. Then, factor this info into your decision of whether or not to purchase that particular home.

Reaching out for support

Last but not least, reach out for support. There's no getting around the fact that house hunting can be stressful at times. It helps to have someone on-hand who you can vent to, if need be—and who will share in your success when you finally buy a home. In fact, this is so useful that the American Psychological Association (APA) recommends it for managing stress.

In fact, the APA says that it doesn't matter how you reach out for social support. Writing a letter, making a phone call, and talking in-person were all shown to be just as effective at helping you keep your cool. However, what does matter is who you talk to. The APA recommends choosing someone whom you trust will validate you in your time of need and avoiding those who may just cause more stress.

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There's no getting around the fact that house hunting can be stressful at times, especially in this market where the few properties available tend to move fast. However, there are things that you can do to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed during this process. I've explained a few of them for you below. Take a look and try to incorporate these into your house-hunting routine in order to keep it as stress free as possible.

Having a firm idea of what you want

The best thing that you can do to reduce stress when house hunting is to go into the process with a firm idea of what you're looking for in a home. While you still should keep an open mind during this process, doing so will keep you from wasting time and energy looking at properties that aren't a good fit for you.

In order to give yourself a better idea of what you want in a home, I suggest making two lists. Make a "must-have list" with all the essential features that your new home needs to have, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Then, make a "wish list" full of features that would be nice to have but aren't essential.

When you're done, be sure to share this list with your real estate agent so that he or she knows which features you hope to find in a home. Ideally, your new home will include all the features on your must-have list and at least some of the items on your wish list.

Only viewing a few houses at a time

There's no getting around it, setting aside time for showings is hard work. Since many people have packed schedules, they tend to want to cram as many showings as possible into one outing. However, doing so might be an easy way to set yourself up to become overwhelmed.

Put simply, when you view too many houses at once, they all have a tendency to blend together. It can be tough to remember important details such as which home had the updated kitchen and which had the overly small bedrooms. For this reason, I recommend only going to see a maximum of three houses at a time.

Researching neighborhoods as well as homes

Another house-hunting mistake that people make is that they only take the time to view the home during a showing. However, that home does not exist in a vacuum. It's part of a larger neighborhood. Taking the time to get a feel for the area, as well as the home, is key to keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.

With that in mind, any time you see a home that you're seriously considering buying, take the time to go for a tour of the neighborhood. Judge it on multiple factors like its distance from your work or the amount of available amenities like gyms and grocery stores. Then, factor this info into your decision of whether or not to purchase that particular home.

Reaching out for support

Last but not least, reach out for support. There's no getting around the fact that house hunting can be stressful at times. It helps to have someone on-hand who you can vent to, if need be—and who will share in your success when you finally buy a home. In fact, this is so useful that the American Psychological Association (APA) recommends it for managing stress.

In fact, the APA says that it doesn't matter how you reach out for social support. Writing a letter, making a phone call, and talking in-person were all shown to be just as effective at helping you keep your cool. However, what does matter is who you talk to. The APA recommends choosing someone whom you trust will validate you in your time of need and avoiding those who may just cause more stress.

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As a real estate blogger and content creator from a family of Realtors, home buying and selling is what I know. In addition to Forbes, my work can be found on Realtor.c

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