Today’s the day we’re finally signing all contracts for our new apartment! To say that we’re excited would be a bit of an understatement, to say the least. The official move date isn’t until the middle of March but as the apartment is empty we’re hoping that the current owner will let us start carrying out a few improvements a bit sooner.
If you’ve ever bought (or sold) a house, you’ll know that it’s one of the most stressful things you will ever do.
Finding your dream home is difficult and when you do it’s the most amazing feeling. You really do know when it’s the right one for you and after months or even years of searching the thought of losing out is just too much to bear.
You would think that it gets easier the more times you go through it but it doesn’t. Admittedly we’re only buying our second home (third if you count the one we were in the process of buying just before we decided to move to Berlin) but I honestly don’t think that any of the emotional turmoil will ever get easier.
If anything I think I may have been even more stressed when house hunting this time around. We were thinking much, much more long-term and weren’t just looking for a home for a couple of years but for our possibly forever home. (You can read our house hunting and buying tips here.)
Finding somewhere perfect is obviously pretty much impossible but we really didn’t want to have to compromise too much so we were putting ourselves under a huge amount of pressure.
Here are our tips on how to stay sane when house hunting
#1 Work Out Your Budget Before You Start Looking At Houses Or Apartments and then
increase it when you don’t find what you want stick to it.
I know that this sounds obvious but it’s so easy to get carried away when browsing houses on the internet. Seeing what amazing properties are available and imagining yourself in a new gorgeous home can tempt you to increase your budget or even worse, fall in love with a home you won’t be able to afford!
#2 Keep Calm.
Admittedly keeping calm is much easier said than done. Buying a house is an emotional process and it’s difficult to stay level-headed but keeping calm is the best way to make rational decisions. Try to take a step back and view things objectively. Look at the facts and figures and try to push any feelings you may have to one side to keep you more focused.
#3 Get Support.
I know that it can be difficult to ask for help but it’s impossible to know everything and looking at prospective homes can be a bit overwhelming. Any advice is helpful. Different people notice different things and with the major overwhelm of looking at somewhere new having someone with you to keep you levelheaded and give you a second opinion can be invaluable. Having someone helpful with you throughout the process can help you with keeping calm, too.
Waiting is definitely the hardest part of the whole process. Waiting to find that perfect home. Waiting for answers. Waiting for surveys. Waiting for other people to tick boxes you can’t.
Waiting is difficult no matter what stage of the process you’re at.
We viewed the apartment for the first time in the middle of November and won’t be moving in till March. I know that it seems like a long time, it definitely feels even longer to us, but it just takes time to sort all of the paperwork and contracts.
#5 There are other houses out there.
It may not seem like it at the time but there are other homes out there. Losing out on your dream home is never going to be easy and we missed out on a lot of houses before we finally managed to purchase our house in Manchester. In the end, it all turned out for the best and our house was definitely worth the wait as it was the best we viewed! It won’t feel like it but sometimes things happen for a reason. Don’t forget – the next one could be it!
#6 Know your facts.
Learn everything about the process. What happens when? What are the average house prices? How does the buying process work? What other costs will be involved?
The more information you have, the less stressed you’ll be! Financial aspects are always something that can make any situation more stressful and being hit with unexpected bills or costs doesn’t make it any easier.
We had a fairly good idea of the house buying process in the UK but here in Germany everything is different. There have been a lot of unexpected twists and turns which have definitely made the whole apartment purchasing process rather more stressful than we’d expected. Knowing what steps happen when before you start out is definitely the best way to keep your stress levels at a minimum.
#7 Get Your Numbers Right – It’s Vital.
At the end of the day, it’s an investment. You’re not just buying a home, you’re also spending a huge amount of money on something and you have to make sure that it’s being spent wisely. It’s so easy to get carried away by a beautiful home and imagine yourself living there but it’s important to take a step back and do the numbers. Having your numbers and calculations to fall back on is so important.
We’re not planning on selling our new home anytime soon but knowing that the numbers would stack up if we decided to let the apartment for a while and that it would cover all of our costs was really important to us.
The fees associated with buying are really high here in Berlin (all together around 15% of the purchase price and that’s without moving costs, surveys or mortgage fees) so there’s almost no way we could recover those costs within a short space of time, even if property prices here in Berlin are on the rise.
Buying a home is stressful but it’s also so rewarding. There’s no better feeling than finding your dream home and getting to move in!
Do you have any tips on how to stay sane when house hunting? Do you find the whole process as stressful we do?