5 Tips to Decrease Stress While Buying a House in 2021

We offer five tips to lower your stress and get you excited about buying a home amidst an environment that has high home and construction material prices.

Arial shot of neighborhood.

Buying a house in 2021 can be both rewarding and stressful, whether you’re a first-time or seasoned homebuyer. Home prices and construction materials are at historically high rates. With today’s tumultuous housing market, it might make you question, should I buy a house in 2021?

Buying a house is a large financial investment. Even if everything appears to be going well, one misstep can put the sale in jeopardy. Several things could go wrong during the buying process: your financing could fall through at the last minute, another buyer could come in with a higher offer, a home inspection could reveal hidden problems, or the appraisal could come in below the sale price, affecting your mortgage terms.

While some aspects of purchasing a house are simply beyond your control, these are five tips to reduce the stress of buying a home in 2021.

Get Your Finances and Expectations in Check

Purchasing a home is by far one of the most expensive transactions you’ll ever make, so plan and set financial limits before making the plunge. Get all your finances and mortgage loan pre-approval secured before you start your search. If you run out of money in the middle of the transaction due to closing costs and other mortgage-related expenses like earnest money deposits, home appraisals, and home inspections, you may have to back out.

Housing prices in 2021 are on the rise so determine what price you can afford for a home before making a high offer. People are also paying well over the asking price for a new home. To be competitive, you also may need to offer more than the listing price, but don’t offer anything that you’ll ultimately regret. There have been more than a few stories of people making exorbitantly high offers, only to wish they hadn’t.

Mortgage lenders can help you find the best financing option for your needs. Your mortgage lender will want a down payment, in addition to the earnest money deposit, home inspection, and appraisal fees. It’s also important that you don’t overlook closing costs, which can range from 3% to 5% of the total loan amount. Origination fees, discount points, title insurance, title search, underwriting fees, recording fees, and credit report fees are all included in the closing costs.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent who knows your area’s housing market can ease the home-buying stress. Especially in this market, there are a number of variables to navigate that the average person doesn’t know to account for. Given how significant buying a home can be, make sure you choose a real estate agent that understands what you need and want – and is someone with whom you feel comfortable.

Ask for referrals from recent homebuyers who had positive experiences with their real estate agent. If your real estate agent advises you to include certain contingencies (i.e., conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed), such as a requirement that the seller makes a specific repair or that the house passes a satisfactory home inspection, take their advice – it could save you a lot of money, time and stress. Furthermore, your real estate agent may advise against making a low-ball offer, knowing that it could upset a buyer and jeopardize your chances of getting the house.

Consider Buying New Construction Rather Than Resale

If you’re looking for a new home, think carefully about financing and maintenance. With a new home, you can participate in the design of interior spaces with the builder before actual construction takes place. Currently, the cost of materials is skyrocketing, so this will impact the cost of new houses. However, it also will impact potential renovation plans with a resale house.

If you care about energy efficiency, a newly constructed home generally is the better option. You can retrofit many elements of an existing house to improve its energy efficiency, but it can be costly and have limited potential depending on the age and style of the home.

Consider Moving in With Family If You’re Selling and Aren’t Prepared to Buy

No matter how carefully you plan, there may be a gap between moving out and moving into your new home. If you have family that is nearby and willing, consider moving in with them instead of navigating the housing market right now. It isn’t always easy to find temporary housing, so why not turn to your relatives rather than a short-term lease? You may be able to save on rent/mortgage payments as well.

It’s also good to take the necessary steps to preserve your relationship with your family while you’re staying with them. Make sure you set a time limit for your stay and stick to it. Should things change, let your family member(s) know ASAP and see if they’re amenable to you staying longer.

When moving out of your relative’s home, it can be a courteous gesture to not expect their assistance with the move. Even if they volunteer to help, consider giving them a few simple tasks. If you need extra help with more oversized items, use the money you saved and hire a moving company to transfer all your goods safely.

Hire a Moving Company

After navigating the housing market and finding your perfect home, the last thing you’ll want to stress about is moving. Moving can be difficult, whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street. Finding a dependable, professional mover to safely transport all your belongings is a major decision. It’s easy to think that going the DIY route is cheaper, but that isn’t always the case when you factor in the “hidden” costs of a move. You can find some guidance regarding the true cost of a move here.

Navigating the current housing market isn’t for the faint of heart. Bidding wars and sky-high, all-cash offers are surprisingly common. All of this can lead to considerable stress, but following these tips can help lessen that turmoil as you look for your new home in 2021!

Hilldrup has been the moving company that individuals and families have trusted for more than a century. With 10 locations throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, our team has seamlessly helped countless households move across country and across town. Hilldrup’s insured professional movers handle all types of local moves and long distance moves and provide guidance on what to expect, what it will cost, and how to work with your timeline. Ready to move? Get a free quote by scheduling your virtual survey