How Much Stress Does Homebuying Really Cause a First-Time Homebuyer?

by Cheria BrickhouseAugust 14, 2018

Deciding to purchase a home for the first time is one of the biggest and toughest decisions you’ll have to make in life. Not only is it a major investment, but this is where you’re ultimately deciding to live and spend a great deal of your time for years to come. This investment has to be ideal for your current lifestyle and suitable for any future plans that you may have. Furthermore, you’ll need to be prepared for all that comes with home owning both financially and mentally; and although the thought of that alone is very tolling, it’s fair to say people have different experiences, both good and bad. In order to gain more insight on the first-time homebuying experience, we at Homes.com decided to conduct a study examining 2,000 people to see just how stressful the experience can be. Take a look below to see the trends we found.

Confused. Annoyed. Defeated. These are just a few emotions that are commonly felt during the homebuying process. Overall, it can often be an anxiety-inducing process which explains why two in five first-time homebuyers felt anxious and another 44 percent felt nervous throughout.

One in three Americans were reduced to tears while trying to buy their first home. The average person polled experienced four arguments along the way when purchasing their first home, with 33 percent even shedding some tears during the home-buying process.

Open house after open house, viewing after viewing, the search gets so repetitive. Part of the reason for a sometimes overwhelming amount of stress can be a lack of proper preparation. In fact, 38 percent of first-time homebuyers found the entire home-buying process to be far longer in duration than they expected. People typically view six properties before finding ‘the one,’ and even then, the emotional roller coaster of buying a property can often lead to decisions people later regret. That explains why one in 10 suffered buyer’s remorse and another 13 percent think they overpaid for their home.

As the saying goes, “proper preparation prevents poor performance” and a home search is not an exception.

“First-time homebuyers are often stressed and overwhelmed when making such a large purchase like a home. As a result, they are looking for guidance and assistance to help make the process easier and smoother,” said David Hoegerman, Senior Manager of Homes.com Content.

Searching for the perfect home also requires confidence, but one in five were not confident when looking for their new home. As a result of not having the confidence needed to get the home of their dreams, 28 percent of homebuyers suffered the heartbreak of failing to get the desired property they put in for. Therefore, it’s not shocking to find that two in five first-time homebuyers describe purchasing a new home as ‘the most stressful event in modern life’ and the average homebuyer considers going on a job interview, hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and applying for college all less stressful life events than buying a home.

So why are first-time homebuyers missing out on the home of their dreams? The number one reason was their offer being too low. Only 40 percent of first-time homebuyers were very comfortable negotiating the purchase price of the property with their real estate agent. Other reasons included the ideal home being out of their budget, the seller pulled out, things fell through or the loan fell through.

As we all know, there’s a silver lining in most, if not all, difficult situations.

“At the end of the day, buying a home is often the largest purchase the average American will experience in their lives. While it can be stressful and overwhelming, there are steps people can take to alleviate the tears and arguments that are bound to arise,” David Hoegerman added. “By doing research and discussing your desires and needs with your real estate agent, you can find a home that meets your needs while also staying within your budget.” You will also learn several lessons that you can take with you and apply for future purchases.

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About The Author
Cheria Brickhouse
Cheria is an aspiring homeowner and the Content Marketing Coordinator for Homes.com. When she isn't working, she stays busy sewing, designing, and diving into all sorts of DIY projects.