The Many Stages of Homebuying Anxiety
For me, there has been nothing about the homebuying process that hasn’t been riddled with anxiety. (Except maybe the furniture shopping…) Because of my career in the housing industry, I have witnessed the many joys of homeownership, as well as the hardships of homeownership. And this has caused me to be very cautious during this process. My mother told me on several occasions, “You just know too much.” Of course she believed that I should seek out as much education as possible, but I knew far too many “worst-case scenarios.”
I had to learn to take what I knew as a cautionary tale, but not allow it to paralyze me. I had to get back to the basics and look at my specific situation. I analyzed my current salary, my budget, the market I was purchasing in, my career plan, and my lifestyle. That allowed me to see what I was really dealing with and not just take on someone else’s story.
The fact that my homeownership journey has lasted nearly a year only created more anxiety. Time was a blessing and a curse. In a normal situation, you find the place, you move quickly to put in an offer, and things take off immediately. You could own a home in a matter of weeks. I am not sure I could have handled that either. The long process of waiting for my condo to be built has given me the opportunity to run through all of my decisions (some of them three or four times over) and become comfortable with them before making any moves. I am now confident in my decisions.
I realized I was spending too much time thinking back on the struggling homeowner stories and not enough time thinking of all of the families that felt empowered and proud of their homes. They were celebrating their homeownership journey, not regretting it.
It is true, we could all find ourselves in a vulnerable position with a “worst-case scenario,” but with proper planning and, most important, saving, we can also be confident that we can rebound.
Life happens, but that doesn’t mean you stay on the sidelines.