People generally have two kinds of needs during a home purchase. First are the transactional needs, such as searching for a home, obtaining financing, negotiating the terms of purchase, completing paperwork and legal documents, and arranging the move. The second are emotional needs, which can be more stressful than the financial ones. The following are some tips to help ease the stress.
PREPARE YOUR CHILDREN
Although you may have lived in your current home for just a few years, four years is half the lifetime of an eight-year-old. Your home may be the only home your children remember. It’s where they feel safe and it’s probably the center of your son or daughter’s world.
Be sure to announce the move in a completely upbeat way. You might talk about how beautiful the new neighborhood is and how good the schools are. Bring your children to the new house, if that’s possible or positively describe it to them. Find out what your children’s favorite things are in your current home, and then try to re-create them in the new house. Keep your children actively involved. For instance, give children a job to do during moving preparations. Boxing up their books or toys gets them involved with, and excited about, the move. Take them shopping for paint, bedspreads, carpets, and other items for their new room.
Your children are bound to have worries during the move. Help lessen these anxieties by finding ways to make parting pleasant. For example, plan a going-away party or create a photo album with pictures of neighbors, their house and the neighborhood.
Handle With Care!
Many people rank moving as one of the top five causes of stress. How you handle your children before and during the sale of your home can reduce some of their stress – and yours!
Experts recommend the following to make this a smooth transition:
- Children should only be told of a planned move once the decision has been made. Discussing the possibility of a move beforehand only causes unnecessary anxiety, according to many child psychologists.
- Minimize the stress your children feel when moving by getting them involved in their favorite activities – sports, academic or artistic – BEFORE the move actually occurs. Children can use the Internet to find out about their favorite activities, events or teams, as well as other interesting facts about their new area.
- Another way to help children adjust to a new environment is to allow them to become familiar with the area before the move occurs. Take a vacation, or short trip to your new location to allow them to get to know the area. That way, it will seem familiar and reassuring once they’ve moved.
- Don’t pack your child’s security blanket or other favorite toy. It should travel with your child instead.
- Moving during the middle of the school year allows your children to make new friends right away.
- And finally, let your children stay with relatives or friends during the actual packing and loading process. That will relieve the stress of seeing their possessions packed into boxes and taken away.
As you begin the process, you may start to feel out of control, as though other parties to the purchase transaction are running the show. Your mortgage company, the appraiser, the inspector, and the seller all have certain powers to approve or disapprove of your overall plan to purchase this home and move successfully. To alleviate your feelings of helplessness, one of the best things you can do is to understand as much of the purchase process as possible. Work with your real estate agent to prepare yourself for the unknown and tie down loose ends.
TRUST THE PROCESS
There can be so much to do that it’s easy to panic. Buying a home may feel risky, but the truth is it’s an opportunity for you and your family. Even though you can’t predict what will happen every step of the way, your real estate agent helps people buy and sell homes as a profession! Your agent has been there before and understands that this is a major upheaval in your life. Trust that your agent is looking out for you on your way to a successful closing and move.
Although your agent will do everything possible to prepare you for your home purchase, there is no such thing as a perfect world. The property inspection may reveal areas of concern, or closing may be delayed for some reason. Try to take a deep breath and be flexible in your thinking.
Whenever you feel things are spinning out of control, find a diversion! Take a walk around your new neighborhood; go out of town or to a movie with your family. Whatever outlet works best for you, this is a good time to engage in it! Remember to take one “move” at a time.