One of the things that I struggled with before moving to my current home was the thought I wouldn't find anything I would be happy with. The home I was in already was a brand new home and I didn't like it much. It was really nice, convenient and easy to clean. But, it was the home we moved to after the home where I raised my kids, so nothing was going to measure up in the long run anyway. But, even though I knew this, I was still worried we would never find the house that I would be happy with again. But I did and then some. Here are a few things to help you get past the fear of moving on up and out of your current place, if you fear you will never find the right place for you and your family:
Figuring Out Wants vs. Needs - That small, new house made me really look at what things were most important to me in a house. I found out that having new things in it wasn't everything. I also found out what kind of flooring I didn't like and some I did. I found out that having more space for when my family visits was still more important to me than having a small, easy to clean house. (I know...still can't believe that one either since my husband and I are empty nesters and don't have everyone over all that often). I figured out those things that were deal breakers for me in a house if they weren't included and what things I could really live without. I found out I needed trees more than I ever thought I would! Living in a new construction sub division there weren't many established trees and my old home had woods behind it, so when the woods weren't there anymore (and all the wildlife that went with it) it was harder than I expected. Especially when my new house overlooked a big open field of farmland (which I also love)! My point is, you really need to figure out what is the most important to you and what you think you can live without even if you want it. No home is perfect, but if you find a place that has those main needs met, it could be a "work in progress" and you be totally fine with it! That is how I felt when I went from a brand new house to a beat up foreclosure. We did get new things in it, but to me it was still different than living in a brand new house because we brought a house back to life. That felt good and right. This house felt like "home' to me even BEFORE we ever started any renovations. Was I still scared I might hate it? Yes. But I went with my gut telling me it was home and drowned out my fears about moving forward.
Patience is a Virtue - My husband and I started considering moving the first time about 5 years before we actually had the right moment happen and then I lived in the new construction house I wasn't thrilled with for 3 1/2 years before my current home. That sounds like a while, but it really wasn't and the second time I was looking it went about a year until everything really fell into place for us. There were times I felt guilty looking because I was in this new house and wasn't happy. There were times I thought I found the perfect home only that it didn't work out and then there was this house that I "clicked" right past because it looked like a ton of work, but then my son suggested looking at it, so we did. We pulled in a very steep driveway that freaked me out a little (my husband has had both of his hips replaced and falling was a thought that crossed my mind), walked in to the front door right to open basement steps (that I could see one of my young grandchildren falling down) and torn up floors, missing fixtures, no interior doors on a lot of the rooms and several broken windows. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. There wasn't a room in the house that didn't need work from the ceiling down. When we left I kind of could see the potential, but I knew my husband would say no way. But he didn't. In fact, he kept talking about wondering if we could fix it up or not. So we went back for a second visit (the first was before Christmas, the second was New Year's Eve) and it was freezing in the house. But, as we stood and talked with the contractor I looked out the back window of the house at the woods and saw a deer just sitting out there. That deer stayed the whole time we talked and no matter how cold it was in there I felt that "warmth" of HOME the whole time. That was it, I knew it was the right place for me. Everything with this house took more time than we expected from the closing to the renovation, but it was so well worth the wait. If you keep patient, and keep looking, the right place will find YOU. Trust me. It may be one you "clicked" right past.
Timing is Everything - This is the main thing to keep in mind that timing is everything. You may feel like it's the right time to jump ahead, but your lender may say otherwise. You may feel like the house that fits your criteria should be just about anywhere, only to find that there are limited houses that are on the market that fit it. You may also have in your head when the perfect time to move is and you may see it pass by because nothing seems to be falling into place AT ALL. Don't give up hope! I am a true believer that the right place will happen at the right time. I still believe that the new construction home we had came right when it was important for us. My husband had both of his hip surgeries and I had a few medical issues myself and it was so much easier to handle all of that at that house at the time. Also, when we bought that house it brought my husband's parents closer because they bought our other home. It was sadly 8 months after that my father in law passed away. If we hadn't bought that new construction house, all of my family wouldn't have had that time with him before he passed like we did. So the house I didn't "love" was a big blessing in the long run to all of my family and I am so glad we had it for the time that we did.
Buying a home can be a fearful and stressful process, but it is so well worth it if you keep these things in mind. Sometimes even if you think you will never find the right house for you, if you just see what you really need, be patient for the right place to show up and understand when the right time is before you, then you will find that perfect home. Perfect for YOU that is. Warts and all.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Expert in Fear Management Photo Credit: Usman Yousaf