The 50 most stressful things about buying a house revealed

The most stressful things when buying a home are solicitors not getting back to you (28%), the sheer amount of admin (28%) and finding a house you like and can actually afford (24%).

In a study of 1,500 adults who recently bought a house, nearly a quarter (24%) said the fear of the sale falling through was their biggest worry.

While another 24% struggled with how little control they felt they had, to keep the process moving.

Unexpected costs (18%), trying to juggle work and staying on top of the process at the same time (22%), and not understanding home-buying jargon (15%) also added to the home-buyers stress.

As a result, 37% found buying a home to be one of the most stressful life events they’ve experienced, worse than finding a job (28%), planning a wedding (23%), and even having a child (18%).

However, despite the stress, 36% said buying a home was still one of the best things they have ever done.

Cecilia Mourain, MD Homebuying at Moneybox, which commissioned the research, said: “For far too long, what should be one of the most exciting experiences in adult life, has been a source of anxiety and stress. This does not need to be the case.

“An important life goal for so many, we know it can be daunting when trying to prepare for all the home-buying process entails.

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“These findings show that more needs to be done to help people understand what to expect throughout, as well as practical measures to support them navigate their home-buying journey, which can be complex and very time-consuming.”

The study also found 55% said their most recent home purchase was more stressful than they thought it would be.

Three in 10 encountered unexpected delays in ‘the chain’, and 21% found the sellers of their new home had left a terrible mess behind.

Another 15% were gazumped or outbid when they finally found a property they liked enough to make an offer for.

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When asked about the specific parts of the journey that took longer than expected, 38% found the wait to hear when completion day would be particularly agonising and drawn out.

While 37% were surprised at the amount of time it took solicitors to send the documents for completion.

More than a quarter (27%) said it took much longer than they thought it would to actually find a property they wanted to buy, viewing an average of six properties before finding the ‘one’.

And the entire process, from putting in an offer, to completing and getting the keys took on average 5.2 months.

Of those polled via OnePoll, three in 10 feel the homebuying process is too complicated and 32% found that despite being organised, they still found the process overwhelming.

Nearly a third (32%) feel they should have been kept up to speed more during various stages of the process, and 20% would have liked to have had a home buying expert they could turn to for advice or reassurance.

Cecilia Mourain, MD homebuying at Moneybox, which has compiled a list of tips from recent home-buyers, added: “While mortgage brokers have long existed to help people find the best terms for their loans, that is no longer enough.

“We launched our free home-buying service to make buying a home easy, from first step to doorstep, with our Lifetime ISA and tools such as the house deposit calculator.

“A team of expert mortgage brokers are on hand to provide unbiased advice and support to access the right mortgage for their needs, and a dedicated case manager helps manage all the administrative tasks from application right through to completion – alleviating the biggest cause of stress for homebuyers.”

The 50 most stressful things about buying a house:

  1. The amount of admin, paperwork, phone calls, and emails you have to deal with
  2. Solicitors not getting back to you
  3. Finding a property you like and can afford
  4. That the sale of your own property might fall through
  5. Feeling like you have little control of the process and keeping things moving
  6. Waiting for the results of surveys in case anything is wrong
  7. Having to deal with solicitors
  8. Waiting on a move-in date
  9. Trying to juggle work and keeping on top of the home buying process – having to talk to solicitors and estate agents during working hours
  10. Having an issue elsewhere in the chain that is out of your control
  11. Delays from the sellers
  12. Putting in an offer on a property and waiting until it is accepted
  13. Having enough money to pay the fees and other costs
  14. The fear of being gazumped or beaten to a house you really want
  15. Having to spend lots of time packing boxes/bags
  16. Completing all of the documents correctly and in a timely fashion to avoid causing any delays
  17. Getting mortgages approved
  18. Worrying about having enough saved to cover unexpected costs
  19. Unanticipated extortionate fees throughout the process
  20. Having to deal with estate agents
  21. Feeling overwhelmed as you try to understand and figure out the process
  22. Organising services e.g. electricity, subscriptions etc
  23. Worrying that you are making a mistake in buying the property
  24. Trying to find the time to chase estate agents and solicitors
  25. Posting important documents and hoping it won’t get lost in the post
  26. Pressure from the buyer/ seller to complete by a certain date
  27. Last minute changes to the moving day
  28. Not understanding jargon throughout the process
  29. The moment you have to press send on the huge fee at the end of the process and seeing it disappear from your bank account
  30. Going through the process/ filling in the documents together with another person, such as partner
  31. Having to deal with mortgage brokers, e.g. because of the jargon, their availability etc
  32. Worrying that you were harassing the estate agents and solicitors by chasing so much
  33. Saving the deposit
  34. Not knowing when to start packing – not too early but not too late
  35. Getting pressure from estate agents to exchange or complete by a certain date
  36. Having to clean my old home
  37. Sorting all the relevant new insurances
  38. Last minute checks showing up an issue at the exchange stage
  39. Worrying that the property might not be suitable after all – once you have exchanged contracts
  40. Negotiating with the sellers after the survey throws up something
  41. Organising viewings
  42. The valuation coming back lower than initially expected
  43. If the mortgage offer might expire
  44. Finding time to view properties
  45. Making sure my credit report is in the best possible shape before applying for a mortgage
  46. Trying to get a mortgage application through before the rates change
  47. Booking surveys
  48. Getting pressure from estate agents to use their preferred mortgage brokers
  49. Reading things online and not knowing if it is trustworthy or true
  50. Worrying about when the first mortgage payment will come out, and how much it will be

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