Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Tools For Home Buying Anxiety
Buying a home is an exciting time. It can also be an extremely stressful time. Especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. No matter when you look at a house, it can be a daunting task. Is this the right one for us? Will we be happy here? Can we really afford it? Even though buying a home is a wonderful thing, it can be very stressful in the moment. This is where Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Tools for coping with first time home buying anxiety can be very helpful.
And because 2021 couldn’t be simple, the housing market underwent some massive changes. Demand in houses went up, but supply went down. Causing many houses on the market to skyrocket in prices. What would normally be a $250,000 / £200,000 apartment / house was going for upwards of $300,000 / £250,000 or or more.
Truthfully, no matter what year you are buying your first home in (or any home), it can be very stressful. Home buying anxiety is very real. In fact, 40% of first time home buyers in the USA said that it was the most stressful experience of their life. Balancing the demands of your family, work, the possibility of packing up and relocating…there’s so much to stress about! However, there are ways to deal with this stress so it doesn’t take as great a toll on your mental health. Here are 5 Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Tools to cope with home buying anxiety.
1. Don’t Rush It
No one wants to be paying large amounts towards rent. I completely get it. Rent prices are outrageous, especially when you look at the potential savings you can have with a mortgage. My first piece of advice is to not rush into anything. Don’t buy a home that you truly can’t see yourself being happy in just for the sake of saying you did it. Of course, this may not be feasible if you are in a time crunch to find a home because you are relocating to a new area.
You can manage your anxiety levels over the home buying process by letting things come as they will. You can do this by engaging and managing your thoughts over the situation. Instead of getting yourself keyed up and over-thinking it, teach yourself to think, “When the right house is available, it will be the right time,” vs “I need to buy a house right now, no matter what it is.” Practice saying this new thought so that it becomes a routine thought to help you not impulse buy a new home.
2. Be Mentally Prepared For Extra Costs
It can be surprising to hear of all the extra costs associated with buying a home. Closing costs, down payments, realtor fees, deeds, titles, inspections…AH! Does it ever end? What can help ease your anxiety is knowing that you have a cushion of financial security. Your behavior dictates the emotions and thoughts that you have over the home buying process. So when you are prepared by ensuring you have extra money to go towards home repairs, closing costs, etc., it will help be less anxious. It is good to think of these costs, not as extras but as essentials that will need to be paid. Doing this will allow you to make a budget that will work for you.
3. It Takes Time…You Should Take Time For Yourself!
When you finally find that dream home, everything can feel like a blur. Waiting for the seller to accept your offer, going through the mortgage and loan process, waiting for the appraisal to come in. It’s a whole lot of waiting and unfortunately, this does nothing to help our stress levels.
Buying a home takes time, sometimes anywhere from one to six months. And it’s hard not to want to rush it and get those keys in hand. But until it does, you should still remember to do things completely unrelated to buying a house. By doing small activities that help your mental health, such as walking in nature, meditating, yoga, meeting up with friends, or reading a book, your mind (and body) will thank you for giving it a break from thinking about the big change!
4. You’re Your Own Boss…And Never Forget That!
One major source of anxiety over the home buying process is feeling as if you are at the whims of your real estate agent, the seller, or your mortgage company.
At the end of the day, this is you/your family’s decision and no one else’s. You should never feel pressured into buying a house if it doesn’t feel right, no matter what your agent says. You shouldn’t feel pressure over buying a house that is within your budget but does not fit your needs.
Knowing that you are the boss of this situation can help you feel more in control and thus keep your anxiety levels at bay! So this is a great thought to cultivate, “I am the boss here!”. Practice saying this and see how you feel.
5. Learn To Control Your Anxiety, Not The Other Way Around
This is a valuable lesson no matter where you are in life. The biggest obstacle with anxiety is knowing how to manage it and not let it control you. Practicing mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises are fantastic ways to do this at home.
More often than not, the best way to learn to manage your anxiety is by working with a licensed therapist. We can help you learn techniques to not only keep your levels of anxiety at bay during the home buying process, but for all of life’s other stressful events so that you can make the most of your life once you are in your new home!
If the stress of buying a home is starting to get to you, you don’t have to go through it alone and help is available. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for home buying anxiety teaches you how to manage and change the unhelpful inner monologue and unhelpful behaviors that go with purchasing a home. To read more about Cognitive Behavior Therapy, please click HERE.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist in the UK with over 15 years of experience. I specialize in anxiety treatments, and life transitions. I have received advanced specialist training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Over the years I have helped many people purchasing homes learn how to manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviors during the process and afterwards. Please feel free to contact me at my Honolulu or London clinic to set up a CBT for Home Buying Anxiety Test Drive.