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.
“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.
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:
- The amount of admin, paperwork, phone calls, and emails you have to deal with
- Solicitors not getting back to you
- Finding a property you like and can afford
- That the sale of your own property might fall through
- Feeling like you have little control of the process and keeping things moving
- Waiting for the results of surveys in case anything is wrong
- Having to deal with solicitors
- Waiting on a move-in date
- Trying to juggle work and keeping on top of the home buying process – having to talk to solicitors and estate agents during working hours
- Having an issue elsewhere in the chain that is out of your control
- Delays from the sellers
- Putting in an offer on a property and waiting until it is accepted
- Having enough money to pay the fees and other costs
- The fear of being gazumped or beaten to a house you really want
- Having to spend lots of time packing boxes/bags
- Completing all of the documents correctly and in a timely fashion to avoid causing any delays
- Getting mortgages approved
- Worrying about having enough saved to cover unexpected costs
- Unanticipated extortionate fees throughout the process
- Having to deal with estate agents
- Feeling overwhelmed as you try to understand and figure out the process
- Organising services e.g. electricity, subscriptions etc
- Worrying that you are making a mistake in buying the property
- Trying to find the time to chase estate agents and solicitors
- Posting important documents and hoping it won’t get lost in the post
- Pressure from the buyer/ seller to complete by a certain date
- Last minute changes to the moving day
- Not understanding jargon throughout the process
- 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
- Going through the process/ filling in the documents together with another person, such as partner
- Having to deal with mortgage brokers, e.g. because of the jargon, their availability etc
- Worrying that you were harassing the estate agents and solicitors by chasing so much
- Saving the deposit
- Not knowing when to start packing – not too early but not too late
- Getting pressure from estate agents to exchange or complete by a certain date
- Having to clean my old home
- Sorting all the relevant new insurances
- Last minute checks showing up an issue at the exchange stage
- Worrying that the property might not be suitable after all – once you have exchanged contracts
- Negotiating with the sellers after the survey throws up something
- Organising viewings
- The valuation coming back lower than initially expected
- If the mortgage offer might expire
- Finding time to view properties
- Making sure my credit report is in the best possible shape before applying for a mortgage
- Trying to get a mortgage application through before the rates change
- Booking surveys
- Getting pressure from estate agents to use their preferred mortgage brokers
- Reading things online and not knowing if it is trustworthy or true
- Worrying about when the first mortgage payment will come out, and how much it will be
Speaking of stress, many Brits have got into fence feuds with their neighbours – we explain what you can do to resolve it.
Elsewhere, a four bed property has entered the market that boasts a special space for a lucky pet.
One couple managed to transform their home into a tropical paradise for just £8,000.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for UK Times Online Money team?