The entire process of buying a house is full of stress – it’s unavoidable. From deciding where you want to live, to finding a perfect property, to applying for a mortgage: there are so many steps to take.

Make sure you avoid burnout by following these top stress management tips throughout your exciting (but stressful!) house-buying journey.

Take your time (if you can)

Unless you’re being pressured into a quick move, such as for work or due to a change in your family circumstance, try to take your time. Put your house on the market first, as this puts you in a stronger position to offer on a property you like. It’ll also mean you’re not scrambling to find a buyer to secure the purchase of your dream home!

Your Agreement in Principle for your mortgage will only last for typically 90 days, too. This means it’s important to make sure you’re ready to move before you find a house you want to buy – otherwise you may need to repeat the process, leading to delays.

Be confident about your must-haves and veto points

When you’re looking for a new home, make a list of absolute must-haves and things you couldn’t abide in your house. For example, is a garden essential? Do you need a separate dining room or do you want a larger kitchen/diner? How far are you willing to commute?

Having a definitive list will help you narrow down the properties you view and consider for purchase. If, however, you’re struggling to find a house that fits everything on your list, it may be time to think about where you would be willing to compromise.

Be financially prepared for additional costs

Even with a mortgage in principle in place and plenty saved for your deposit, you need to make sure you can afford the additional costs of buying a house, too.

You need to have enough funds to cover your estate agent fees (if you’re selling your existing home), removals hire, conveyancing charges, and surveys. It’s always a good idea to have an extra buffer to cover unforeseen charges, too – such as additional letters from your solicitor, or more in-depth surveys.

Worrying about money when you’re buying a house is one of the biggest causes of stress. Having the funds in place before you start the process will significantly ease your peace of mind!

Don't be afraid to ask for explanations of documentation 

House contracts, solicitor agreements, and surveys all come with a lot of jargon. A lot of stress can come from not understanding – or misunderstanding – these documents.

If there’s something in the paperwork that’s confusing you, or has made alarm bells ring, speak to your solicitor or estate agent. Ask them to explain in plain English what the complex terms mean and how it impacts your house purchase.

Take time off house hunting

If you can, set aside a long weekend midway through the house purchase process. Agree with your partner and family that you’re not discussing the house during that time. Perhaps go away on a mini holiday – even an overnight break can refresh you.

It’s easy to get caught up in making every conversation focused around the house. This means other areas of your life – including relationships – take a backseat. That’ll contribute to your long-term stress, so try to take some time out away from the house buying activities to relax.

Don't try to predict the future

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the house buying journey. You’ll find yourself having ‘what if?’ conversations regularly – but try to avoid them wherever possible.

Assessing possible events and outcomes, such as a survey highlighting a problem, is sensible. However, until you know the situation for definite, you can wind yourself up by over-thinking the subject.

If you find yourself thinking about the possible future problems you may encounter buying your house, take time to list the things you already know for certain. For example, you know your offer has been accepted. Great! You know you’ve got a mortgage in principle. Brilliant! You’ve accepted an offer on your current property. Fantastic!

Knowing where you currently stand, and the obstacles you’ve already overcome, can help bring some perspective and reduce stress.

Conduct surveys before you commit to buying

Carry out your searches and surveys before you exchange contracts. However tempting it may be to waive these surveys to try and speed up the process, don’t! It often doesn’t make it much faster (if at all) and you could end up buying an expensive mistake with lots of hidden problems.

Surveys and searches help to ease your mind when it comes to knowing exactly what you’re buying. You’ll know if the property has any potential problems – and assess whether you’re willing to take on those issues before you buy.

Avoid mortgage rejection woes

Money worries cause a huge amount of stress – so make sure your finances are in order before you even begin to start buying a house.

Speak to your local mortgage adviser to find out if you could get a mortgage. They’ll help you find out if your credit rating and financial situation will be enough to get accepted for a mortgage – and if not, they’ll provide advice on things you can do to improve your chances.

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.