Death, divorce and moving are said to be the three most stressful experiences in life. The stresses of buying and selling are enough to make many people feel overwhelmed. Taking care of yourself in the process, making sure you understand what's going on, and increasing your sense of control can reduce your stress and help keep the process sane. To understand relocation stress let's first examine the two kinds of needs that people have when moving:
First are transactional needs, like finding the home that is just right for you, finding a seller who is realistic, negotiating the prize fighting out the paperwork, handling the escrow, and arranging for the move.
Second are the emotional needs that are involved when moving, and this is where the biggest stress comes in. Your real estate agent, mortgage broker, and your moving company will handle the transactional needs for you, but if your emotional needs are unfulfilled, you'll be frustrated and may not act in your own best interests.
We have identified six ways to help you manage the stress that relocation can bring:
Begin with an end in mind
Have an ultimate scenario of where you're trying to accomplish. What will life be like when you get there? How will it be better than where you are now? Dwell on that picture and write it out, fill up at least a page about how it feels in the new place. This is imperative. Having the goal in front of you at all times energizes you to achieve it, in spite of setbacks and frustrations. Emotions will run high and you need an anchor. Try to focus on that future goal when anxiety threatens to get the better of you.
Overestimate your monetary calculations by a thousand dollars. In this market, anything can happen between contract acceptance and closing. It could be the inspections reveal areas of concern that the seller is unwilling to fix or the repair costs are higher than the amount limited in the contract. Or the interest rate changes which affects the necessary down payment and closing costs you will need to come up with. Your real estate team should strive to tie up loose ends as quickly as possible, but remember there is no perfect world. Most buyers feel a bit overwhelmed when taking on a new mortgage and the responsibilities of a new home and many buyers get angry when it seems like the cost just keeps going up. Anger is caused when reality doesn't match up with the expectations you had in your mind. So if you anticipate this happening in advance, you won't get angry. In fact, it'll probably go better than you expected.
Trust in the process
When there's just so much to do, it's easy to panic. You wonder if it will ever work out. You think you're taking a big chance, but the truth is you're giving yourself a big chance. Even though you can't see every step of the way, as you move towards your goals, the way opens up. Most likely you haven't moved in a long time and it's a major upheaval in your life.
One thing you'll probably feel during this transition time is being out of control. It feels like everyone else has taken over your life. The seller, your lender, the appraiser, the inspectors, the movers, they all have the power to say yes or no to your plans. Try your best to let you know ahead of time what your expenses will be and research what the unknowns might be. Try to tie down the loose ends as soon as possible. Most of all, try to educate yourself as best you so you won't feel as if you don't know what to expect or feel that things are out of control.
Know your options
When things don't go as smoothly as you had hoped, don't let emotions take over. Always ask yourself "What are my options?", because there are always alternative options. Let's pretend the lender takes longer than agreed upon to get your loan. He keeps asking you for more and more documentation until if feels like he also needs to know how many gold fillings you have in your mouth! You'll feel upset because you wanted to feel certain about the move and now you still have to live with the uncertainty. You want to say "Forget it, I'm fed up with this!" But what are your options? Find a new lender and start the process over again? That may take weeks, plus you will have to provide all the paperwork over again. If the lender is trying his best, it may be better to give him a few more days. Each case is unique, but when setbacks occur you'll find that asking yourself this question helps to defuse the situation and restore clearheaded thinking.
When there's nothing you can do about the situation, take your mind off of it altogether. Maybe you expected loan approval on Friday, but now it won't come until Monday. You hate being in limbo and feeling powerless. So do something else entirely, maybe something where you aren't powerless. Take a hike, play tennis, get out of town for the day. Watch a movie, pray, or pour yourself into your work. Whatever diversion works best for you, now would be a good time to engage in it. Just forget the situation and refuse to listen to those irritating thoughts when they come into your head. Think about something else instead and just take it one day at a time
Please remember that taking care of yourself during the relocation process, making sure you understand what's going on, and increasing your sense of control can reduce your stress and help keep the process sane.