Home shopping season is underway, and unfortunately, tears, arguments and stress are all too common during the family house-hunt and move, according to a new survey from Zillow and Care.com. In fact, half of parents reported fighting with their partner one to two times per week, and half had home-buying regrets.
To make this home shopping season a little less overwhelming, Zillow and Care.com surveyed real estate agents and parents around the country for top stress-relieving tips. Here’s what they said.
Tip 1: Know your family’s dealbreakers
Most buyers will have to compromise, but it can be challenging to separate a true dealbreaker from something that won’t actually impact overall happiness.
According to the survey, 47 percent of parents said they have home-buying regrets, with the top regret being commute time. Surveyed parents said they wish their new home had a finished basement, a bigger yard, and a playroom — so parents shouldn’t downplay these trade-offs.
Tip 2: Involve the kids during the home search, when the time is right
Eighty-six percent of real estate agents said they’ve had clients who had to cut a home tour short because of a disruptive child. To reduce stress, parents can use technology to pre-screen homes online or on their mobile devices before viewing the house in person. Parents should also consider hiring someone to watch the kids during tours, and only bring the whole family along once they’ve narrowed down their choices.
Tip 3: Seek support during the move
The number one way to ease stress during a move? Enlist help. Sixty-eight percent of parents say having someone to help with the packing and unpacking would make moving less stressful, and one-third said unpacking was the most stressful part of transitioning into a new home.
Tip 4: Set a realistic budget
Too often, home buyers focus on the sticker price of a home and don’t account for all the additional costs associated with homeownership. Thirty-eight percent of parents said these additional costs were the most stressful part of homeownership, with 32% saying these expenses were the biggest cause of arguments with their spouse.
Tip 5: Get to know the neighborhood
Moving to a new community is hard. One out of five parents cry at the idea of missing friends and family. And one in three parents wished their neighbors had kids the same age as their own.
Try to research potential neighborhoods in advance and visit them in person to see if kids and families are prevalent.
Tip 6: Arrange care in advance
Setting up school and childcare was the most stressful part of transitioning to a new neighborhood, according to 30 percent of parents. Parents should research childcare options as far in advance as possible to avoid the stress of finding help at the last minute.
Tip 7: Understand it takes time
Nearly half of those surveyed said it takes up to a year to fully settle into a new home. Parents should go easy on themselves, and understand it takes time to get comfortable in a new home and neighborhood.
Check out www.care.com/moving for additional tips and resources for families around the home-buying and moving process.