Something you can count on, when buying a home, is that you will be nervous – at times you will feel very stressed, perhaps even sleepless. It is an immense move, to buy a home, and a big commitment. In terms of stress, it’s right up there with a new job, marriage, divorce and even death.
Right now, with the insanity of a very red hot seller’s market and steep appreciation in Silicon Valley generally, and most of San Jose, it’s even tougher.
What can you do to keep the jitters from getting the best of you? Here are three points to follow
First of all, have a plan (and prioritize). If you have carefully thought out what you want and can afford, then if you actually find it and get into contract, you’re far less likely to be upset! If you stumble into a home that’s open, fall in love and make a purely emotional decision to write an offer, you’re far more likely to freak out! Make sure that your plan includes doing your financing decisions before you ever go house-hunting.
Second, don’t go it alone, even if you’re buying alone, and have your partner accompany you throughout the homebuying process. Yes, that means joining you when you’re interviewing and hiring your agent and then seeing all the homes which you see. A sure fire way to get upset and become emotionally undermined is to traipse through and view twenty or thirty homes, choose one, and then show only that one to your friends or relatives. Nine times out of ten, your loved ones will shoot holes in your plans because they won’t have seen all the homes which you rejected – and they won’t appreciate why the one you selected is actually worth buying!
Third, qualify the advice you’ll accept about your decision to buy (or sell) Silicon Valley real estate. There’s nothing like an uniformed but well intentioned person at work, in your neighborhood, in another state or online to turn a happy homebuyer into a nervous wreck. Sometimes, advice that would be helpful elsewhere doesn’t apply here – please remember that real estate is local! In other states, often home buyers and home sellers employ a lawyer to review the purchase agreement, but here we only call on attorney if there’s a problem or weird, out-of-the-ordinary situation. Within California, there are some big differences between southern CA and northern CA in terms of where escrow is opened. There are differences within Santa Clara County as to which purchase agreement form is used.
If you do these three things, you’re far less likely to have a paralyzing kind of fear overtake you in the middle of your escrow. Yes, you’ll still be nervous (that’s normal), but you won’t get or remain totally freaked out for long in most cases.