Reducing the stress around buying a house and moving
April 20, 2022 12:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm overwhelmed even though everything is going well. Appraisal purchased, inspection passed, etc. I'm super tense and stressed. What can I do to make this easier on myself? Any major issues to avoid? Gifts to my future self? Ways to reduce PITI while still having robust coverage, without getting a thousand robocalls from random internet quote people?

I have had my days jam packed with tasks which is probably why I am so tense. These are straightforward tasks, but finding time to do them in addition to my regular tasks of the day is a lot. I think I'm also feeling time pressure since we are trying to close in 2.5 weeks. So whenever the realtor or mortgage broker asks for something, I feel like it's basically a same day thing unless otherwise stated.

I have organized my documentation for underwriting. I have taken measurements to work on furniture layouts once doing so feels fun rather than stressful/overwhelming. I have tried to give myself planned blocks of time to NOT be dealing with house stuff. I'm not sure another lender could give me a better deal but I'm also not sure I've got the bandwidth to try another lender at this point. I've made a point to not make big purchases or move money unless my name is on both accounts.

Moving itself is less of a concern as it seems like I'll be able to make a leisurely local move over almost a month of time. Ideas for things to get done before moving into the new space are appreciated. The house is turnkey, but I'd like to paint at least one room. I assume I should try to get that done before moving in. I've made a list of things I'd like to do (paint the exterior) vs need to do (install fencing in the back for the dog). I have seen a lot of people suggest a deep clean but they did a great job on that already.

Don't get me wrong. I'm excited to be buying this house. But between full-time work, taking a child to activities, a side gig, and other social obligations, having ADHD and probably also autism, I am spread too thin. I don't want to pause my entire life for this process but I could use some help understanding how quickly I really need to be acting every day, and how to avoid the stress response on my body from such tight deadlines.
posted by crunchy potato to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The last few weeks before closing buying my house was genuinely some of the most stressful time in my life, and I have basically no life complications. Only had to worry about my own damn self and finances and not a single other person or thing. IT STILL REALLY SUCKED.

The healthiest thing for me was to acknowledge which things had real deadlines, and which deadlines were false. I have no plans to move again in the future, theoretically I have the rest of my whole life to do things like: paint, arrange furniture, etc. Your real vs false deadlines may be different than mine.

I moved in June 2020 and it was April 2021 before I painted anything. That was exhausting and it wasn't until April 2022 before I did the next painting project. Who knows when or if I'll ever paint again. Basically: no one's living or dying or not paying bills because there's still a couple unpacked boxes in one room.

Make a list of everything that simply MUST get done by x date and another list that MUST get done by y date. This is still going to be a very long and stressful list--there's no getting past that. But then make a list called IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE. Literally call it that: IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE. Things you don't need to do, and but would like. I had a whole long hope chest of house things written down that I'm still mining for projects nearly 2 years later. And it's fine. Framing things in that way helped me see my house as a live experiment, instead of a task, and that's been really healthy for me.

Good luck, I promise the worst of it will be over soon!
posted by phunniemee at 1:01 PM on April 20, 2022 [6 favorites]

Painting before moving in is an excellent idea, it's sooo much easier when furniture isn't in the way. My last move I hired a cleaner to spend a day and do a really deep clean of the place so that I didn't have to encounter any of the previous tenant's schmutz, and that was really terrific. Also, I went in and swept the ceilings - they are popcorn ceilings, and the sweeping dislodged any loose dusty bits sticking to them, which meant that there was way less random falling dust in the following years.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:48 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hi, I'm autistic and find big changes--even positive changes that go according to plan--super dysregulating. Here are some gifts I might give current- and future-me if I were in your shoes: 1) let something drop temporarily (are there optional kid activities that could be paused? can you get someone else to shuttle the kid to/from activities you want to prioritize keeping them in? can you limit social commitments to "come run errands with me" or similar? can you take time away from the side gig if you want to keep the kid activities and social engagements as usual? can you take a couple mental health days away from your full-time job?)--free up some mental and physical energy to field the unexpected demands on your time throughout the day, 2) accept the current deal if it works for your budget, 3) anytime you get a request, ask the person for a deadline, and 4) make yourself an "unpack this first" box with some nice things and practical items that will help get you comfortable in the new house (soap you like for the bathrooms, TP and paper towels, a couple important photos or pieces of art, snacks, etc.).
posted by theotherdurassister at 6:01 PM on April 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

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