Fears It’s Perfectly OK to Have After Going to Contract on a House


You found the house of your dreams, you put in an offer and your offer is accepted; the fear and the stress is over. Just kidding! The fears and the stress is really just beginning. Once you sign that contract, you have about a thousand additional things to fear, and most of the fears you’re going to have are perfectly normal. Take it from someone who just bought a house. My husband and I now own two homes. Our first house is a small starter home we built when we were first married a decade ago, and our current house is a much larger home we purchased six months ago to accommodate our new family of 6. When we decided to buy instead of build the second time around, we thought the process would be simple, smooth and easy. Boy, we knew nothing. Building was stressful, but it was nowhere near as stressful as buying.

You find the perfect house. You put in an offer. It’s rejected without a counter. You raise your offer what seems like a LOT and then the bank counters with an even higher price. You accept because, really, it’s your dream home; everything you’ve ever wanted. It is literally all you’ve ever wanted in a house down to the most minute detail. You’ve accepted, the contract comes over, you sign it thinking that the fear and worry will end. It’s only just begun. Once a house is under contract, you have a lot to think about and stress about and fear, and it’s perfectly normal. I’m here to tell you that what you are feeling is what just about every buyer feels, and I’m here to assure you that it’s okay to go through these emotions.

Issues with the Inspection

The most important thing that happens after a contract is placed on a home is the inspection. You might worry that this is going to turn out bad and something awful will be wrong with the home. You see, banks will not finance a home for a buyer if there are significant damage and other issues with the home. You either have to agree to have these things fixed before the bank will close or you have to have the seller pay to have them fixed, otherwise your purchase might fall through.

And you just never know what might be found. You might find mold, issues that are in need of fixing. When we purchased our home, we had several issues that the bank had to fix before we could close. For one, the house was foreclosed years before we purchased it and sat vacant the entire time. Everything in the home was taken and the bank replaced it, but the brand new air conditioner they installed did not work. The brand new heater they installed did not work. There was electrical work that had to be taken care of the bank’s contractors did not handle when they were in here. It’s scary, and it’s normal to fear the worst.

Issues with your Loan

Something people fear with reason is that there might be issue with the loan. You have a preapproval, but now you have to actually be approved. Some banks will require you pay off certain debts, prove your income and do other things before they will issue your loan. This is to protect them financially, and to help you afford the right house. On that note, you are right to worry that something could happen. For instance, you might worry that your appraisal might not come back high enough for the loan. Or if you go out and buy a new car, you might realize that your credit is no longer good enough for the bank to lend you money to buy a home. These are things you should worry about.

The Closing will Fall Through and be Delayed

It happens all the time. You are supposed to close this day but it gets moved back a week because the bank forgot to sign a document or put the wrong name on the paperwork. It happened to us, thankfully our closing agent is my mother-in-law and our realtor is our best friend. We were supposed to close on a certain day in October and as of that morning, the bank hadn’t approved the closing based on the incorrect name they put on the paperwork when they sent it all over for us to sign. We had no idea until literally an hour before we closed that we were closing that day. It was stressful.

Buyer’s Remorse

Now that the contract is signed and you know that you are about to officially become a homeowner, you might experience some buyer’s remorse. What if this perfect house wasn’t perfect after all? What if you’d just looked a little longer and found something even better? What if you waited a few weeks and prices fell substantially? Did you pay too much? Did you get a big enough house? There are so many things you have to stress about, and it’s normal. As long as you didn’t sacrifice too much of what you wanted to buy the house, you’re all right.

When we bought this house, we got everything we wanted except a pool. We were able to get things we didn’t even think were possible. We had a long, picky list of things we wanted. We wanted a big, country-style house with a huge, wide front porch and a red door. We wanted a corner lot in a certain neighborhood, we wanted a side garage instead of one with the door on the front. We wanted two stories, a big entry way, five bedrooms, at least three bathrooms, a laundry room, and an office for me. We wanted at least an acre. We wanted an enclosed outdoor patio with a screen and we wanted a big wooden deck. We got everything but a pool. So we didn’t really experience buyer’s remorse here, but it’s normal.

Financial Stress

There is always financial stress to worry about, and it’s normal. Ours included knowing we’d soon own two houses, not including the property we bought next door to our first house because we were going to build. We knew we had a trustworthy renter, but we also knew that we were buying a lot more house and even with a sizable down payment we were still raising our mortgage to double what it was the past 10 years of our lives.

Financial stress and homeownership go hand in hand, and it’s perfectly normal when that contract is signed to experience this kind of financial stress.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images


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