New Delhi: What are some of the most difficult and emotionally stressful experiences in any person's life? We can easily list the top four:
The death of a loved one
Breakdown of a marriage
Change of jobs
Buying a home
Does the last point really belong in this list? Actually, it does. Anyone who has ever been through the process of buying a home will agree that there is a lot of insecurity involved in such an operation. People ask themselves a lot of questions when buying a house:
“Are we doing the right thing?”
“Is this the right time?”
“Is this the right area/neighbourhood/flat? I liked the previous one better.”
We must also not forget about the stress involved in moving to a new location. After all, one is leaving familiar surroundings and neighbours behind for good. Simultaneously, it often becomes necessary to get acclimatized to a new area where everyone is a stranger. Finally, the expenses involved in buying a home are easily the biggest financial responsibility any of us will ever shoulder.
As a matter of fact, it is not just the process of buying a new home that can be stressful. Even leaving the old self-owned home behind can take an emotional toll. The questions we tend to ask ourselves are:
“Will the new owners take care of this home which we lived in and cherished for so long?”
“Will the old neighbours react well to them, and will they be good long-term neighbours?”
Of course, these last-mentioned factors are not ones over which we have any control, but this does not reduce the depression or worry. If anything, our helplessness increases them.
What we do have control over is preparing ourselves for our new home. When the time finally comes to sell your old home and buy a new one, you obviously have to face the situation squarely and proceed. But the experience of buying a home need not be as stressful as it often is.
Planning the process carefully gives you a psychological edge, removing a lot of the strangeness and frustration. Such planning makes sense in two other significant respects:
Since buying a home will probably be the most expensive purchase you will ever make, being financially prepared for all the costs involved reduces the chances of unforeseen shocks.
It is not something most people do often, so there are invariably stages at which we are caught short-footed for lack of proper planning.
The process of finding and ultimately purchasing a new home should be based on planning and patience. It is alright to buy clothes, toys and other inexpensive things on impulse - but buying a home on impulse invariably spells disaster.
Conducting a carefully organized market survey can result in considerable savings, both in matters of finance and heartache. You can contact a real estate agent, place your requirements and budget before him, and allow him to conduct the search. You can (and should) actively assist him in this, but be open to all options that come your way and do not make impulsive decisions. New homes should be bought with the head and not the heart.
Another aspect of effective home buying is considering all the expenses involved - not just the price of the new residence. There will be a lot of extra costs to consider - down-payment, stamp duty and registration charges, brokerage, electricity meter charges, legal costs, packing and moving, housing loan EMIs (if you have taken a housing loan), etc.
Preparing for all expenses gives you a clearer idea of what you are doing, what you can genuinely afford, and in which areas you may have to restrict spending money for a while after the home is bought. All things considered, proper planning will put you more in control of the situation, making the stress of home buying easier to handle.
Kishor Pate, CMD - Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.