What do families need when moving? A lot of help. That’s why the partnership between Care.com and Zillow makes so much sense. Helping hands and good childcare can reduce the stress and minimize the regrets. Below Katie shares some insights on stressors when moving your family, home-buying regrets and advice for any house hunters out there!
Five years ago, my husband and I were pregnant with baby #2 and needed to get out of the city. We wanted a town with great schools, parks and easy commute. We didn’t care much about the house (anything was better than a walk-up apartment in the city) because we thought we’d upgrade in five years. Maybe seven, if necessary. But we’d be flipping houses. No doubt about it.
We toured houses with our rambunctious 18-month son in tow. It was miserable. There was one time the real estate agent promised she’d watch him while I looked upstairs, and five minutes later, she’s running after him – in high heels – as he escaped the yard. I just wanted the home buying process to end.
Now? We feel stuck. Flipping isn’t a practical option. With the stress of a second child coming and the nightmare of open houses, we’d rushed into the purchase and made a mistake. While it has many things we love, our house is on a busy road, has no yard and no space to expand. To make matters worse, we have fallen in love with our specific town and elementary school. We love our neighbors and friends. And we love that our small community provides access to a super inexpensive pool.
Within the five years since we bought, other people have realized how great our town is too. So we’re priced out. If we want to stay in the town we’ve grown roots in, we cannot afford all the things we want.
In hindsight (and this is the advice I’d tell anyone who has to make compromises), we should have bought an (even) less desirable house on the right lot, and done tons of work knowing we’d be there forever.
But it turns out I’m not alone. In a recent survey Care.com did with Zillow, we found that 47% of families have home buying regrets. Why? Mostly the commute takes more time away from their family, the upkeep is too much work, and it’s not as conducive to their family as they thought. They also regret all the fighting they do – and the fact that they don’t hire enough packing and moving support. Basically, they were stressed then and they’re stressed now.
Personally, I think the two best ways to avoid home-regret are to look at houses without kids in tow (it’s just too stressful!) -- and talk to people in the neighborhood before you buy. This means getting a sitter for open house days and joining the community’s local forum on BigTent.com to ask real families about the area and what their pain points are. Learn the real deal about the town by asking a few anonymous questions. As for the fighting? A lot of this can be relieved by asking for help packing, organizing and cleaning.
Below is our infographic on home buying regrets. If you’re in the home-buying process right now, as so many families are at this time of year, I hope this data and advice will help you navigate the process. And if a move is somewhere in your future? Well, maybe this will help you be stress and regret-free.
Good luck! And please share your best moving advice or house-buying tip below.
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