Resisting Your Urge to Settle When Searching for a Home


Resisting Your Urge to Settle When Searching for a HomeThis is a guest post by Grayson Bell who paid off over $50,000 of credit card debt in four years.  He runs the extremely popular site Debt Roundup and he’s back to share more of his real estate knowledge.  If you would like your personal finance story or article to be feature on Vosa let me know here.

Buying a home is going to be the biggest purchase that you make in life. Depending on where you live, you will be dishing out $200,000 or more on a quality home. That type of money can be overwhelming for some. Heck, it is probably overwhelming for most, including me. I am already a homeowner, but the process still doesn’t feel good. I am currently selling our home and buying another. It has taken a toll on my stress level and has racked my brain for the past two months. I have battled making appropriate decisions when looking for a home, but also when we have been pushed into bidding wars. One of the biggest issues I have had to deal with is the urge to just settle for a home. My one word of advice is don’t!

Home Buying Can Take an Emotional Toll

If you have ever gone through the home buying process, then you know how much work it really is. It isn’t just go find a home and buy it. You have to go through the preapproval process, the budgeting, the searching, the offers, inspections, bank appraisals, loan documentation, then closing on the home. It is a long process for sure. Your emotions can be taken through the ringer if you are not careful. My wife and I have been on an emotional roller coaster for the past two months. We have found great homes that we really loved. We would put in an offer, but the seller wouldn’t even look over it. We have also been in quite a few bidding wars and lost them all. We have learned not to get too excited about any house, because we didn’t really know if the sellers would even acknowledge our offer. The emotional roller coaster!

The Urge To Settle

We have seen house after house. We setup a showing right after a house goes on the market. After we see a house, we either put in an offer or move on. The area we are looking to move to is a very hot market. Houses are on for only a few days, then gone. As I said, we have been through quite a few bidding wars, but also have put in more than enough offers. After some time, we just got worn out. We just want to have a place to live. Since our home is pending sale, we are in need of a new home. This means we have to make a move on a home quickly when we find one.

Listing after listing, we haven’t found anything that has stuck out. We are now having the urge to settle. There were homes that met some of our needs, but not our wants. I figure if you are going to pay a lot of money for a home, then why not get most of your needs and wants. This urge to settle has grown stronger since we are getting closer to our home closing. My wife and I have spoke about homes that we have seen and then try to convince ourselves the home will work. It is bad.

Just Resist the Urge

As the urge to settle has grown larger and larger, we have had to battle it back. While I don’t mind settling for small things, like which restaurant we are going to eat at, I will not settle when it comes to large purchases. I wouldn’t just settle for a car that I didn’t like and I won’t do it for our next home. If we settle for our next home, then I can guarantee that we will be upset with our purchase. Nothing is worse than having buyer’s remorse when you buy a home. You can’t just return it to the store and get another one.

My advice is to make sure you have a plan when you are buying a home. If you need to sell one and then buy another, have a contingency plan in place. If you need to rent an apartment for some time, then find one that does short term leases. If you need to stay with family, then rent a storage unit and put your stuff in there. When you have a plan in place, you do not have to rush into making a decision. You shouldn’t settle for a home just because you get discouraged. It happens to the best of us. Just don’t pull the trigger on a home that you “might” like or “could” live in. Find the home right for you and love it. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, purchases in your life, so make sure you do it right!

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  1. says

    It’s good that you realized you guys were starting to convince yourselves that a home was a good buy. I do face fatigue when trying to make big purchases, because I like to do all my research and find the best solution. Settling is definitely not the answer when lots of money is on the line! You don’t want to have regrets a few years from now.

  2. says

    On our last home purchase we almost settled for a house because we were tired of looking. It met 90% of our needs but was a) just bit too pricey and b) a bit too far from work. We could have stretched it to make it work but we kept looking. Within two weeks we found our current home. Walked right into the middle of a divorce situation where they were trying to sell the home quick to settle. They had dropped the price 20K to move it quickly. That’s how much we saved by being just a bit more patient.

  3. says

    Great post! You’re right it can be a very emotional decision, but you should never settle. It’s likely the biggest purchase of your life, at least at the current time. It’s important to stand back and not let emotions get in the way and to never settle. Once you have resisted the urge to settle, you will be so much happier in the long run.

  4. says

    Smart move on your part, Grayson. You don’t want to end up in a house you hate just because it’s a house. Hold out for one that you love. One of the best pieces of advice we ever got while house shopping was to ask ourselves before putting in an offer “Could you live here forever if you had to? ” If not, walk away.


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