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Stress-free House-hunting

row of houses

Moving house can be one of the most stressful things, from hunting to packing to paperwork. It’s enough to drive you crazy. Particularly for the first-time buyer who hasn’t been through this process before.

The first thing anyone needs to do, whether this is your first home or your fiftieth, is to find somewhere to live. People move house for a multitude of reasons including an expanding family, moving out of your parent’s house, upsizing or downsizing and work. Often these moves stay within familiar areas, but sometimes they take you across the country to a state you have never visited before in your life – which can add to the stress.

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Once you know where you are moving to, if it’s down the block or on the opposite coast, it’s time to contact various realtors. Don’t limit yourself to just one, as not all houses sell through one company. Look online for reputable estate agents and give them a call. Once they have your details and know what you’re looking for, they will do a lot of the searching for you.


While the realtors are searching for you, keep your eye on the online market. You might find something that they haven’t considered, purely because it’s missing the double driveway you said was so important. Also look at housing companies who can help find your home.

Know the Area

If you already know it then great! But if not, even if it’s just the next town over, take the time to visit it. If it’s across the country, then do the research online, and make time when you go and view the properties to explore the area. Knowing where you are moving to will help ease some of the stress. Check which neighborhoods are friendly, where the local amenities are, and see if the town is on the rise or not. This type of information will help if you’re planning your buy as an investment.


Never discount the locals! They know the area better than you will for a few years to come. If they say an area isn’t great, then trust them. Find out the local history – the crime rate, the local traditions and where the best place to get coffee is.

Check List

Wherever you are going, make two checklists. One for the house; what it has to have, like a garage, what you would like it to have like a walk-in closet, and what you can live without like a swimming pool. The second list should be specific to the area you have chosen to move to. Remember that Austin Texas living will be very different to Lansing Michigan. An example would be the need for aircon or ample heaters, is the house or apartment built to withstand hurricanes or floods.


Buy yourself an organizer just for the move. List every viewing, every request, and any appointments. As you view a property write down your opinions and any necessary details like the need for a new radiator or that you’re dresser wouldn’t fit up the stairs. The homes will start to blur into one after the first handful, so having a detailed recount will help you sift through the masses. This is just a way to keep the stress at bay; even if you have a daily organizer anyway, the idea is to keep the house pressure separate from the day-to-day stress.


Give yourself time to find somewhere. If you are trying to find a house in a week, it’s never going to be the right place. GIve yourself enough time to figure out exactly what you want, scope the market and know the prices and the best areas, and you’ll be able to move at a steady pace without everything piling on top of you.


This is the most important thing – budgeting your money will mean the difference between a happy, organized move and a mess of half-finished jobs. Scope the market for housing prices, but also look into the cost of living, car insurance prices and the price of bills. Think about how much it’s going to cost for the move itself – can you afford to hire a removal team or just to rent a truck? Do you have enough in your budget to visit the potential state twice – or is it a once only job?