Skip to main content

50% of people cry at least once when buying a home, survey finds: Tips to reduce your stress

Buying a home can be stressful. Before you even start looking at houses, you have to think about the neighborhood: Is it in a good school district? Are there restaurants and nightlife nearby that you enjoy? Can you even afford this area? You’ve got to figure out your budget, get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, find a realtor that you like — and that’s all before you’ve even looked at a single house.

Then, you need to decide what house features are important to you. What architectural style do you want? How much square footage do you need? What questions are essential to ask before putting in an offer on a house?

It’s a lot. And given how competitive the market is right now and how house prices have skyrocketed, we don’t blame you if you get home from a day of house searching, lay down on your bed, and have a good cry. In fact, new research from Zillow confirms that half of Americans cry at least once during the process of buying a home.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

First-time buyers are more likely to cry when buying a home

According to Zillow, 50% of homebuyers end up in tears at least once during the process, but that percentage increases the younger they are. More than 65% of Gen Zers and 61% of millennial buyers — who are all more likely to be buying a home for the first time — admitted to crying.

The survey found there were a number of factors that added to homebuyers’ stress:

  • 62% of respondents were stressed about being able to find a home within their budget
  • 61% of respondents were stressed about not having enough homes to choose from
  • 58% of respondents were stressed about finding a home in their preferred neighborhood

The survey also found that some racial groups were more likely to cry than others. While Latinx buyers reported crying at least once with a higher frequency (68%), only 51% of Black buyers and 48% of white buyers reported crying.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why is buying a home so stressful right now?

The homebuying process is never an easy one, but it’s particularly stressful in the current market. While half of homebuyers have cried, almost 90% of survey respondents reported feeling stressed by at least one aspect of the process.

Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton noted:

“Buying a home is not like buying any other asset; it’s deeply personal and it’s emotional. When you make an offer on a home, you have likely envisioned your life there. If you lose out on that home to a stronger offer, it can feel like losing a future you have already started planning. These survey results find, even when they are ultimately successful, a large share of buyers in today’s competitive market experience heartache and stress.”

The buying pool is huge

And these days, 60% of sellers are getting at least two offers on their homes, with almost half of homes sold in the U.S. in April 2022 going for more than the asking price, according to Zillow — meaning competition is fiercer than ever.

All-cash buyers are an attractive proposition for sellers

There’s also pressure from all-cash buyers. While it’s perfectly normal to finance a home purchase with a mortgage loan, all-cash offers mean sellers don’t have to worry about any financing issues in the final stages. Some 30% of recent buyers reported that they lost out to an all-cash buyer at least once.

Financing can be an issue

 Twenty-six percent of buyers of color and 18% of white buyers reported they had lost out on a home due to financing falling through. (Recent Zillow research has shown that Black mortgage applicants are denied loans 84% more often than white applicants.)

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Tips for relieving stress when buying a home

Don’t be so quick to waive certain contingencies. 40% of survey respondents reported waiving contingencies, like a financing or inspection contingency, on at least one offer, in order to stand out. But waiving an inspection can lead to even bigger headaches down the road. If you do decide to waive this contingency, you should still reserve the right to conduct an informational inspection — you won’t be able to negotiate price with the seller if major issues are found, but if there’s a serious defect, you can still get out of the deal.

Finance first. If you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll be able to act quickly when you find your dream home.

Do your due diligence when hiring a realtor. Not all real estate agents are created equal. Just like you would read reviews and get recommendations for a doctor, handyman, or hairstylist, you should do the same for your agent.

If you’re a first-time home buyer (or even if you’ve done this before) and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process of buying a home, know that you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with a little cathartic crying every once in a while, but you should also take steps to make the journey a little less stressful. Take a breath and try to relax — you’ll find that perfect house at some point, and if you do your due diligence, it’ll be worth the wait.

Editors' Recommendations

Nicole Carlino
This might be the worst time to sell your home and relocate
House being carried away by a bunch of balloons.

The economy has been through extreme highs and lows in the past few years, with several factors contributing to these ups and downs. Mortgage rates were at record lows not long ago, causing an increased demand for property that has been driving up prices. However, just like most trends, low mortgage rates tend not to last forever. Now, interest rates are up, keeping these home prices high even though they may be unaffordable for some. While this may seem like a good thing for sellers, it's a tough situation for homebuyers. If you’ve been watching 30-year mortgage rates and want to learn more about why this may be the worst time to sell, keep reading.

Mortgage rates are up
According to Redfin.com, the monthly mortgage payment has increased twenty-five percent from a year earlier (this data was collected during four weeks ending February 6th, 2022). This means potential home buyers should be prepared to pay more monthly for their mortgage on a new home.

Read more
8 handy tips for buying secondhand furniture (so you don’t end up buying junk)
Secondhand furniture shop with unique pieces

Looking for one-of-a-kind furniture to match your eclectic style? Secondhand shopping is the way to go! Whether you’re exploring a giant flea market or your local thrift store, it’s easy and fun to find vintage pieces that fit your unique style and will look great in your home. But shopping for used items is slightly different than going to a furniture store; it requires more research and effort. That extra work pays off, though, when you score a deal on the piece of furniture you’ve been dreaming of. Here are a few tips to help you find secondhand furniture that’s stylish, functional, and affordable.

Know what you’re looking for before you go
Whether you’re at a secondhand shop, yard sale, or flea market, the sheer volume of available pieces can be overwhelming. Especially for thrift shopping beginners, it helps to have a plan. Decide what type of furniture you’re looking for and what design styles would look best in your home. You should also take measurements ahead of time so you don’t purchase a piece that doesn’t fit your space.
Check tags and labels
When you find a piece you like, the first thing you should do is check the price tag, as well as the label or stamp on the furniture. This will let you know who manufactured the furniture. If you’re not familiar with the maker, do a quick online search to learn more about the manufacturer, the piece, and its value. This information is crucial to determining whether you’re getting a good deal or if you should keep on walking.
Look for signs of damage
Before taking furniture home, inspect it carefully for irreparable damage and unpleasant odors. Avoid pieces with pest-damaged or rotting wood, as this kind of structural damage is difficult and usually not financially worthwhile to fix. Water damage and burn marks can also be challenging to handle without the help of a professional. With fabrics, look for tears, stains, and unpleasant odors. Some smells, like smoke or pet messes, can linger. And while upholstery can be replaced, stuffing and filling can also be impacted by scents.

Read more
5 important questions to ask before buying solar panels for your home
how many solar panels do i need for my home shutterstock 1561073777

Green living has been on the rise for years, and it has become more affordable than ever before. You may be considering switching to solar energy for your home as a next step. Before you take the plunge, however, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to buying solar panels.

What are the benefits of switching to solar power?
The most popular benefits of solar energy? You'll make less of an impact on the environment while saving some money. One other reason that you may not have thought of is the minimal maintenance costs associated with solar panels.

Read more