Have you or someone you know, recently bought a new home?
I’d ask how the experience was, but if you’re like so many others, you’ve probably tried to block the memory.
Buying a home, new or used, has traditionally been part of the American Dream, but it hasn’t happened without its share of headaches.
A little preparation can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Most people however look at buying a home in the same way that they look at buying a car. Thanks to the Japanese revolution, when you buy a new car, most people expect it to be perfect. It’s all machined, painted, polished and ready to drive off the lot in pristine condition.
A new house is not a car. Some homebuilders do get it right, but many do not. Managing expectations before you start shopping will greatly improve your experience.
What makes moving one of the most stressful events in your life?
Complaint 10- I hate my neighbors.
We’ve all had that annoying neighbor who rattles our fine china with their loud music, or who tries turning their yard into an EPA superfund project. Maybe they just have a dog who likes to bark at all the wrong hours of the night. Regardless of the reason, there are some annoying neighbors out there. When you’re moving into an older home, its easy enough to see what neighbors are growing a jungle of broken down cars or who care more about cats than clean smelling streets.
But when moving into a new neighborhood, that community lottery can be a bit surprising. There is a large number of people who’ve moved in, only to list their house and move again inunder two years. Closing costs and realtor fees can eat at your equity when your choice boils down to moving again.
True, you can’t always pick your neighbors. But that doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of luck. Take Leisure Villas for example: If you’re considering moving into one of their subdivisions, they invite you to join their monthly potlucks in their clubhouse. Not only is this a great time to meet the people who’ve already moved in, but you might also meet some others like you that are either about to move in, or are just thinking about it like you.
Of course, you’ve heard the story about the man who asked the fellow how the community was, and the fellow asked in reply, “What was your last neighborhood like—well this one will probably be about the same.”
Sometimes, it just takes an open and optimistic mind. If you find that you do have a problem with a neighbor, go meet with them. Get to know their story. You might even grow to like them. It’s sure a lot easier to live next to an annoying neighbor that you mostly like, rather than one you don’t even know.
Shoot you probably already have those kinds of neighbors inside your own home. You usually call them family or dogs.
Complaint 9- My new house has pest control problems.
Your old house never had the spiders and ants that your new house does. At least it didn’t until you moved your old sofa and saw what had been accumulating there for years. But never mind that, that was an old house. This new one should be too well constructed for even the smallest of ants to findtheir way in.
This creepy crawly complaint always plagues new home. So why is it such a pesky problem?
Well, let’s think about it. What was the yard like, before the house got built? Usually, it was a vacant lot or maybe a farm.
Naturally, nature thrives in such places. Then one day, a developer plops a house down on an old farm. But where did all the bugs go? The answer: Nowhere. They’re still around, and they’re looking to reclaim their property, or in the very least, they’re looking for a new way to survive in their newly upturned world.
Since NASA hasn’t started building residential houses yet, we must accept that our building envelopes aren’t going to be 100% sealed off from the outside world. Some builders will perform an initial pest control treatment around the home, but most don’t. They’re job is to build a house. Even if they do perform some form of pest control, it will not be a permanent fix. Someday, we may cause our whole environment to go extinct, but until then, nature will find a way into your home.
There is a whole different industry geared around pest control. You’ve probably met them. They usually knock on your door about as often you receive a paycheck. For some reason, none of them are any good at reading your “No Soliciting” sign that you have hanging just outside your door. I’m not saying that you should take advantage of these people. All I’m saying is that you’re not the only one with this problem.
In this case, just knowing what you’re getting into can make a surprise, just a little easier to live with. Of course if you don’t want to live with that, just hire your local exterminator to kill the critters a couple times each year.
Complaint 8- Moving all my stuff is so stressful.
The longer you live, the more stuff you can’t seem to let go of. Even a nearby move can turn into a major undertaking. You can either enlist all your family, friends, and church neighbors to help or you can hire a professional mover. If this were all, maybe the move wouldn’t be so bad.
Unfortunately, no matter how well you plan, you never seem to close on your house at the same time that the person buying your house closes on that home. So now you’re stuck with having to find a way to store all your furniture and belongings. I’ve known people to unexpectedly live in hotels or even worse, their kids’ homes. Sometimes for months at a time while in between homes. I hope somebody had the foresight not to bury your underwear at the front of the moving container.
If you can’t coordinate the move perfectly, make sure that you have a Plan B for storing your belongings. Your son in law will not care to keep your things in his truck for more than a day or two. Neither will he want to unload it all in his garage, just to move it again in another couple weeks. If a moving and storage company sounds too expensive, you might have one other option.
Builders do not like to do this. It puts them in an awkward position, especially if they haven’t gotten final inspections on your future home. But sometimes, if the move is coming up soon, you can store your things in the garage of that new home. Just make sure you leave enough room for an inspector to walk around and check all the electrical outlets and garage door openers. But by all means, do not move anything into the living space of the home. If you do, the inspector could start rolling out the fines.
Don’t rely on every builder to be this lenient. Even if they do allow it, they might make you sign a waiver, stating that they are not responsible for any of your personal belongings that get broken, stolen, or otherwise assign them liability. Your best bet is to try and time the move a little closer, working with the people that want to buy your old home. Still sometimes there is no better solution. In that case, good luck, and hopefully your son in law will still be on talking terms after you’ve kicked him out of his own garage and made him move your junk multiple times.