Our latest research has found that people regard buying a house the most stressful major milestone in their life (91%), trumping even having a child (81%). Where would you rank it?
You don’t have to be a homeowner to answer the question, either. With our research we didn’t just want answers from people on the property ladder, but also from those who’d yet to take the plunge so we could ascertain perception as well as the reality.
After all, home-ownership and property prices are no longer conversation topics that are the sole preserve of middle-aged dinner parties, but also dominate water cooler chat among a range of generations, particularly those desperate to land their first property.
And even those yet to realise their property ownership dreams are all too aware of the well-documented complications and stresses involved, whether it be trying to find the perfect property before someone else snaps it up or the emotional rollercoaster of the moving day itself.
Speaking from experience
I’m about 40 years shy of experiencing the last life milestone we quizzed people about (retiring from work), but I feel qualified to comment on the other landmarks, particularly as I completed two of them within months of each other in 2012/13.
Having rented for years, my wife and I finally moved into our own property just two days after our first child was born in January last year. We hadn’t planned for the schedule to be so hectic, but the early arrival of our son forced our hand somewhat. After having our offer accepted in September 2012, we finally picked up the keys in December and spent a month renovating the house before moving in.
Trust in the mortgage industry
Both events carried their own stresses – and the worries of parenthood have more of a lasting effect than purchasing a property. But, for me, the most marked difference was the feeling that the people helping us prepare for parenthood had our best interests at heart, which can’t always be said of those involved in the property and mortgage markets.
In fact, just 25% of the people we polled trusted the mortgage industry to act in their best interests. My experience was perhaps somewhat atypical as I’ve worked in the personal finance industry for a decade and I used a mortgage broker I trusted to find me the right deal. However, other parts of the process – particularly my dealings with the estate agent and solicitors – brought their own worries at certain stages.
There’s no magic cure that will make the process less stressful for house buyers overnight – and perhaps this makes getting your hands on the keys all the more sweet – but I speak from experience when I say that enlisting the services of an independent adviser means there’s one less thing to fret about.