While the clients I follow up after they have moved all love their homes, I commonly hear one or a combination of the following 4 things that they didn't know they would experience. Make a mental note of them before your next move to help make it go as smoothly as possible.
1. There will be some features of your new home that are different than you remember and you might be disappointed. It's completely normal to romanticize your new home. The feature that you can't wait to experience, like the kitchen you're going to really be able to bake in, might not be exactly as your mind made it out to be. The feature that made you most drawn to the home might be the most anticipated thing and when we hyper-focus on it, sometimes as a way of letting go of where we're moving from, it can become bigger and better than it really is. Trust that your initial decision to move is still a sound one and the feature is still pretty darn good and something you will still enjoy.
2. There will be something that you didn't discover during the home inspection that might leave you feeling like you should have known before you bought the house. First, if it's something significant or what is referred to as 'material', let your agent know. There are some things that the previous owner has to disclose and your agent can help you determine if the previous owner should have or not. What I am referring to here though are not necessarily disclosure issues, just some small things that might add up and leave you feeling like you didn't do your due diligence. The toilet handle might need to be jiggled sometimes as it runs and runs or the pantry door knob is stripped and if you don't hold it just right, it pops off or there's a piece of broken tile under the kitchen cabinets that wasn't noticed before. When they add up, you can feel like you were taken advantage of or the seller did not care for the home leaving your wondering what else there is to discover. Keep in mind that you have purchased a pre-owned home where things crack, get stripped and over time just wear out. Just as above we tend to romanticize things, in this case, we tend to catastrophize things that more often than not, simply add up to nothing more than normal wear and tear on a home. If you expect to have to fix and repair some things you didn't know you had to, you'll better handle the disappointment when they come up.
3. Your new home won't feel like yours, even after you move in. I've heard from clients who say it wasn't until after they changed something that it felt like 'home'. Even with your furniture and things in the home, it might not feel like yours until you personalize it. That can often be achieved with paint that makes you feel welcome and comfortable. Even more simply, don't underestimate how hanging your pictures can make the home feel to you. Whenever I visit clients after they've moved in, no matter how much time has passed, they almost always say "we haven't gotten around to hanging the pictures yet." If your new place is still not feeling like you, don't put off hanging your pictures. Personalize the rooms as much as possible and before long, it will feel like home but don't bel surprised if that feeling isn't immediate as it simply takes time to settle in.
4. You'll miss your old home more than you thought you would. Whether moving was out of want or necessity, the feelings are similar. Leaving behind a home that is full of memories and frankly a form of your identity is a loss and the stages are no different than if you lost a loved one. Because it's a house though and not a person, you might dismiss and minimize your feelings about your old home and feel, or are being told, you are silly or over-reacting. I will tell you right now, you're not. I read a book about loss that said the worst kind of feeling regarding loss is yours. Everyone reacts differently and how you react to letting go of your home is perfectly normal. Acknowledge it. Talk about it. Honor it and move through the stages of loss. Before long, you will feel better.
Knowing about these 4 things may help you recognize them when they happen to you allowing you to focus more on the good stuff and feel settled into your new home sooner.
Written by Paige Gregson, REALTOR®
Century 21 Executives Realty Ltd