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How to buy a home in Mercury Retrograde

The stars won't ruin your home purchase—but they may still affect it. Be ready.

Sunny, idyllic July is peak house-buying season. But if you’re an astrology enthusiast on the hunt for a home, that timing might seem anything but ideal. Mercury is in retrograde from July 7 to July 31, and any astrologer worth her star charts can tell you signing contracts, buying things with moving parts, and making plans is a bad idea when the tiny planet appears to be moving backward.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a home in Mercury Retrograde—it just means you should approach it differently. We asked astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, host of “Ghost of A Podcast,” how to buy a house when it seems like the stars are stacked against you.

Don’t put off a purchase.

Even an astrologer will tell you the real estate market doesn’t obey the stars. That sweet little midcentury mod house you’ve got your eye on may not be there if you wait till you have a good horoscope. “My clients often ask if they should put off buying houses during Mercury Retrograde,” Jessica says. “We all live in the real world. We have to keep working and signing contracts no matter what Mercury’s doing. You will not be smited by the gods.”

If that seems surprising coming from an astrologist, think about it this way: the cosmos don’t determine what absolutely will happen, but the conditions under which certain things are more likely to happen—so just be ready for it. When Mercury is in Retrograde, know that misunderstandings are common, says Jessica.

Scrutinize contracts.

Details get lost in the chaos from the cosmos, so be on the hunt for errors. “Read all contracts twice,” Jessica says. “Then read them again. Then have someone else read them for you.” Take nothing for granted. Make sure your name is spelled correctly, your middle initial is included, and the property address is exact. An error as minor as the home address written as 123 Elm Street instead of 123 Elm Avenue can derail the deal or cost you time and money.

“Be really detail-oriented and nitpicky,” Jessica says. “Use (Mercury Retrograde) as context. It’s like a weather report. If it’s going to rain you bring an umbrella. If you’re buying a home in Mercury Retrograde, you’re on the lookout for problems in the fine print.”

Lean on people you trust.

Since the stars have it in for you, keep good people close. “It’s a good time to reconnect with people you trust to review the choices you’re making and the things you’re focusing on,” Jessica says. Because guess who might be one of the people in your home-buying process making mistakes? (It’s you.)

Does your best friend always you give you good advice? Text her a link to the house you’re looking at and see what she says. Worried the cosmos might curse you with black mold and bad plumbing? Ask your buddy who’s a licensed contractor to look at the house before you make an offer.

Go slow.

Mercury Retrograde has a purpose, despite its bad rep. The cosmos is telling you to hit the pause button on life, and to review and reflect your actions, Jessica says. “So use it as a reason to bring mindfulness to a home purchase, and don’t rush. If you rush, you’ll make mistakes.”

Pay attention to how you are feeling, what you are seeing, and what is happening. “Make sure you’re not buying in a frenzied state, and that this is the right house for you,” she says. And that can be a good thing. Taking the time to slow down and rethink everything about a house before making an offer can lead to some serious clarity.

“So Mercury Retrograde can be a useful pain,” says Jessica.

Look out for others’ mistakes.

You’re not the only one who will be rushing around making mistakes when Mercury’s in retrograde.

“You have to look out for everyone who has anything to do with your house purchase,” Jessica says. “It’s not just your mistakes that will disrupt buying a home. It’s your bank’s mistakes. It’s the inspector’s mistakes. It’s the title agent’s mistakes.”

Because all of us live under the power of the cosmos. And as anyone who’s bought a house can tell you, there are a million little things that can go wrong. Don’t hesitate to challenge an appraisal that seems wrong or follow the home inspector around during the inspection asking question. This is the time to verify everything.

Wait out the shadow.

Mercury retrograde ends July 31, when the pesty little planet stops moving backward. But Jessica says there will be a few shadow days when Mercury’s still making lives difficult here on Earth. “You’ll still want to be a little careful,” she says. “Let your guard down, but don’t throw a housewarming party until August 7.”

Ready to find a house you love in Mercury Retrograde? Get started by seeing what’s available on Trulia.