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The Case for Resisting Home-Buying Fever

family jumping on a trampoline
The grass is always greener — except when it’s not. Before you jump into the home search with both feet, find out if you’re really ready.

Do you obsessively visit your “yard inspiration” board on Pinterest? Do you keep a browser window open solely for the purpose of poking around on Trulia?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may have Home-Buying Fever.

While it’s not a syndrome with a pharmaceutical-funded ad campaign, Home-Buying Fever is real. After all, it’s fun to play house with houses you theoretically could buy. But sometimes the right choice is to stick with what you have — whether that’s renting or staying in the home you currently own.

Let’s look at a few of the reasons to resist.

1. You might move again soon

Maybe your job situation is fluid. Maybe you’ve been in one place long enough and feel the desire to stretch your legs and live in another county — or even country.

If you’re planning to move within a few years, investing in a new home is generally not worth it monetarily. Closing costs, property taxes, essential repairs, and plenty of other things quickly add up to a large upfront cost that takes years of property value increases to break even on.

If you think you may move on soon, resist the urge to splurge.

2. The market isn’t there

When the market is down, the itch to cut your losses, sell, and move on can be undeniable.

It may feel as though your net worth is diving deeper than James Cameron’s personal submarine and your retirement date is slipping away quicker than Leo from Kate’s hand at the end of Titanic.

But even though you may feel as though you just have to get out, stay strong — because that’s the worst time to move on.

The biggest goal when buying a home is to find a place where you’ll love to live, but the investment side is a huge consideration as well. Is it worth waiting a few years if you can recoup (or earn) thousands of dollars?

3. It’s a lot of work — and stress

House hunting means indulging your imagination and daring to dream of possibilities. That’s certainly important and fun, but when you’re so future-focused, it’s easy to gloss over the work it takes to get there.

When you get down to making an offer and closing (not to mention that small detail of, you know, actually packing up and moving), it starts to become a lot of work. And a lot of work usually comes with a lot of stress. Are you really ready, in every sense, to uproot your life and move?

4. It might be easier to fix your current place

Your gutter is leaking. Your downstairs carpet is worn. For reasons unknown, and quite frankly probably unfair, your garbage disposal sounds extremely angry with you.

Whether your landlord or you are on the hook for the repairs, sometimes the small things add up and start to feel insurmountable — and the only way out is a new place.

Deep breath: Tackle one project at a time.

You will likely have to take care of these things when you move anyway, as requested by the buyer (or if you’re renting and want to get your damage deposit back), so tackle them and then top it off with a fresh coat of paint. Your formerly old, tired place just might feel brand new.

If we’ve learned one thing from The Bachelor, it’s to make sure you’re there for the right reasons. Don’t hurry into a commitment you might regret.

Get after it in the comments below and share your tips on how to help manage Home-Buying Fever.