It’s a big moment when you sign the last piece of paper. The real estate agent hands you the keys to your new home. You’re full of emotions. You should feel on top of the world, excited to move into a home of your very own.
But what if you don’t feel good? What if, in fact, you feel bad? You actually feel anxiety after buying a house? You’re panicked?
That, my friends, is buyer’s remorse.
Why do I care about you and your remorse? Well, let me spin you a yarn. Not so long ago, I also bought a house. And I too was stricken with a classic case of buyer’s remorse. I felt overwhelmed with creating a new budget, navigating property taxes, and all of the maintenance work I had ahead of me. Now, however, I’m loving my house, popping champagne nightly, and living ever so rightly without a care in the world.
How did I avoid the hand-wringing existence you currently find yourself in? Follow these tips and you can join me in the carefree hot tub of existence sooner than you think.
1. Control what you can control
Stoic philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius believed that to live a more content life, you should attempt to control only the things you have the power to control. Even though they were pretty much constantly getting exiled, those guys knew their stuff.
Even if you’re already to get your Missy Elliott on — put your thing down, flip it and reverse it — try to calm your fears and give this new home a shot. (Plus, you paid your closing costs, and you can’t turn the train around easily.) So strap yourself in. This is your reality now, so control what you can control and make the best of it.
Remind yourself of all the reasons why you decided to buy in the first place. Difficult landlords? Financial perks? This wasn’t a split-second decision, after all. You put in a lot of time, money, and effort to get to this point.
You might be surprised at how quickly those anxious feelings fade when you focus on accepting (and enjoying!) your new space.
2. Make a list and do one thing
Now that you’re on board with the idea that this is your new house, why are you panicking? Is it because you worry you will lose your job and miss your mortgage payments? Is it because there are many improvements to make to your house?
Make a list of your worries and solve just one of them. Paint a room, put in a new fixture, show up early to work. Cross one thing off your list and you’ve just made life in your new house anywhere from 1% to 15% better, depending on the length of your list.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
3. Throw a party
Most well-adjusted adults don’t use “party” as a verb. But it’s time to make an exception, because when you buy a house? IT’S TIME TO PARTY.
Throw a cookout, throw a grown-up, buttoned-down dinner party, or throw the kind of party where you’re a teen, your parents are out of town, tons of people are making out on the couches, and when you get up in the morning, you have to step over 50 passed-out party guests in the living room. (Also, can we come?)
The point is: Gather your friends, family, and loved ones in your home for a celebration. The enthusiasm will be palpable. Everyone will be genuinely excited for you and your new home purchase, and unless you’re a total partymuffel, as the Germans say, some of that excitement will rub off on you.
4. Find your favorite place
Walk around your house and consider each room. Be mindful of the light and of the space. Find your favorite place in your house and just sit there for a while. Drink it in. Appreciate this spot. It’s the best spot in the house and this is your house. You bought it.
Whenever you feel your anxious mind running away again with buyer’s remorse, come back to this spot. This is a good spot. It’s dialed in. And soon the rest of the house will be too.
Take a deep breath. Don’t fret. Your buyer’s remorse will pass, and eventually, when you’re enjoying your new home (and maybe even considering buying a vacation house), you’ll wonder why you ever worried.
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