Moving house is often cited as one of the most stressful things people will do in their entire life, and with so many things to think about, seemingly endless piles of documents to deal with and scores of t's to cross and i's to dot, it's hardly surprising.
In a study of 2,000 people conducted by EstatesDirect.com, it was found that the levels of stress that come with buying a house are far higher than those associated with what we might consider difficult things to deal with, including divorce, bankruptcy and the death of a close family member.
But what is the most stressful part of the process? You might well think that it would be something like dealing with a solicitor, having to make sure you get all the paperwork done properly or even chasing estate agents and just waiting for the deal to be confirmed.
However, according to a new study from Ocean Finance, the most difficult thing that people will deal with is actually finding the right property. In the current financial climate, this is hardly a surprise.
People who buy a house rather than renting tend to live in them for far longer now than they did before the financial crisis, so the pressure they feel to make sure they are finding their dream home at the first time of asking is much higher, and is the aspect of buying that most people worry about.
In the research, some 45 per cent of people said that finding the right property was the most stressful part of their move. But does it have to be this way? Can you actually find ways to reduce the stress of trying to find that ideal house? We look at a few ways to make the whole process less of a worry. After all, moving to your new house should be the start of something wonderful.
Make a night of it
Finding the right house no longer means having to peer through the window of a high street estate agent at the various houses for sale. The rise of the internet has meant it is easier than ever to find property at the click of a mouse. So why not use this to your advantage?
Make a night of it - perhaps after work - by opening a nice bottle of wine, putting on a bit of music and just relaxing as you look through the houses for sale online.
By doing this, you'll feel at home and less stressed, and you can create a shortlist of bookmarks of every property that meets your needs and wants. By not trying to search in a busy period like your lunch hour, you'll find that you can give each listing more time and appreciate what each house has to offer.
Set aside the weekend
Another mistake a lot of people make when they're buying a house is to book a lot of bookings in a short period of time, usually in the evenings after work. All this rushing about when you want nothing more than to be at home won't help stress levels.
Instead, book in a number of viewings over the weekend - but not too many - and just take the time to appreciate each one. By not having to run from house to house, you'll be able to see them for what they are rather than treating them like a chore, and the chances of you finding your dream home will be greatly increased.
See the big picture
Is moving into a new home a pressing issue for you? Can you rent until you find the right place? If the latter is an option, then you should make sure to take the time to find the right property for you. By leaving yourself time without pressuring yourself to find your dream home, you'll be able to enjoy the process more, and the chances that you'll eventually stumble across the perfect option will be greatly increased.
No one likes settling for second best, and if you take your time, the chances are you won't have to, and you'll find yourself living in that house you always dreamed you would.