Keep Calm & Back Up the U-Haul

Author: Steve Sherman | April 14, 2017
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Staying Sane in a Stressful Situation

Moving can be stressful. There’s an understatement. We are creatures of habit, there is no denying it. We like things to stay the same…it’s just human nature. We get comfortable with the status quo. So, when it’s time to move and that gets ripped up and tossed out the window things get a little crazy. Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. How do you survive it? What do you do? Keep calm and find a realtor you can trust.

I recently sold a house to a twenty-something couple. They were moving to Iowa from Missouri. The husband had recently landed a new job in Coralville. It was their dream job. It was exactly what they both had been hoping for, but it didn’t pay a fortune and they were looking in the condo/duplex market. Oh, did I mention that she was nine months pregnant and due within the week with their first baby?

No problem…as a good realtor I found the perfect place. It came complete with a nice backyard for the dog and an awesome 12x12 baby room just across the hall from a large master bedroom on a quiet cul-de-sac in North Liberty. Aaah...perfect.

It's a Seller's Market

Oops…sorry…we lost that one. Did I mention it is a Seller’s Market in Johnson County?

No problem, they moved in with her parents in a small town 30 minutes from Coralville. It’s great to have family close. Right? What’s better than moving back into your high school bedroom in the basement of your parents’ house with your hubby and a new baby coming any minute? 

Can you feel the forced smiles? Damn that realtor! Everything is fine. No big deal. They are pre-approved. Nothing to worry about. It’s all good. How hard could it be to find a nice zero-lot in Coralville or North Liberty by tomorrow or no later than Wednesday? How fast can we have closing? Are you having the baby at Mercy or the U?

There is a lot more that goes into buying a house than tax returns, credit scores, and counter offers. It is an experience fraught with emotion. The pressure can skyrocket overnight. A professional realtor worth his or her salt can help. They can’t take away the stress, but they can be a guiding hand through the flames.

Working Through the Stress

How do you navigate the stress of moving on top of the normal stress of life? Very carefully.

It’s not easy, but it can be done. Sometimes there really is no choice. My wife and I, moved for a second time in three years while she was pregnant with our fourth child. I was also building our new home (and three others) so we had to select every product right down to the paint color. What’s so bad about Kilim Beige? C’mon honey! It works in the spec houses!

Buying a new place and selling your old place is stressful enough, but then throw in changing jobs or having a child…I wouldn’t recommend it, but it can be done. We did it and we survived. Whatever your stress, you will survive too. Here’s what you do. Boil it down to the simplest of things. Deal with the big stuff, but live in the small things.

For example, you may have to deliver your first child and bring it home to the room that once had a sweet poster of Zach Efron from High School Musical on the wall! A seller’s market doesn’t care. Neither should you. Focus on what matters and what lasts. The smell of a newborn baby. Revel in the fact that your parents are alive and available to be part of the next phase of your life. They won’t be around forever and you won’t live in the basement forever. Don’t think of it as a prison…rather a gift. It’s all in the perspective.

It’s the “Aim small, miss small” theory of shooting. When shooting a rifle if you focus on the small things, like a twig or a leaf, rather than the whole tree, you will hit what you’re aiming at.

Aim small means don’t sweat the small stuff. Once you get out of that high school basement and move into your new place…don’t worry that a stack of boxes remain in the living room for a month. What’s it hurt? Nothing. Focus on doing your job well. Focus on your loved ones. A house is far below the things in your life that live and breathe. 

Sure, buying a new house is stressful, but keep it in perspective. It’s just house. The only thing that ever makes it a home is those that live within the walls and the memories created by shared experience. If you have a ten-year-old, go toss that baseball rather than unpack the box so you can finally pull a car into the garage. I guarantee within a few months, you’ll be unpacked. The stress of moving will pass, time lost worrying about it will never come back.

Keep calm and back up the U-Haul…you’ll be glad you did.