Saturday, 26 May 2018

I'm nervous about buying a house – should I go ahead?

I’m under pressure and facing quite severe depression, and I’m wondering whether to pull out

Q: I’m currently in the process of buying a property, having to move out of the rented property where I have spent the last few years because my mother was the legal tenant and she has now gone into care since I am no longer able to cope with caring for her dementia.
Throughout the process, I have felt pushed for time, friends pressured me into putting in an offer, and I have kept going with the conveyancing even though it has thrown up a number of issues over the title and building regulations approval.
I’m also in the middle of a bout of quite severe depression. This is making it very difficult to trust my judgment when I keep feeling that I really don’t want this house. I have spent time sitting outside the house trying to imagine living there and sort out my feelings for it.
I don’t know how to work out at this stage if this is just nerves and I should keep going, or if I should pull out this late in the day and maybe rent for six months to a year to actually find a place I want to spend the rest of my life in.I have actually told my solicitor to withdraw the offer once, but she persuaded me to take more time to consider it, and I have kind of drifted into keeping going. She is now saying that I will need to make an appointment to sign the contract, and I don’t think I can face doing it.
A: As a matter of some urgency, talk to your doctor about getting specialist help for your depression, whether in the form of medication or some form of therapy. Depression can affect your ability to think as well as your information-processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your ability to adapt to changing situations and your ability to take all the steps to get something done. So I suspect that it’s your depression rather than your nerves that is getting in the way of your completing the purchase of the property and I’m not surprised that you can’t face signing the contract.
However, I’m not sure that pulling out now would be in your best interests, not least because you’ll still have to pay the legal fees for the work your solicitor has done to date. In addition, a recent survey by the Bank of Scotland found that buying is cheaper than renting.
As far as how you feel about the property, you must have liked it enough to put an offer in although it’s perfectly understandable in a period of such upheaval in your life that you’re experiencing cold feet. So I wonder if it would help to take the emotion out of the situation and think of the house in the same way that you would think about a rental property. Continuing with the purchase doesn’t mean that the house has to be your home for the rest of your life. You could think of it as the temporary stepping stone to a longer-term home.
However, if you genuinely don’t feel able to proceed with the purchase, it would be only fair to let the sellers know as soon as possible. What you definitely shouldn’t do is sign the contracts and then pull out as you’ll lose the money that you have to pay when contracts are exchanged which is typically 10% of the purchase price.

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