FOMO or fear of missing out is a term that Millennials use to describe that all-consuming anxiety of not being able to enjoy the same, fun stuff that their friends and peers enjoy. Apparently, it is not just on vacations (like beach trips or out-of-the-country explorations) or parties that this feeling occurs, and it is not just young people who experience it.
Homebuyers also fear missing out, as they see their friends (or someone influential in their lives) on social media getting the best home in the best neighborhoods. The result? They get into impulsive, emotional home buying decisions that they regret later on.
Do not let such fear influence your biggest life purchase. It is best that you know and are sure of what you are doing before taking out that loan and buying that house. Here is how you can avoid this feeling:
1. See through the “filters”
Homebuyers today are heavily influenced by media, particularly social networking sites. According to a study, people who have seen their Facebook friends enjoy an increase in home value are more likely to pay more for a house they are eyeing, make a bigger down payment, and go for a bigger house.
What you need to understand is what you see in social media is not the entire picture. Yes, buying a home has rewards, but it also comes with responsibilities — financial responsibilities not seen in that photo on your news feed.
Before you take the plunge in buying a house, make sure that you have calculated not just the costs of buying a home, but also of maintaining it. Can you really sustain paying for that big loan for that big house?
2. Trust the experts
The same study says that most people are enticed to invest in a home when they see their Facebook friends’ homes precisely because these are friends, and they can be trusted. But you have to remember that you and your friends have unique financial capabilities and goals. You cannot simply compare your home buying journey with theirs, as you are coming from different contexts.
What you should do instead is to trust financial experts — those who know the housing market, so you can time your purchase better, and those who can give you the best mortgage rates. Many Salt Lake City experts suggest shopping around for loans so you can get the most competitive deal that works for you. Trust the experts when it comes to your biggest purchase; you will not regret it.
3. Step back
When you feel the urge to proceed with buying that house — any house, just for the sake of it — after seeing your Facebook friends, take a break from social media and reflect on your thoughts. Review your needs-and-wants list and remember your goals. Talk to your spouse about it, so you can encourage each other. This should bring you back to reality.
FOMO is real when it comes to home buying. Do not make emotional, hasty decisions just because you fear missing out. Keep your emotions in check.