What Not To Say To Someone Who Is House Hunting

Moving into a new home can be one of the most exciting times in someone's life. For many of us, it's also the most stressful. If you're buying a house, the stress and excitement is likely even more intense. We all know how difficult house hunting can be. From the urgency of competing with other buyers to snag your dream home to the financial strain the enormous purchase is sure to present, buying a house isn't always as fun and carefree as it should be.

In 2022, the challenges that come along with buying a home are even greater (via Forbes). There are tons of important things to keep in mind when house hunting, and there are plenty of mistakes to avoid when buying a home. For many of us, it seems like many of our friends' major life milestones all happen at the same time. If you're at the age when everyone around you seems to be buying a house for the first time or just moving to somewhere new, you're not alone. Because of the myriad struggles and growing pains that come along with buying a house, it's not always easy to know what to say to someone who is house hunting.

What to avoid saying

When your friend or family member is looking for a house, it's totally natural to be excited for them and have plenty of questions. It's important to keep in mind, though, that they are going through a stressful time. Not everything that you want to say or ask will be helpful to them. The first thing you should avoid saying is anything along the lines of "the market is bad." They know this. In 2022, high housing prices are definitely one of the difficulties your friend is running into (via Forbes). Reminding them of this or letting them know that the situation isn't likely to change is totally unhelpful and will make them feel even more under pressure. 

Asking your friend if they've found a house is probably one of the first things you'll want to say when you see your friend who's been house hunting (via Erie Insurance). The thing is –– that's probably the question they're getting from everyone, and it's almost certainly getting annoying. If they haven't mentioned that they've bought a house, it's likely they haven't yet. Don't remind them of their struggle by asking. Lastly, resist the urge to ask them about loans or mortgages. This can also be a touchy subject, and if they want to offer up this information, they will.

Things you should say

With all the things you shouldn't say to someone who's house hunting, it can be difficult knowing what you should say. In fact, sometimes the best thing to do is wait for your friend to bring it up first. This allows them to avoid the topic entirely if they want a break from thinking about it, and if there's exciting news, they're likely to bring it up.

Choosing not to address it first, on the other hand, may make you worry that they think you don't care. While this isn't likely, there are some safe topics to bring up regarding their new house. Think of the positives about their future move, and focus on those. Saying something like, "I just got a new mattress, and I love it," is a great option, because you can transition into asking if they'll get a new bed after their move. It puts the focus on something non-stressful about the future and gets the conversation started.

Be sure to reassure them that the right house is out there and that the struggles of house hunting shouldn't prompt them to settle or compromise on the important things that they're looking for in their new home (via Erie Insurance). People can get nervous about making the wrong decision when the pressure is on, so reassuring them that everyone gets through this time and that there's something exciting waiting on the other end can mean a lot as well (via Rocket Mortgage).