I've watched my parents hunt for a property for at least a year and have seen their highs and lows. Once, they got all the way to the inspection, only to have the inspector miss outdated knob and tube wiring that they learned would make it nearly impossible to get insurance. The seller refused to change it, and my parents were out the door very disappointed. More recently, they found a property with a significantly lowered asking price, and their bid was informally accepted. The next day, the seller changed his mind, and my parents' excitement turned to frustration and disbelief.
Knowing their experience has helped me shape how I approach my own. My fiancé and I are under contract for a house, and the two things that have kept me even-keeled are a certain level of detachment — because I know that, from loans to home inspections, almost anything can happen — and my realtor's competence.
Have you had a particularly emotional experience buying a home? What helped you keep your cool during the process?
Image: Molly Anderson/APAK's Creative Commons House Tour