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Investiong smart, buying smarter
Buyers are finally getting the opportunity to shop with more homes coming on the market. Make sure you buy smart and avoid these lesser known pitfalls.
Ignoring more subtle location considerations
When considering a home or a particular street, take stock of what’s important to you and how that will affect your day-to-day life. What will your morning dog walk be like? Are you close to transit but so close it could disrupt your sleep? Are you within walking distance to your favourite shops? Is a one-way street not a big deal or will it drive you crazy?
Family-friendly or peace and quiet
Think about what kind of street you want to live on – kids jumping fences to play and street parties during the summer, or nothing but the birds chirping as you pull into your drive? We call it the trick-or-treat effect…will you need lots of candy at Halloween or not much at all?
Congestion and construction seem to be a permanent feature so if you need to commute, think long and hard about what the cost of an extra 15 minutes might mean for you. And if you have no commute, think about what environment needs to be there for you to work from home – be that greater walkability to a cafe or ensuring you’re not in a school drop-off zone with chaos twice a day.
Renovations now and later
While a home may seem move-in ready to most, is it what you really want? Are you paying for someone else’s reno or should you be going for something that needs work to put your own stamp on it. Or do you just want to set up your furniture and start living?
Working with a local agent
While there may be more on Realtor.ca these days, there are still a large number of homes that aren’t listed that you may not be seeing. Working with a local agent who sells a lot of homes in the area will ensure you have access to off-market properties and greater knowledge of values.
Planning your financials now and for later
With rate increases and economic fluctuations, don’t just consider how much you qualify for now. Make sure you flush out the scenarios in case of a rate hike. Even if you lock in for a fixed rate, what does it look like when that term is up?
Don’t let emotion and excitement rule
We get it – you can’t help but get excited or fall in love with some homes.
If your agent has taken the time to help you get really clear about your goals and what is truly important, we promise you won’t be blinded by exposed brick walls 🙂
Know the numbers
Especially when going into a bidding war, make sure your agent has done their research on comparable sales to ensure you are not overpaying. If you are comfortable stretching past that number to make it happen, make sure you have a clear idea of what that is. As we say, “If you woke up tomorrow and found out the home sold for $X more than your offer, would you be ok with that?”
Think long term
Considering your long-term goals is nothing new but take into account the flexibility your next home could offer you. Does it have the potential for an addition if you need more space one day? Could you create a basement rental suite so you can afford a better street and take back the space when you need it?
We’re entering a really interesting time in our market where negotiation skills and strategy make a huge difference in the outcome for our buyers. Make sure you are working with someone who can navigate this and has the local knowledge to leverage every advantage for you.
For more questions on buying smarter reach out to [email protected]