Are you a worrier? Does making big decisions keep you awake at night? I admit that choosing a home to buy can be a stressful time. For many buyers, it can be emotional, time consuming and expensive.
Most of my buyers share that they are worried about:
- Paying too much for the house that they want
- Finding their dream home and then losing it to another buyer
- Making the wrong decision and not buying the right house
It is my job to make sure my clients don’t get caught up in the excitement of the experience or bogged down in all the little details that come with purchasing. Here is my shortlist of recommendations I make to all my clients throughout the buying process.
1. Make Sure You Are Prequalified Before Getting Too Invested
The process of being prequalified for financing is fairly straightforward and not as painful as most people think it will be. Getting prequalified for a mortgage will make your life a lot easier when you think you have found your dream home. A mortgage broker can complete most of the work for you. By filling out a quick form with details regarding your income, debt, job situation, they will do the leg work and determine the price range you can afford and will be able to obtain from mortgage institutions. This extra step in the beginning also keeps you from falling in love with houses that are outside of your budget.
2. Use Your Real Estate Agent’s Tools for New Home Alerts
The way home buyers search for houses for sale in BC has changed dramatically over the years. No longer do you look in the newspaper real estate section for houses for sale and open houses. There are hundreds of real estate agent’s websites with MLS listings as well as the official MLS website. However, if you are looking for a specific type of property this can become very time consuming.
The other thing is that these properties are only available to the public 2-4 days after real estate agents see them. If you are searching in a competitive market these couple days can mean the difference of putting in an offer on time. In this case it is important to rely on your real estate agent to have the right property alerts set up for your search and send these to you as soon as they are visible to agents.
3. Keep an Open Mind to There Being More Than Just One Perfect House
Thinking that there is only one perfect house for you can keep you on pins and needles, nervous that you might miss out. Depending on your search criteria there could be a number of homes that meet all your needs. Keep an open mind and stop worrying you will never find the right house.
4. Short Term vs. Long Term Housing Needs
Regardless of the life stage of my clients I always like to encourage them to think ahead to the future and imagine what their needs will be – especially if they are considering living in their new house for more than 5 -10 years. If you are a young couple you should think about the house having enough bedrooms and a good layout to start a family. If you have a family with teenagers you should think about how the space will work when you become empty nesters. The home may be perfect now but what about in five years?
5. Always Insist on a Home Inspection
Yes, home inspections do cost money but when you are making one of the largest investments in your lifetime it is will worth the expense. Depending on the inspection services you choose the fees can be anywhere between $175 and $1500. Think of the cost of an inspection paying for your peace of mind and potentially preventing tens of thousands of dollars of repairs and headaches in the future.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Include More Than Just a “Subject to Finance”
When we think about subjects on an offer we usually think financing subjects (as long as your finances are in line) and sale subjects (as long as your house sells). While these are usually the two most popular you should also think about subjects related to property disclosure statements, home insurance, fire insurance, permits on property and strata titles. A licensed realtor can help craft the perfect offer with the right subjects to protect you as a buyer.
7. Have a Good Grasp on All the Costs Involved With Buying
Having a realistic budget and all the costs involved in purchasing a new home are often overlooked, especially by first time home buyers who have never been through the process before. Ask your BC realtor to explain title insurance costs, lawyer fees and prepaid property taxes, municipal fees and fuel adjustments.
If you would like to learn more about any of these house buying recommendations or need some assistance in your house hunting, I would love to speak with you. Contact me today by phone at 778-316-4290 or by email at BC Real Estate Agent.
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