Purchasing a home is one of biggest transactions and important decisions you will make, so it’s essential to be well informed and prepared.
What Can You Afford?
Before embarking on your search to find your ideal home, it’s a good idea to determine your budget and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Being pre-qualified allows the process to move more quickly, especially if you find the right house and are competing with other buyers. Shop around for the best mortgage rates. Even one half of a percent can make a huge difference in payments over 25 years.
Know the Market
Understanding the current market conditions will give you a great advantage in choosing the right property. Working with an agent who has expertise in the rapidly changing market climate will assure that find the best home for the best possible price.
There are 3 market conditions that influence a property’s value.
- Seller’s Market
This is known as a “hot” market and is created when the number of buyers (demand) is greater than the number of homes for sale (supply). In this market, homes usually sell quickly and there and multiple offers are placed. Because of this, the seller has the better position.
- Buyer’s Market
This market occurs when the number of homes for sale (supply) outweighs the number of buyers (demand). This is an ideal market for a buyer as it provides a greater selection of homes to choose from. Since prices usually drop during this market, the buyer has more flexibility for negotiating.
- Balanced Market
Since the market is balanced with an equal number of buyers and sellers, prices are usually stable and sell within a reasonable time period.
Due to the current economic climate, it is now a buyer’s market therefore the time to purchase your new home is ripe!
In addition to these 3 market conditions, here are few other factors that influence market value:
Factors that affect the value of a property are proximity to schools, parks, transit, stores as well as zoning and development.
The general condition of the home’s main systems-electrical, fixtures, furnace, etc., as well as the age, size, layout and quality of construction determine the market value.
A detailed market analysis with similar homes in the area can provide accurate data in determining market value. Stefan Gerber will provide a detailed analysis for you.
In addition to the 3 market conditions stated above, the overall climate of the international and local economy, strongly influence the value of property.
Choosing Your Home
After you get pre-qualified for your mortgage, hire your agent and have a solid understanding of the current market, it’s time to look for your ideal home. Below is a valuable check-list to use when viewing potential properties. Take notes so you can compare them later to help you with your final decision.
Note your impressions about the size and shape of the lot, the driveway and garage. Which way does the house face?Â How many stories is it? Is the yard well maintained-trees, landscaping or fence? Be sure to look at the general condition of the house and ask about recent repairs.
Check windows to see if they open and close without sticking. Are the locks and latches on the doors in good condition?
Does the kitchen have enough counter and cupboard space? Is it functional? Check the condition of all appliances. What about lighting and wall colour?
Is there a fireplace or wood stove and if so, is it CSA approved?
Check the size and colour scheme of the bedrooms and bathrooms. Make sure the fixtures are in good working order, and check for ventilation and signs of mould and/or deterioration.
Is it finished or partially finished? What about adequate headroom? Look for signs of moisture such as watermarks and peeling paint and other signs of water damage. What type of insulation, plumbing and heating is used? Are the washer and dryer in good condition?
After you find the right property and make an offer, have a certified home inspector evaluate the home before you seal the deal.