As an experienced Realtor®, I can tell you that the timing can often make a huge difference in your purchase. The most important thing to consider when buying is your financial capability. There’s nothing worse than buying a home and not being prepared for the expenses that come along with home ownership. There’s many costs to consider when purchasing property in addition to down payment & legal fees. Some other things to consider are:
- Appraisal/financing fees
- Property inspections
- Appliances/Window coverings
- Condo document review
I recommend preparing an excel spreadsheet of all the costs you may incur with each property you look at buying and what the cost to own that specific home (monthly) will look like. (Mortgage payment amount, home insurance premium, condo fees(include future cash calls if there are any), heating costs, water, etc.)
New homes are usually move-in ready but often require immediate large purchases such as window coverings, appliances, fencing, landscaping, basement development, etc. Older homes usually give more bang for your buck however often require updates/immediate maintenance work to maintain the functionality of the home. Once you are financially ready for the expenses for owning a home there are a few other important factors to take into consideration such as:
1. The season
Buying a home in the Spring/Summer/Fall have many pro’s and a few con’s. The biggest pro would be that you can properly inspect the home inside and out during the warmer months. The winter snow can hide some nasty landscaping or bad shingles on a roof with no way to properly inspect or uncover these issues. The warmer months tend to have more listings available for sale for obvious reasons that most prefer to sell & move when the weather is nicest. This means more choices for you. Although, buying a house in the winter months can often lead to better negotiations and in turn get a better price. Anyone who is trying to sell in the dead of winter is usually very motivated to do so. Mortgage interests rates are usually lower in the winter and higher in the “peak season” which is Spring/Summer.
2. The market
This year, 2016, has proven to be a buyer’s market with lots of listings and decrease in demand (number of sales). In a buyer’s market you can generally negotiate asking prices quite a bit. A seller’s market would favor sellers which would mean increase in demand but limited inventory available to purchase. Seller’s markets can be a nightmare for an aspiring home owner because homes sell quick and usually close to or above asking price.
3. Mortgage Interest Rates
When interest rates are high, you pay more interest and usually qualify for less of a purchase price. Ideally, you want to buy a home when interest rates are low because you will save thousands of dollars in the long run. For example, I bought my home in 2014 - the rate was 3.39% on a 5 year term. Now, you can secure as low as 2.39% on a 5 year term! What a huge difference!!
If you are thinking of buying a home in Red Deer, I think now is a great time.
Contact me today for some guidance. I work with a great team of mortgage brokers, lawyers, property inspectors & other industry members that help make this process an entire breeze for my clients.