Maybe you’re looking to buy a small home in Montreal or Quebec City because you’re tired of renting. Perhaps you’re checking out the real estate listings in Sherbrooke because you want to get a house with enough space for your dogs.
But before you purchase a home, here are 5 secret tips from home buyers that you may want to know first:
- Make sure you’re buying a house for the right reasons. You should buy a new home if you’re financially prepared for it, and you’re also emotionally and mentally ready to face the challenges of home ownership. It’s a bit more challenging than living in an apartment, and it’s a lot more expensive too.
What you don’t want to do is to buy a home simply because you’ve been told that you’re supposed to buy a house at a certain point in your life. Don’t buy a house just to “keep up” with your friends. Also, you shouldn’t buy a home for some hypothetical future involving a spouse and kids. Don’t think that having your own home makes this hypothetical future more likely, either.
- Plan on living in your new house for the next few years. It takes a lot of effort to sell a home and then to buy a new one. Are you sure you want to go through that kind of stress several times in the next 10 years? So you should plan on living in that house for the next few years, especially if you’re considering your house as some sort of investment. It’ll probably take a few years for you to make a profit.
What this means is that if your work prospects aren’t secure for the next few years, then renting may be your most viable option for the meantime. What if you’re living in Sherbrooke and the job of your dreams is offered to you in Toronto? Then you end up trying to sell your home too quickly, and that may mean taking a loss. You’ll have to deal with your mortgage bank and your real estate agent, and it’s a mess if you try to sell too quickly after you’ve just bought your house.
- Don’t buy a huge house. The problems with overly large houses are quite numerous. They’re more expensive, for one. Then there’s the more expensive maintenance. Also, you will probably accumulate lots of junk until you fill up your large home. People are generally more reluctant to throw away stuff they ought to just because they have the storage space for the junk.
Of course, you shouldn’t really go for a tiny house when you’re starting a family. Just make sure that you don’t end up with a lot more rooms than you actually need. Many types of rooms can be very versatile, and a library room can double as a guest room. So you can have one bedroom for you and your spouse, and another bedroom for each kid. That should be enough, as you may have extra rooms around the house which can double as bedrooms for overnight guests.
- Always negotiate with the seller. You can hire a pro to do the negotiating for you, but you have to make sure they’re doing their job right. Get real estimates of how much repairs will cost and use those to drive the price down.
- Be ready to walk away. This is especially true if it doesn’t make financial sense. It doesn’t matter if you’ve fallen in love with the house (and the seller knows it). You must always treat it as a financial transaction first and foremost, because a house is one of the most expensive purchases you can make in your life!