Even vaguely mention that you are thinking of buying a new Waterloo Region home and you will be inundated with advice and not just from your Realtor. Family, friends, colleagues and sometimes even complete strangers will all have plenty of sage advice for you, especially if this will be your first adventure in home buying.
While some of the advice may indeed be good, much of it will not. But what’s sage counsel and what’s bad – if well meaning – advice? Well, here’s a little Monday myth busting to help you sort it out:
Never Buy the Most Expensive Home On the Street
Often the common ‘wisdom’ is that a buyer should never opt for a home that costs more than 50% than other homes in the neighbourhood, the logic here being that the home will not appreciate in value significantly as there is little to compare it to and it will be a tough resell further down the line.
However, buying a house is more than a cold and clinical financial investment. You are buying a home, a lifestyle and, if you want to get a little flowery, a future. Maybe you want to run a business from home, so that room addition that the other properties in the neighbourhood don’t have is a perfect fit for you. Or the fact that a home has a pool while the others surrounding it do not is brilliant, as your kid just made the swim team at school.
The key to all of this is not to overpay. Instead, work with your Realtor to research comparable properties in the general area so you can determine fair pricing for exactly what you’d be getting.
Spring is the Best Time to Shop For a Home
It’s quite true that many people do choose to begin their home search in the spring, when the weather is generally nice but not too hot and there is a flood of new properties for sale hitting the market because home sellers have been advised Spring is the best season for them too. But don’t overlook the advantages of searching for your dream home in the real estate ‘off-season’.
The fact is that people need to sell property 365 days a year, and in fact may be more motivated to do so during the slower months; job relocation or a soon-to-start school year can also light a fire. And there is actually a great charm to house hunting in the colder months, especially in the Autumn, something that can make the whole experience a little more enjoyable.
Never Make an Offer on the First Home You See
This advice follows that old marriage wisdom, never marry the first person you kiss. So, never buy the first home you view as something better is sure to come along. However, in the case of buying a home at least that may not be the case.
It’s rather rare that a home meets all of a buyer’s criteria, there are often compromises to be made as a property is often almost right but not quite. So if you happen to find a property that does tick all of your boxes then why wait? Seize the (closing) day and get on with living your life.
Never Offer Asking Price
This is the piece of home buying ‘wisdom’ we can guarantee you will hear over and over again from your well meaning amateur real estate advisers. But there are two big problems with this advice. If an offer comes in low the seller may psych herself out of the deal, figuring she priced the home too low for the market and actually opt to go up. Conversely, the buyer might avoid offering full price out of a fear of overpaying.
But the question really comes down to the home’s real worth. If you’ve checked the comps, consulted with your Realtor and it does seem that yes, the property is priced correctly, then by all means offer asking, especially in a ‘hot’ market. There are lots of other ways to make both buyer and seller feel as if they got a good deal anyway.