BY: HEATHER KEHOE, THINKSASKATOON
Should you rent or buy real estate? What are some key factors to be aware of when purchasing or renting? The spring market is here. Interest rates are fantastic. Buyers, sellers, relocations and renovations are happening and I have been a very busy lady!
Let’s get right to it. Interest rates. They are low. They are fantastic and they are not going anywhere for a while. This is huge for people but especially for first time home buyers! I remember my first mortgage 15 years ago, yes that’s right, I bought my first house when I was 25. It was 90,000 and my interest rate was 5.25%. Scariest, but smartest move I ever made. You see, real estate is a wise investment, just ask Donald Trump and Warren Buffett. You just need to be educated and have help from a professional.
Most first time home buyers are renting before they purchase. Several think that rent is cheaper than a mortgage. Not the case anymore. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This is when you need a professional and well-educated real estate agent and mortgage broker. I work very closely with Shawna MacDonald from TMG In Saskatoon. The first thing I always have my clients do is speak with Shawna and get a pre-approval. This way the buyers know what their budget is and what their monthly payments will be. With 5% down payment and excellent mortgage rates, 9 times out of 10, their mortgage will be less than their rent and buyers are building equity. Another great option is purchasing a home that has a separate suite. This will help offset the buyers monthly mortgage payments as well.
Buying your first home should be exciting and relatively painless. But without the right professionals guiding and educating you along the way, there can be some very common mistakes made that can cost you a ton of money in the long run.
Spending Too MuchYes you read that correctly, I am a real estate agent that will tell you that just because you are approved for $500000, you do not have to spend that. Owning a house costs money. You will need appliances,if not included, furniture, insurance, there are bills every month, property taxes, how about eating and clothing yourself? That’s important. Live within your means and be smart. How about we start looking in the $400000k first. You may find the home of your dreams!
Spending Too LittleSounds crazy doesn’t it. But cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Buying a house because it’s cheap but is in a less desirable area, or needs tons of renovations that you cannot do, or it’s a house you will outgrow in 2 years, is not a wise choice. If the difference between buying just to buy and buying a house you love, has great value, is only $10-20k higher, then it’s definitely worth considering. The difference on your monthly mortgage payments will be minimum.
Buying Based on FluffIt’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of a house. Pretty paint colours, beautiful staging, etc. But buying based on wants and needs is what’s important. Paint is easy to change, the staging furniture is taken out. What about location, size of bedrooms, can you picture yourself living there for years to come?
Missing Closing CostsThe price you paid for the house is not the only costs associated with buying a home. There are closing costs. A professional real estate agent would have discussed and explained this to you, and most likely referred you to their real estate lawyer. Costs such as legal fees, disbursements, title insurance and title transfer costs are all part of the end transaction
Do Your Own ResearchWorking with a professional real estate agent is essential but also doing your own research and due diligence. Take walks or drives around certain neighbourhoods, visit the schools, etc. When it comes to purchasing a home, get a professional home inspection. I always recommend Prairie Building Inspections. You just wrote an offer for $400k on a home, is $430 not worth it to have a full inspection of the property? This should also be a condition on the offer to purchase so the buyer is protected and can refuse to purchase if inspection is not satisfactory.
So there you have it, some mistakes that can easily avoided!
Any questions? Please let me know! Until then, It’s Just Another Glamorous Day in the Life of The Saskatoon REALTOR®