Spring is nearly over and Summer is right around the corner!
This means the temperature is gonna get HOT HOT HOT!
And like the temperature, the housing market will do the same. Unfortunately this leads to panic---which leads to rash decisions---and potentially leads to "Buyer's Remorse" and a lot of misery.
There are few experiences as discouraging as realizing you bought the wrong house…after all, you can’t exactly return it like a TV!
But let’s back up a bit…let’s consider this can all be avoided.
We believe that in the chaos of buying a home, there are still some fundamentals to help you get the home you want, at a price you are comfortable with, and you can even do it in the heat of the moment - IF you are prepared in advance.
Here’s a quick 5 points to help you out.
1. Know what you can afford:
This should go without saying, but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how often this step is overlooked…or perhaps the better word is, “IGNORED.”
But come on, this is a perfectly logical place to start and it really does help to avoid a stressful negotiation on the purchase price when you know what you can afford.
The easiest way to do this – Get a proper pre-approval from a qualified, educated, and licensed Mortgage Professional.
[FYI – nobody at your bank meets all three of these criteria. The truth is, not one of them is licensed – mostly because they are not educated or qualified...and don't forget they can hide behind the "Bank Act" when they screw up!]
If you really want to know what you can afford...without question...then see a Mortgage Broker. A good one – do some online research before you select your broker - sadly, the Mortgage Brokerage Industry is polluted with undereducated and ill qualified individuals...(yet somehow licensed).
If you want to deal with the best there is...then look no further! You've found us!! Take a few minutes and click <HERE> to go to our online application and we can pre-approve you in no time!
2. Know what you can and can’t live without.
Do up a quick plan, and know exactly what you need and feather in a few items you would like to have but are not essential.
For instance, if you have a young family with 2 children, it’s probably a good idea to focus on a home that has enough bedrooms on the same floor to avoid the potential of outgrowing your home too soon.
Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Closets, Basement, Garage, etc…make a list of all the things your new home needs to have. Know what you want so you can spend your money more proficiently.
3. Take the right tools along.
This one is a bit of an insider’s trick. But there are a couple of items you can take along that will be instrumental in helping you make your decision.
a. Measuring Tape
b. Golf Ball, Large Marble, etc…something small, with some weight, and most importantly round.
c. Laser Pointer
The Measuring Tape is great for those quick things like measuring a Doorway, or even the width of the stairs going in to the basement. It’s also great for getting a quick idea on whether or not your furniture will fit.
The Golf Ball (or other similar item) is great for checking out just how much roll is in the floor. It’s simple – take out your golf ball, place on the hard floor (difficult to do with carpet), give it a gentle roll in multiple directions…and just watch for it to go in straight lines or at a consistent speed…if it veers off in one direction or another – that’s a roll. If the speed increases – that’s a roll. If the speed decreases quickly – it’s probably because it’s found a high spot and the ball will probably veer off or roll back.
The Laser Pointer is my favourite! This $4.00 item from Amazon will be your favourite in the bunch…especially if you live in an area where basement walls are known for deflecting or inflecting….those are $2.00 words that simply mean the walls are pushing out or pushing in.
The wonder of a laser…it travels in a straight line. Put it directly against the top or bottom of the wall and shine it either down to the floor (from the top of the wall), or up towards the ceiling (you guessed it – from the bottom of the wall).
Assuming you go from the bottom up, look for consistency in the laser light going up the wall to the ceiling…does the light disappear half way up? That’s an inflection – the wall is pushing inward. If the light has gone all the way to the ceiling but is over from the top that means the wall is deflecting – pushing outward.
Both Inflections and Deflections come with the potential of basement bracing…and that’s not cheap!
4. You Are In Control.
This one is tough for some folks. It’s easy to feel pressured from outside influences…like the real estate agent who really needs your sale so they can make their Lexus payment or the Girlfriend/Boyfriend who is actually a sponge with no skin in the game… …stand back for a minute and take ownership of a couple of things:
a. YOU are the one that has to live in the home.
b. YOU are the one borrowing all the money and taking all the risks.
c. YOU are the one paying EVERYONE!!*
*Don’t be fooled by that toothy grin and plastic smile when your real estate agent says, “You Don’t Pay Me, The Seller Pays Me” …that is only a half truth – in actuality – it’s your money that pays the Seller after all…which means you are paying their real estate agent, and your real estate agent.
5. You Have Walk Away Power.
This one goes hand in hand with Number 4 (You are in Control).
Walk Away Power is…(what’s the best way to say this in one word??? Oh…I know…)
“F ’ING AWESOME!”
My bad…that’s 2 words. But you get the point.
(Oh…and “F’ ING” is short hand for “Freaking” – lol.)
When you feel pressured, or deep down inside you feel like something is off or you feel like you may have been mislead, deceived, or god forbid – LIED TO! Don’t sweat it – you can walk away...and that's REAL POWER!
There will a house sold tomorrow…there will be house sold the day after, and the day after that, and the day after that…and on and on.
Don’t feel as though you have to be the one to buy that house today, or tomorrow, or the day after that. Instead, feel empowered you didn’t inherit a Money Pit that would have kept you up at nights, or caused you anxiety and frustration down the road...it's not worth it - believe me...I've been there and done that - IT SUCKS!
6. -BONUS POINT- Don’t forget to Breathe.
-Calm = Control-
When you feel like you are being overwhelmed or your anxiety is increasing…just excuse yourself and find a quiet corner to be alone for a moment or two, and just breathe.
You are only human – you aren’t expected to “keep it together” all the time…so taking a bit of time alone to collect your thoughts and re-focus is well within reason. …just don’t take too long, and try refraining from talking to yourself too loudly…you might find a home, of the padded variety, you weren’t looking for!
Good Luck and Happy House Hunting!
Oh…and don’t forget to do something nice for stranger today, you might just change a life.