More single home buyers are entering Canada’s housing market than ever before. With inventory levels improving, and interest rates near record lows, homeownership has become a realistic goal. People across the country who may never have considered buying a home in the past are recognizing that a mortgage payment on a house can actually be the same or less than what they would spend on renting.
For most Canadians, buying a home is the most significant financial investment they will ever make, and perhaps even more so for singles who are making the transition on their own. With that in mind, Coldwell Banker has come up with five tips to help single home buyers navigate the home-buying process:
Have a look into your future.
A family of one is much more likely to upsize rather than downsize. Someday someone who is single may add a significant other to their family and possibly even children. Though additional space may not be needed immediately, it’s important to consider potential future plans for a home. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “perfect” house. Instead, determine what is essential – number of bedrooms, approximate square footage, neighborhood, etc. And when you do move up, your first home can provide you with equity to purchase your next home . . . or it can be kept as an investment.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Pre-approval gives you a clear picture of where you stand financially and lets the mortgage company know that you are ready to buy. Additionally, this step will demonstrate to everyone involved in the purchase that the home buyer is serious and well qualified.
Location, location, location.
The golden rule of real estate applies to single home buyers as well. Consider factors such as proximity to work, family, recreational facilities and nightlife when deciding where to purchase a home. Speaking with a Coldwell Banker sales representative can help narrow the search to find the location that best suits your needs and lifestyle.
Allow a margin for maintenance.
Owning a home is a rewarding experience. However, being the only person with a set of house keys also means being the only person responsible for maintenance. A leaky faucet and unkempt lawn won’t take care of themselves, so be sure to include future repairs and maintenance in the budget. Another option to consider is a condo or townhouse. They require less exterior maintenance and might provide an alternative to buyers who find the idea of maintaining a yard a bit daunting.
Consider resale value and how long you expect to own the home.
Purchasing a home has historically been a great long-term investment. But there are many reasons why single home buyers may need to move, such as relocating for a job or a lifestyle change. It’s important to think about the length of time that the home will be owned and also consider the resale value of prospective properties during the search. Your Coldwell Banker real estate representative can share the average home price of properties in the Niagara region, how long each property has been on the market and what features increase a home’s value and appeal.
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