It’s spring. The weather is warming up, daffodils are pushing through the mud, and “For Sale” signs are popping up in neighbourhoods across Canada. We’re entering the busiest homebuying season of the year – spring. Sales activity is brisk at this time of year (and in fact peaks in May in many markets), so if you’re considering buying a home within the next few months, you might feel pressured to jump in with both feet.
But before you make an offer, keep in mind that buying a home in spring is a little different than buying a home at other times of the year. Tensions are a little higher, you might be pushed to move a little bit faster, and homes will overall receive more attention this time of year than any other.
For these reasons, it’s important not to make these three big mistakes of springtime home-buying. Keep reading to find out what they are and how to avoid them.
Buying the Nicest House on the Block
The adage goes “buy the worst house on the nicest block you can afford” gained popularity because it’s a great piece of advice. At its essence, the saying provides good investment advice – after all, you can change a lot about a home, but you can’t change its location.
Unfortunately, there’s something about spring that makes buyers go a little ga-ga over a well-maintained home. Perhaps it’s because the landscaping that has been covered in snow for the past six months is now coming to life again, or because we’ve all been cooped up in our homes, but springtime makes buyers particularly susceptible to the charms of a very well maintained and updated home.
Unfortunately, making this mistake means you’ll pay thousands of dollars in extra interest, and you may not ever recoup the costs of any renovations you make in the future. So if you find yourself drawn to the nicest house on the block, think twice.
Moving for the Sake of Moving
Cabin fever is a real thing, especially in Canada, where the weather forces many of us to be housebound for the majority of the long winter season. Staring at the same four walls for six months can negatively affect your opinion about your home, and when the weather warms up, you might find yourself looking at home listings simply because you are sick of your current home.
Boredom is not a good reason to buy a new home, so if you are considering purchasing, make you have the right motivation.
Is your house not meeting your needs? Really?
Is it possible to renovate instead and continue to build equity in your current home?
If so, doing some home improvements yourself may be a better course of action than to go through the stressful and equity-killing process of purchasing a new home. You’d be amazed at what a coat of paint can do to your opinion of your house, so if you aren’t sure, try that first. Painting is much less expensive than moving!
Buying Too Soon
The added pressure of a springtime market can result in a panicked feeling amongst home-buyers – especially when homes are selling fast and at or above list price. If you feel yourself getting sucked into that panicked mindset, it’s time to take a step back.
First, make sure that you have your mortgage pre-approval in place so that you can move quickly on a home if the perfect listing does come up. But after that, it’s important to approach each possible home with a sense of patience and scepticism. You may view dozens of homes before finding the right one; there is no need to rush into a home purchase.
Eventually, a home that is within your price list will be listed, and it will also have all of the must-haves on your list. It might not be for weeks or months, but it will happen. The deal of the century is listed every week – it just might not be your deal of the century.
Whether you are an experienced home-buyer or a first-timer, it’s easy to get carried away with the springtime home-buying market and make these common first-time home-buying mistakes. After all, we’re all human, and winter is a hard time of year for Canadians. But by doing your homework, getting your pre-approvals in place ahead of time and taking a step back to ensure you’re making rational decisions, you’ll easily avoid these common mistakes and end up with the home that suits your needs.
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