I find my kids, nieces and nephews and clients’ kids are all asking the same question right now, “should we buy a home or should we rent?” I think back on when my husband and I bought our first home…we were young with two small kids in tow and we often would look at each other and wonder if we were ever going to be able to cover it all. Well that was a lot of years ago, and now in hind sight buying into the residential real estate market was one of the best financial moves we made. Is today really any different from back then?
I have always believed in owning real estate, I think that is why I am as passionate about my profession as a Realtor in Vancouver's lower mainland. Real Estate is: home, forced savings, a retirement nest egg and it is still the one thing we are not being taxed on (our principal residence that is) when we sell.
Is real estate a sound investment for our children? Should we be helping them get into the market and buy a home? What tools do we give them if they want to buy?
Here are some suggestions:
Spend what you can afford, on a home for sale, without carrying a huge debt load. Unexpected expenses can happen at any time and if the credit cards and line of credits are all maxed and you are living paycheck to paycheck it won’t be long before you can drown in debt. Have a balanced budget before buying a home. With renting it is much easier to give notice and move, with owning a property… not so much.
Never rush into buying a home for the sake of getting in. Do your due diligence and homework. Write down your goals, what you are looking for in a home for sale? What are your needs, wants and must haves in that home…then prioritize.
When you buy always think Resale. Expect that if you have to sell your home really fast for whatever reason…can you? Is what you are buying going to appeal only to a small amount of people in the real estate market or will it appeals to the majority of home buyers?
Never think “what a pretty home” first, then everything else. Always think…does this home for sale meet your goal and needs first, and then negotiate the price.
Look outside the box ….areas of growth, universities etc. always look to where the neighbourhood re-developments are starting to happen or the big anchor stores are going in, they have already spent millions on feasibility studies
Location location location. It will mean everything to your value of the home you buy today and tomorrow.
Make City Hall your best friend. Go get an OCP (official community plan) map to see what is going on and where…ask lots of questions. Know everything about the house and property that you are thinking of buying if you can.
Watch maintenance fees (you don’t want them to be higher than your mortgage). Do they include things like hot water and gas?
If you are buying a pre-sale home, do your homework. Research trends and see what has happened to folks that have bought a home on speculation…has it gone up in the past four years, stayed the same or gone down. How many buildings are new in your area of choice…know your numbers and world market really well before investing in speculation.
Confirm square footage, age, size of lot and anything else that is important to the value of the property.
Learn about “depreciation reports”, they are coming.
The biggest mistakes we can make in real estate are not doing our homework and acting on impulse. I have seen this result in both lost opportunities and/or poor choices, and I have seen strategic and calculated home purchases result in great wealth.
If you have any questions or would like more information please feel free to contact me either by email at email@example.com or on my cell at 604-209-1225. If you get my voicemail or are sending me an email, please leave a detailed message and how I can best reach you so that I can get the information you need before returning your call or email. If you have any feedback in regards to the information you are receiving, I would love to hear from you.
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