Buying your first home is usually the biggest investment you will make in your life (well, unless of course you end up moving up to a bigger home, but still). It is certainly not a decision you should take lightly, which is why there are several things to consider before purchasing your first (or next) home. And July 1 is a common possession/moving day in many Canadian provinces. This may influence all four of the B-E-S-T factors to consider before and during a home purchase on or around this date.
B-E-S-T Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Home
B = BUDGET, The Budget You Have to Work With
The number one factor that will play into figuring out the ideal time to purchase a home comes down to your current financial situation. What is your budget? How much do you have in savings? What do you have set aside for a down payment? What are the qualifying mortgage and stress test rates? All of these are important things to consider before purchasing your first home.
E = EXPENSES, The Costs Involved in Buying a Home (and Moving)
You aren't just going to need to factor into your budget how much you can afford towards a home, but you will also have to consider the costs associated with realtor fees, home inspector fees, home appraiser fees, as well as closing costs. These expenses can quickly add up and leave you behind on your original budget.
S = SPECIALISTS, The Team of Real Estate Industry Professionals Who Can Help
The real estate market is constantly changing and some transactions are trickier than others. Sometimes you can get a house valued around $500,000 for a fraction of the cost; other times you may find yourself in a multiple, unconditional offer bidding war because the market is on fire. Paying attention to the ebbs and flows of the real estate market, speaking with professionals in the industry about when the best time is to buy (and sell) can save (make) you money.
T = TIME, The Time of Year and Your Time Frame
Believe it or not, supply and demand for homes varies with the seasons. The biggest months for home purchases are in between May and September. This is to avoid having to switch school districts mid-year if you have school-aged children or young adults nearing graduation in your home. Because of these factors, home prices vary throughout the year as well. By taking advantage of less popular months to buy, you could land a better deal.
Whether or not you are prepared to plant your roots somewhere for awhile and financial market conditions can also influence your home buying and selling timing.
If you are purchasing your first home to live in, as opposed to purchasing it as an investment, it is important that you buy a home somewhere you can see yourself living for a decent period of time. The last thing you'd want is to close on a home only to decide shortly after that the home, neighbourhood, location, or size does not suit you.
Your First Home is a Big Move!
At the end of the day, you are the only one who knows if home ownership is something you are ready for, both financially and physically. Home ownership is demanding. It takes a lot of work, diligence, and money to maintain. Think long and hard about whether or not you are ready to delve into the world of home ownership before beginning the process, and if and when you feel like you are ready for your first home, it would be an honour to support you and ensure you enjoy the journey!