5 Things to Know Before Buying a House

Kim PhillipsLangley House Market, Real Estate, Tips

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Has the day finally come to buy a new home? Not only does this bring you one step closer to financial freedom, but you may be investing in your forever home. While this is an exciting new venture, there are some important factors to consider before jumping into real estate. As one of the most significant financial decisions of your lifetime, here are 5 things you should consider before buying a home:

1.    Buy for Your Future

Before settling on a piece of Surrey, Cloverdale, or Langley real estate, consider what your future looks like. If you’re single, are you planning on settling down with a partner? Do you see kids in your future, or even pets? How long do you plan on staying at your current job? All these factors affect how effectively your home will age with you.

From the location to the square footage, think about how your life will look in 10, 15, even 40 years. While you may not need a three-bedroom home currently, your future self might. Depending on the market at your time of purchase, it could take several years to pay down any real equity. If you’re questioning whether a certain house will be right for you 5 years from now, you may want to keep looking.

2.    Consider the Remodelling Costs

While it’s common to dream of home remodels, renovations can quickly lead to a substantial sum. Therefore, when viewing houses, evaluate the structure above all else. Simple aesthetic pieces can be altered quite inexpensively. A fresh coat of paint, a few new fixtures here and there, and modern decorum can be simple changes throughout the years. However, altering the bathrooms and kitchen can be expensive in terms of materials and labour.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in a home in need of renovations. Rather, it’s important to take the costs into account, prior to signing the contract. This will help determine if the alterations are within your budget or if you should choose a home better suited to your style.

3.    Buy Within Your Budget

This trickles from the last point but is worth reiterating. While it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of real estate, it’s important to be realistic with your contenders. Establish a budget and do your best to stay within it. Why torture yourself by falling in love with a home wildly outside your budget? Evaluate your bills closely, paying special attention to any student loan debt, monthly expenses such as groceries, internet, clothing, and any other additional costs to determine a realistic budget.

With this, you’ll want to get an estimate on the costs specific to your ideal house. Expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, and taxes need to be considered. Compare your earnings to your spending and discuss this with your mortgage broker. For a general estimate, some lenders suggest that you can afford mortgage payments equaling 1/3 of your gross income. Others say it’s closer to 28%. However, at the end of the day, it all depends on your personal finances, goals, and lifestyle.

4.    Consider the Housing Market

From home values to mortgage rates, the housing market plays a huge role in your final costs. Currently, the economy and housing market in Canada is strong. Especially in Vancouver’s surrounding areas such as Surrey and Langley real estate, the market is booming. If you’re looking to buy some local BC real estate, now is the time. As rates are projected to increase, so do housing and mortgage rates.

5.    Use a Trusted Realtor

Real estate can be an overwhelming market to navigate, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.  It can be tough to understand the logistics of purchasing a new home. Therefore, to ensure that your interests are protected, work with a trusted and savvy realtor who can work within your budget.

There’s a common misconception that hiring a realtor drives up the total costs. While in actuality, your assets and best interests are being better protected. It’s important to note that the seller of the home, pays the realtor’s commission, not the buyer. Therefore, if you’re purchasing a home without a realtor, the agent who’s representing the seller will just pocket the entire commission. So, you’re not saving money, you’re simply lending to a larger pay day for the seller’s realtor. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your purchase, hire a realtor who’s set on protecting your well-being.

Find Your Realtor

Are you looking for the best realtor in Langley, Cloverdale, & South Surrey? If so, we’ve got you covered. At Kim Philips Real Estate, our team is well-versed in the complexities of the BC housing market. To make the buying process simple, stress-free, and budget-friendly, our team will take the necessary steps to find you your dream home. Contact us today to start your real estate journey!