5 Things to Know Before Buying a House

Kim PhillipsLangley House Market, Real Estate, Tips

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Has the moment arrived for you to purchase a new home? This milestone isn’t just a stride towards financial independence; it could also mean securing the home where you’ll make lifelong memories. Although it’s a thrilling chapter to embark on, it’s crucial to pause and contemplate some vital aspects of home buying. Given that this is likely one of the most substantial financial commitments you’ll ever make, here are five key points to ponder before taking the plunge into homeownership:

1.    Buy for Your Future

When contemplating a property in Surrey, Cloverdale, or Langley, it’s essential to envision your long-term future. If you’re currently single, consider potential changes like a future partner, children, or pets. Your job stability and career path should also influence your decision, as they will determine your need for proximity to work and other amenities.

Factor in how your chosen home will accommodate life changes over the next decade or more. You might not require a three-bedroom house now, but it could become a necessity later on. Given that building substantial home equity can take years, it’s important to assess if a home will still suit your needs in the foreseeable future. If there’s any doubt about a house’s suitability in the next five years, it might be wise to continue your search.

2.    Consider the Remodelling Costs

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of home renovations, but these upgrades can accumulate significant costs. When house hunting, prioritize assessing the structure of the home since this is more difficult and expensive to change. Cosmetic updates, like a new coat of paint or updated fixtures, can be done relatively affordably and can transform a space without breaking the bank.

However, significant renovations, especially in areas like kitchens and bathrooms, can be costly due to the high price of materials and labor. It’s not that you should avoid homes that require a bit of work; instead, it’s about being aware of these potential expenses before committing. Estimating renovation costs upfront will help you determine if you can afford the necessary changes or if it might be better to find a home that already meets most of your preferences and 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!