The funny part about the things we want in life is sometimes they just don’t line up with the things we need.
If you’re a regular here on the One Stop blog, then you’ve probably dabbled in the real estate market before. Whether it’s buying, renting, or selling, chances are you have some experience with moving into or out of a new home. And if you have some experience, you know this market throws curveballs when you least expect it.
Ok, try this: if you don’t ask the right questions when pondering one of the biggest purchases of your life, then you’re not going to get the right answers.
I’ve attended open houses for homes that quadrupled my budget and found myself justifying the potential purchase. “Oh, I’ll just take on more work or perhaps 4 or 5 more jobs.”
When you’re standing in what you believe is the house of your dreams, the scheming machine between your ears will find just about every possible angle that makes the purchase seem like a good idea.
Why is this wrong? Because qualifying for the mortgage and somehow forking over the down payment necessary won’t just rip into your savings like a snapping turtle, it will leave you house poor, bored, and regretful a few months after you move in.
‘Cuz you won’t be able to afford anything else.
Location, Location, Location
Similar to budgetary concerns, it’s easy to feel at home when you’re physically standing in your potential new home. What about all the time spent away from home?
What about work? What about schools for your kids? What about amenities?
Straying too far from the neighbourhoods in which you spend the majority of your waking hours might seem like a piece of cake in the moment, but the grind of commuting weighs on everybody sooner or later.
Particularly if you live in Vancouver, am I right?
Buying a new home can feel like you’re walking a fine line between price and location, so you need to make sure the priorities of everyone under your roof are on straight.
The Ol’ Fixer Upper
Handy with a hammer? Skilled with a screwdriver? Experienced with a … um … paintbrush?
We all envision ourselves as the second coming of Mike Holmes when we find a potential new home in our budget that’s in an ideal location. So what if the carpets are a little damp, we can rip ‘em and put down vinyl flooring, right? Ok sure, the paint is a little dated, but we’re great painters! And yeah, one of the walls has a few holes in it and, well, um…
Know your limits. Performing some basic renovations to put your stamp on a new place is a wonderful feeling once it’s done.
During the process, however? Let’s just say that the couple who renovates together, stays together.
The challenges that come with biting off more than you can chew when it comes to renovations isn’t always obvious before you start knocking down walls, so tread carefully.
Budgets, location, and renos are 3 hurdles plenty of new homeowners face. Each represents its own challenges, so make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you sign on the dotted line.