Most homeowners admit to making at least one mistake when they purchased their home, according to a homeownership poll conducted by RBC a few years ago.
While owning a home is a dream come true for many, it can also be stressful if you find you’ve made an error.
Below are the top three mistakes the poll found, along with a few more you might want to think about before taking the leap.
- Property needed work – a lot of it. Even with a home inspection, new homebuyers may get into a home and find it’s become a money pit. Don’t rush in, sit down and plan.
- Not having a bigger down payment. Once in a house, many homeowners are overwhelmed with the costs. Once again, don’t rush in, sit down and plan.
- No Home Inspection. If you skip this step you might find the cost of repairs needed may be astronomical, especially if you purchase an older home. An inspector will look at the overall foundation and structural features of the house, the plumbing system, will look for the presence of mould or pest infestations, check the heating and air conditioning, as well as the electrical system.
- Not budgeting for the increased costs. When considering the extra costs, remember there are mortgage payments, property taxes, and usually higher utility bills. On top of that you’ll may want to redecorate, perhaps buy new furniture and/or appliances. There may be some landscaping work to be done and you may want to renovate.
- Not knowing the closing costs. Closing day is coming and you get the call from the lawyer to come in and sign the papers and, bring a certified cheque or bank draft for X amount of dollars. WHAT? Yes, fees and disbursements. There’s the land transfer fee, the title fee, the lawyer’s fee, etc. Don’t get caught short.
- Forgetting about future needs. If you’re planning on having kids, you may want to consider the type and size of home you’re purchasing.
- Not getting a pre-approved for a mortgage. You won’t know what price range you can afford and what a lender will give you without a pre-approval. It’s easy; it’s free and absolutely necessary. If something turns up that may prevent you from purchasing, a mortgage professional can offer you solutions.
- Falling in love with a house. Fall in love with each other but not with a house because you may not listen to some good advice. You will ignore the obvious cracks in the foundation because it has 18ft. ceilings and has that great stone fireplace you’ve always wanted. Beware of buyer’s remorse.
- Not checking market value of neighbourhood. This can cause some purchasers to pay too much; especially a home that has been upgraded to the max in an area that won’t keep its value – unless you plan to live there the rest of your life.
- Focusing too much on interest rates. Don’t rush in to a market because the rates are low. And don’t focus on getting the lowest rate. Focus on the mortgage loan that works best for you and your financial situation.
Having said all that, the most recent RBC poll (April 2019) found that Canadians are confident and know what they want.
- Eight-in-10 Canadians say a home or condominium purchase is still a good investment
- Canadians feel it makes more sense to buy than rent
- Canadians are well positioned to weather a potential downturn in housing prices or an increase in interest rates
- Affordability and being in a safe neighbourhood top the list of what Canadians must have, while buying in ‘the right‘ neighbourhood is less of a concern
- Canadians are most willing to sacrifice the conveniences of being close to a major highway (16%), dining and entertainment (13%), good schools (11%) and public transit (10%).
So, bottom line is: Don’t rush in, sit down and plan. A mortgage professional can help you get that home by walking you through every step of the home buying process, with fewer mistakes, and fewer regrets.