- Barbara Singh
Five Valuable Tips For House Hunting In The Spring
There is no doubt that there are peak times of the year when it comes to buying and selling real estate. Just like the start of the school year and the start of the summer holidays are predictably peak times for parents and families, putting your house on the market and looking for your dream home is best at times that are conducive to real estate market conditions.
This rule may be bent slightly in hot real estate markets including Toronto, the GTA, and Vancouver. In these real estate markets, houses will sell at any time of the year due to high demand and low inventory. For other areas that may not be as highly desirable (as yet), it is important to choose the best time to put your house on the market. It is also advisable to look for a home when available inventory is at its best.
This Spring may be one of the most preferable times to go out there and search for your dream home. Despite gloomy predictions by real estate professionals and analyst that the real estate sector would suffer large-scale mortgage defaults and up to 18% drops in overall property values due to the ongoing pandemic, the opposite has happened.
According to the figures recently released by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the average price of a single-dwelling property in Ontario has increased by 13.5% from this time last year and January 2021 saw house sales in Ontario hit a new sales record.
Know What Tips Work and Get Out There
To take advantage of a robust housing market, it is valuable to know what are some of the top tips that real estate professionals have known for years when it comes to finding your dream home. House hunting is an art form. Like any art form, the more you know, the better the results.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage; lock in historically low mortgage interest rates before you head out on your house hunt. Despite a recent slight increase in the fixed mortgage rate, rates remain extremely low. Something else to note when it comes to getting pre-approved; banks no longer do pre-approvals the way they did in the past, banks or any lender will only officially review a purchase application when there is a Purchase Agreement (accepted offer) being submitted with the application. That being said, aligning yourself with a knowledgeable mortgage agent/broker will give you all you need to know to set you up to go house hunting. Call this a mortgage agent pre-approval if you may. This must come from an agent/broker that knows the conditions of the lenders to therefore guide you as to what you can qualify for and let you know the do’s and don'ts. You do not want any surprises when your application is submitted to the bank.
Try to line up a reputable realtor to help you with your house search. Having expert knowledge will enable you to separate the wheat from the shaft when it comes to the best house deal. A good real estate agent is not only about setting up automated emails and writing up and submitting an offer, they should have negotiation skills, know how to “play” the market and exceptional service and attention to give you, their client, the best outcome possible, whether it is on the selling side or the buying.
Research the market very carefully and do your homework on recent sales in the area you are choosing to look in. This will equip you to make an offer that is competitive but prevents you from being taken advantage of. Researching for yourself is very good, this will allow you to have an idea but, a good real estate agent will also be the one to guide you properly, present comparables for the area you are looking to purchase and be genuine throughout the entire process in what they advise you.
Remember the golden rule in real estate - Location! Location! Location! It is preferable to narrow your search to an area that has solid resale potential and is considered a desirable area to buy. Keep in mind though, desirable locations will change from what it is today and what it will be in 5 years time and perhaps even less than 5 years.
Be prepared for a bidding war. This Spring is shaping to be a very competitive market. Multiple bids on properties will be the norm rather than the exception. Be clear about your price ceiling and be prepared to bid as high as your ceiling to be in the running for your dream home.
With the right preparation, expert advice, a pre-approved mortgage (mortgage agent pre-approval) to show that you are serious, you will be able to find your dream home. Happy house hunting!
Contact me any time with questions you may have or need clarity on the mortgage rules and process.