With Canada’s real estate market finally starting to cool off, home buying is looking more attractive than it did five years ago…but before these happy tidings cause you to rush out in search for the perfect new home, remember that the cost of the house isn’t the only expense involved in purchasing a home. Between legal fees, mortgage insurance, moving fees, inspections, property insurance, and land transfer tax, you may quickly find that you are spending significantly more money than you had initially budgeted in order to acquire your dream home. To offset some of these costs, here are four suggestions that can reduce the strain of financing the purchase of a new property:
1) Find sellers who actually want to sell. In spite of cooling real estate markets, not every seller has realistic expectations for the sale of their home. After spending a given amount on the purchase of their home, and additional amounts on improvements, it is not uncommon for a homeowner to feel that they must recuperate these costs in selling their home, regardless of current market prices. It may also be the case that a homeowner is clinging to the notion of an exaggerated appraisal made in an inflated market. At any rate, sellers who are not willing to recognize current market prices could potentially be a huge and unnecessary money sink for you, so avoid them if you can.
2) Investigate the possibility of adding the closing costs to the sale price of the home. This way, the money you pay towards legal fees, inspections, etc. will count towards your down payment. If a seller is motivated to sell, then this is a reasonable request to make of them.
3) Buy properties that are currently under construction. Time is money, and if you have the time to wait several months before moving into your new home, you can expect to pay less for a given property that is still being constructed than you would if it were already complete.
4) Learn about government sponsored incentives that may apply to you. For example, there are special loans for which self-employed and low income families qualify for which can help to ease the burden of budgeting for a new home.
Remember: while a cooling real estate market may be a buyer’s market, you should only consider this an advantage if you actually intend to purchase and live in a home for at least five years. Otherwise, the losses associated with having to resell your home too quickly could be substantial.