Buying a home itself is usually quite easy. As long as you’ve secured financing and saved a downpayment, you can get to shopping for a place of your own.
But how do you know you’re making the best choice? Will this home be a good investment? Will it suit your needs as you progress through the stages of your life? Will you remain happy with your decision or end up facing buyer’s remorse?
Buying the right home means finding your perfect place - knowing that you’ve made a smart investment and that you’re building equity that will positively affect your future.
And while Mark Twain famously said “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” The truth is that some property choices are a better investment than others.
I’ve put together the 5 most common mistakes that buyer’s make when searching for their perfect property and am sharing them today in the hope that you will make the best investment possible.
Mistake 1: Forgetting about resale value
When you fall in love with a property, it’s difficult to think pragmatically about resale value. That said, not thinking about whether this property is likely to increase in value can turn your dream home into a nightmare.
Considerations that can affect resale value are not always obvious so it’s best to seek advice and ask plenty of questions. For example, is the green belt behind the home you’re looking at likely to be developed on later? If yes, what’s the zoning? The resale value of a home backing on green space is much higher than that of a home backing on industrial properties.
To ensure that you’re making the best possible investment, don’t forget to investigate the potential resale value of the property.
Mistake 2: Not visiting the neighbourhood on varied days + times
Love the mid-afternoon shade under the mature trees? Enjoy the close proximity to the city and being able to walk to work? Awesome! But make sure that you feel as positively about that walking commute after dark, too.
I remember one client who purchased a home backing on an elementary school but were disappointed to learn that they were unable to sleep during the day with sounds of the children playing. While backing on a school is a great resale feature, it was a burden to this shift-worker and their lifestyle.
There’s nothing more disappointing than learning that your neighbourhood is not quite what you imagined AFTER you move in. Make sure that you check out the area a few times, at different times of day.
Mistake 3: Viewing too many homes
Buyer’s remorse is real and let’s be honest… nobody wants that feeling of having possibly made the wrong decision. Especially when it comes to your biggest investment. But that does not mean that you have to view every home that’s available for sale in your city.
Today, the average buyer views between 4-8 homes before making an offer according to a variety of sources. I agree that 4-8 homes SHOULD be enough for a buyer to make a decision.
Often though, buyers request to see more homes. While this request comes from a good place, more homes does not necessarily mean more information. Your Realtor®’s job is to curate the available homes showing you the ones that best meet your criteria. If you’re certain you don’t want an in-ground pool, don’t view homes with in-ground pools! Doing so will only lead to confusion, extra details and the possibility that you’ll lose focus on what you originally decided was most important.
Mistake 4: Not getting clear on what can and can’t be changed
A little vision can be big returns when it comes to purchasing real estate. We’ve all seen house flippers on HGTV spotting a potential diamond in the rough and polishing it up for tremendous return.
The key to making a smart investment though, is understanding what can and can’t be changed. Cosmetic upgrades like paint and countertops are easy and affordable ways to quickly improve the value of your home but moving walls and modifying structure can be another story altogether.
If you’re looking to make significant modifications to the property that you’re considering, be sure to bring in a renovation professional to ensure that your vision actually meets your budget and that you won’t be disappointed after you make the purchase.
Mistake 5: Not getting professional help with your search
Spoiler alert: I believe that all purchasers should be working with a buyer’s agent when looking for a home. Yes, I may be biased however, I believe that it is essential that buyer interests are represented equally to those of the seller.
Realtors® in your local market should be able to help save you time and money by understanding market conditions and using this information to help you negotiate the best possible price for your purchase. Additionally, they’re working in and seeing the homes available every single day, allowing them to keep you up to speed on new opportunities or ruling out homes that don’t align with your criteria - often before you ever need to view the home in person.
If there’s anything that my years in this business have taught me, it’s that great home purchases don’t happen by accident. It takes work to match people and places well. But by making sure that my clients are as informed as possible, I’ve been able to build a pretty fantastic track record.
Do you know someone who’s having trouble finding their perfect place? Please do them (and me) a favour and share this blog. It may just help them out.