Right time to buy a home?

Over the last year and a half or so I have watched multiple clients scrimp and save and try to figure out how to buy a home given their budgets and the exploding housing market.

The rub for me is that clients in our area are paying rent that is well over what they would be paying towards their own mortgage.

In some cases, client expectation versus price point is the stumbling block.

Some clients want a brand-new shiny updated home right out of the gate. Nothing wrong with that – when you are spending this kind of money on a house you’d like it to be beautiful to come home to.

One thing to consider is finding a home with good bones in a great location that needs some updating. By putting some time and money into renovations you can accomplish the same thing but potentially at a lower price.

There is a specific program to help you achieve this called Purchase Plus Improvements. I talked about this in a previous column called Creating Your Dream Home. Essentially, you are able to add money to your mortgage upfront to renovate your home or replace items such as the furnace, hot water tank, roof, etc.

Another thought is to consider looking for a home with a suite. I appreciate that people want their own space. When I moved to the Okanagan I ended up buying a home that had a suite, even though I planned to use that space for my family. Life changed a little, and I am certainly glad I have the extra income from the suite.

Sharing your space may be a short-term way to get into the housing market and build equity in your own home. You may adjust to sharing your space with the trade-off being the extra income to help cover your mortgage.

Or maybe now is not the right time to buy. I have several clients who have decided to hold off for now as they have grown exhausted with the stress of it all. I also have other clients who are working towards saving more of a down payment to increase their price point.

Either way, the more prepared you are the more realistic you can be with your expectations. Connect with your mortgage person before you head out shopping. Much has changed in the last few years, so even if you are currently in a home you might be surprised when you find out what you actually qualify to borrow now.

Finally, and on a different note, if you are in the process of buying a home during fire season please buy your home insurance as soon as you possibly can. Ideally your realtor has included a clause in your purchase contract to allow your closing date to be pushed back in the event that you cannot get insurance due to fires in the area.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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