4 things you can do to keep your real estate plans on track
With rent on the rise in Halifax and low resale inventory driving up home prices, it’s getting harder for Atlantic Canadians to save up for their first home. But that doesn't mean you need to press pause on your real estate dreams just because homebuying looks different than it did earlier this year.
Just like people are finding creative ways to offer the services you know and love, the real estate market is pivoting so your plans of owning a new home this year don’t go off the rails.
Here are 4 things you can do to keep your plans on track.
1. Get Pre-Approved
The best pre-approvals accurately measure your qualifications and how much house you can afford. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home, then realizing that it’s just outside your financial reach.
Take the time to gather the necessary documents like:
Then book a virtual appointment with a lender. It’s important to note: getting an online quote is different than being pre-approved! Booking an appointment will mean less possibility of running into a problem down the line.
2. connect with an agent
Serious home buyers need to start the process by connecting with a trusted real estate advisor.
With most properties in the HRM seeing 20+ offers, I’ve seen homebuyers stranded in situations where there are multiple offers on a property and no one to move quickly and advocate for them. Booking a virtual buyer’s consultation is a great way to connect with an agent. They’ll take time to get to know you and your needs, and then start looking for homes that might not yet be on the market.
Working with an agent will also mean having someone to walk you through the whole process from viewing homes, making an offer and navigating the closing process.
3. Do your research
With interest rates on the rise, it's a great time to investigate down payment assistance programs. There are a variety of federal and provincial programs that can help keep your dream of owning a home on track.
Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive provides:
Nova Scotia also has a down payment assistance program. Under this program, participants can apply to receive their down payment an interest-free repayable loan as long as the purchase price of the home does not exceed $280,000 and the household income is less than $75,000.
4. View listings online
This is a great way to get a sense of your purchasing power in different neighbourhoods. If you have a budget of $400k, then you might get a lot more for your budget in an up and coming area like Fairview than Downtown Dartmouth. Use this time to compare your budget and your home needs with locations you’d be comfortable in.
You can also use virtual tours and listings to take note of your must-haves and nice-to-haves in your potential home. This is the perfect time to clarify your budget, personal property preferences and lifestyle requirements.
Still have more questions? Book a buyer's consultation here to get the answers.
Real Estate Advisor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I help people buy and sell homes with Engel & Völkers.