Real estate is a cyclical market making when you buy just as influencing as where you buy to the cost of your mortgage. Once you get pre-approval for a mortgage, you have a few months of flexibility to find a place, but that could go against you.
If the market is moving quickly, you may not be able to wait until the perfect property is listed. It is recommended to start looking as soon as you get approved at what is already listed and pick out of those selections. Although, there is one time of year when prices are lowest.
The holiday season in December has the least amount of buyers looking for homes. The chance of multiple offers or much competition is low, and sellers are more inclined to be generous during this time of year. Fewer buyers also mean fewer listings though, so the selection may not be as plentiful. In a tight market, closing on a home during an unpopular time of year can save you thousands.
Currently, house prices are levelling off after years of being on the rise, and interest rates are on the rise. While prices and listings go up and down month to month, it can be difficult to say with certainty whether buying this year is better than next. It is best to buy a home now if you plan on living in it for at least 10 years. If you cannot afford your dream home now, wait until you can to buy a home. Do not purchase a house with short-term intentions as you will end up paying more substantial real estate tax and legal costs.
It is essential to consider how owning a home will affect your lifestyle. The monthly payment may seem affordable but owning a home is different from renting in that you must also factor in insurance and maintenance. It is better to wait until these expenses are more comfortable to take on.
If you are sure about affording a home and plan on staying in it for more than a decade, then a sizeable downpayment is essential. You should put at least 20% down so that you can eliminate the need for CMHC coverage and a large down payment forces you to save aggressively. An aggressive savings plan is good practice for your future mortgage. Do not feel like you must own a home for financial reasons. Buy a house because it will make you happy and continue saving until you can put at least 20% down on a place you see yourself owning for at least 10 years.
The best time of year to buy is in the winter, but if you missed this opportunity, there is no need to fret. It is more important to be sure you can take on the expenses and responsibility of home ownership. Just as it is impossible to time the stock market, it is impossible to know for sure if prices are higher or lower than they will be next year. An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate this tumultuous market and find a home that works for you.