Michael’s Corner – Episode 4 – Things I Wish I Knew Before I Bought a Home
Educating & empowering you with the Hints, Tips, Tricks, & Insights to the real estate world! Always make sure you have someone looking out for your best interests!
This week we’re talking about the 11 things we wish we knew before buying a home! From lenders and real estate agents to pictures, professionals and DIY fixes, we’ve covered it all here!
You can shop around for lenders… and you should
It is remarkable how many people only deal with their own bank. While your bank might give you a good rate unless you shop around you won’t know if it’s the best rate! A good mortgage broker can deal with TONS of lenders, use that to your advantage!
This goes hand in hand with getting pre-approved first. Not only will this help you in your home search (knowing what you can afford), but sellers will often ask if you include a financing condition on your offer. There is nothing worse than losing “the one” because of a skipped step!
Be picky when choosing a real estate agent
Do not be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they are silly ones! Purchasing a home will likely be one of the largest purchases you make in your life; this is not the time to be bashful! Ask questions. Make sure your agent knows their stuff. Make sure you are comfortable with them. If you aren’t, move on to someone else!
Search for a house that fits your life
Look for something that fits your life, but also your budget! Be prepared to change your mind and know you may have to compromise. It is uncommon to find EVERYTHING you are looking for in a home in your price point when you first start looking. Be prepared to compromise on some of the less important things on your “must-have” list to get the really important things.
A picture says a thousand words…. But that doesn’t always mean they’re truthful
Camera technology has come a long way and there are certain lenses out there that can give the impression that a room is a lot bigger than it really is. On the flip side, don’t discredit a home because of bad photos. Just because the seller hired someone who doesn’t understand the value of proper marketing (and took photos with their cell phone), doesn’t mean the home itself is awful! These are sometimes the hidden gems!
Turn on all your senses
Well, maybe not ALL your senses (we do not recommend going around licking homes that you tour)!
Sight, hearing, touch, and smell can, and should, play a role when you are considering a home. Note any concerns you have and ask someone that has your trust and the knowledge to answer your questions competently.
It is really easy to get caught up in the superficial
Look for the potential rather than focusing on things that are easily fixed or changed like poorly chosen paint colors or cleaning. If you are looking for a premium home that is freshly renovated with all the bells and whistles, you may have to compromise on size, or location or some other important aspect in order to get the fit and finish you are looking for within your budget.
Use skilled professionals
Just because you have a friend or cousin or uncle that is in a certain profession does not make them the one for you! Just because they have a license, does not mean they are skilled at what they do (no offense to your friend, cousin, and uncle!). We’ve heard countless stories of regret from those that have ignored this one!
Don’t get pressured!
This applies to everyone – your agent, friends, family, and co-workers. While everyone has an opinion, this is your decision, your home, your mortgage, your life. Trust your gut and don’t let anyone pressure you into doing (or not doing) something your gut tells you is right!
A home inspection is UNBELIEVABLY important
Pay for a great home inspector, they will be worth it! This is one area you don’t want to cut costs on. Home inspectors will always find something, so don’t be surprised by that! Be prepared to decide on how to address the important issues. A skilled realtor will help walk you through your options and any negotiations that might come up as a result.
You can do all kinds of repairs and improvements yourself (no professional required)
This sounds like we’re contradicting what we said in #7, but hear us out! The internet is filled with DIY videos for simple (and more complicated) repairs and improvements you can do around the house! Know your limits! Fixing things yourself can be very cost-effective (as long as you don’t make the problem worse)!
Make sure you budget and plan for costs
Transition costs are very common. It is rare for the possession date on your new home to line up perfectly with giving up your lease or selling your old home! Be prepared for some over-lap (meaning an extra month of payments) or a gap (having to find temporary housing and storage).
Some other costs that you want to consider and be prepared for: legal fees, home inspector, moving costs, charges for moving utilities, and forwarding your mail just to name a few.
So there you have it! Our list of 11 things we wish we knew before buying a home! I hope you found this informative. This was a fun list for us to put together! Did we miss anything? Is there something you’d like to see us on a future episode of Michael’s Corner? Leave a comment below!
Are you looking to buy a home in Calgary? Our website has the most up-to-date listings in Calgary and the surrounding areas! Check it out here.
Already own a home and can’t decide if you should buy first or sell first? Check out our article covering the pros and cons of each here!
The Michael Smith Team is a Top Producing Real Estate Team in Calgary, Alberta. We LOVE helping people get into their dream home!