I love the many hats I have the honour of wearing throughout my role as your Realtor.  There are so many aspects and angles of my job that are important, bring value, and ensure you are well represented throughout the process of your purchase or sale.  You’ve likely seen the many resources I’ve shared along the way related to how to prepare for home ownership if you’re a Buyer.  There are obvious tasks to complete in order to help you achieve your goals.  Eliminating debt, obtaining a preapproval, understanding the offer process… these are all important details to learn, know and become comfortable with as you dig into the process of buying (or selling!) real estate.

What I want to shed light on, however, are not the obvious checklists and lists that you need to know in order to be successful in purchasing a home. A quick google search will provide ample resources on this 10-step plan.  Perhaps more valuable, are the subtle nuances, reminders, coaching tips, and counselling that go into your decision making as you are educated by your realtor over time – the details that can’t be easily measured, identified, or communicated in a succinct checklist or blog post… but that evolve as you learn about the process, tour homes, consider your options, and become more informed about home ownership.  These conversations and teachable moments elevate your experience and ensure you are represented with utmost quality, integrity, and care.  These discussions are just some of the many reasons why working with a real estate professional who you trust brings so much value to the process of purchasing a home.

As I’m getting to know my clients, there are many conversations had along the way that are not just informative, but pivotal to the way my clients manage their decision making.  There isn’t a finite list of questions to ask … but as relationship and trust is established, the coaching and counselling takes shape to help guide discussions and ultimately reach your unique goals with the best possible outcome.  It is often these conversations that bring value to you beyond average or expected.  I can’t capture all the possible scenarios that I’ve discussed with clients over the years… but here are a few themes that have been reoccurring in my conversations along the way. If you haven’t considered these questions, or the countless others that you don’t even know to ask, it’s a good sign that connecting with a knowledgeable, experienced Realtor might be worthwhile as you consider your next steps.

Is my budget compatible with my lifestyle?

Consider the way you function under normal circumstances.  The lunch dates, the drinks after work, the vacations.  Think about what you spend on your wardrobe, the cost of your hobbies and passions… the way you go about your life and the price tag associated with these decisions.  The lender will approve your mortgage based on your income…but have you factored in your recreation and leisure?  Will your budget leave flexibility for fun, or do you need to spend some time to determine what you’re willing to give up to reach your home ownership goals, or alternatively, how your budget may need to be adjusted in order to maintain your lifestyle? This conversation can be tough, but necessary to avoid home ownership from becoming a burden or stress.

Will the property you’re considering be a wise and positive investment?

I’m always looking at property through the lens of resale value.  If I see that it could be a tough sell later, you’ll know. Even if you think you’ll never move, statistics show that your goals and plans may evolve as time goes on.  It’s important to capture a large and excited audience if or when you decide to cash out or move on. Ensuring you invest in a property that will retain its value later is critical to consider now. There are countless details that factor into this conversation that can’t possibly be communicated in a quick paragraph, but I’ve learned many of the subtle (and not so subtle!) details that you should be mindful of when considering a home that you’ll learn about as we tour and view properties of interest.

Have you considered the blind spots that emotion may be creating?

Buying a home is exciting. And more often than not, it’s emotional… as it should be: this is your home, your haven, the place where you may raise a family, or begin a new chapter of life with a partner, and invest more money than any other asset. It’s a big deal. And because of this, it can be emotional. When decisions are emotional, it can be easy to get carried away, and hard to remain objective in your choices. That’s why I pride myself on being the unbiased voice of reason… the neutral, objective voice who will balance your enthusiasm and help you to remove the rose-coloured glasses to maintain a realistic perspective.  Brutal honesty can be tough, but it’s my job to lay it on the table – you can always disagree with me, but at least you’ll do so with knowledge in hand. What are some common blindspots?  Have you considered functionality or layout? If you’re a master chef who loves to host dinner parties… will a tiny galley kitchen really work? Have you thought about the costs to upgrade or improve, and also the time, energy, and stress this may induce? Are you feeling impatient and seeing a prospective home as a better alternative to your current situation without objectively considering if it’s good enough to actually invest in?

Does the home meet your family’s needs?

Considering your needs in tandem with you budget can sometimes be challenging. Remaining flexible is key, especially as a first time buyer. You may not check every box on your wishlist, knowing that your first home won’t be your dream home – that will take time.  Still, remaining aware of your life circumstances in relation to the property you want to purchase is worth a conversation. If starting a family is on your radar, would three bedrooms be wise to consider rather than two? Carving out some room to grow before feeling forced to upsize is important to think through. If you have children in school, or approaching school-age, have you investigated the education options available relative to boundaries and catchment zones? If your lifestyle is focused on outdoor activity and sports, is the space conducive to storing skis, bikes, kayaks, and other gear that is necessary for your hobbies? Do you have family and friends to regularly host who require a space to comfortably stay? Everyone’s unique circumstances leads to a different list of considerations when shopping for the home, and digging into your plans, your rhythms, your values, and priorities may help to define how to focus your home search while ruling out properties that simply won’t serve your needs and lifestyle.

Many Realtors will offer you a list of tasks to complete in order to prepare for home ownership.  I’ve outlined similar checklists along the way, communicating the importance of eliminating debt, saving for a downpayment, obtaining a preapproval, touring neighbourhoods, understanding the intricacies of an offer, and arranging the logistics of a move.  But some of the more ambiguous details and individual discussions and personalized conversations are just as important, and perhaps more critical to consider as you think about the best fit for you, and ensure that you make an informed, knowledgeable, sound, intelligent, and wise decision when it comes to your home purchase. It’s your Realtor’s job to help make this happen… and it’s my mission to ensure you feel confident about your choice!  Are you ready to chat? Let’s schedule a meeting to begin your house hunt today!

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