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fall into homeownership

Is it time to fall into homeownership?

Are you considering purchasing a home this season? Autumn is often a good time to fall into homeownership. This can be a nice time of year in the real estate market for a couple of reasons, so buyers are often likely to have a good experience once they start house hunting. Here’s what you should know about buying a home this fall!

The Halifax autumn real estate market

Right now, what does the Halifax market look like? Real estate in our city is somewhat influenced by the Bank of Canada, just like the rest of the country. The overnight lending rate is currently sitting at five per cent, and the retail prime rate is 7.20 per cent. The central bank refrained from raising interest rates at its last meeting in early September due to a decline in economic activity. This has come as a relief to all Canadians, as 2023 has been another busy year for rate hikes. The next Bank of Canada announcement is on October 25th.

So, what do these rates mean for you? Higher interest rates mean higher mortgage rates, which buyers must take into account. If rates turn people away from the market, housing prices tend to deflate to make up for the lack of demand. According to the Canadian Magazine of Immigration, the average housing price in Halifax is around $530,900, demonstrating an overall increase throughout the year. This price will vary based on location and property type, but you should expect to be dealing with prices in this range.

How does the fall market usually look?

Traditionally, the spring and summer months are the busiest for real estate. The warm weather prompts people to start touring homes and looking for a property of their own. In the winter, demand usually drops as people huddle indoors. The autumn season usually falls somewhere between these two extremes. This can be nice as a buyer, because it will likely mean less competition than the spring and summer months. However, there will probably be more supply than in the wintertime. This strikes the perfect balance for home buyers looking to fall into homeownership this year.

How should you proceed?

Start with your pre-approval

As usual, our go-to first step is suggesting you secure your pre-approval! Whether you are a first-time or repeat buyer, this is an important step in the buying process. Your pre-approval helps you understand what you might be able to afford in a mortgage. It also connects you with your potential lender, and gives you an idea of what you might need to improve upon before applying for your mortgage approval. While your pre-approval isn’t a promise of mortgage financing, it puts you one step ahead by giving you a look at where you stand in the market. As you fall into homeownership, you will find that having your pre-approval provides you with peace of mind throughout the experience.

Examine potential real estate agents

The guidance of a real estate agent is essential when purchasing a property. The right realtor will help you find the perfect home that matches your budget, location preferences, and any other requirements you might have. It’s a good idea to explore real estate agents who know the area you are hoping to buy in. Local experience is a great asset for your realtor to have! You should also ensure your agent has experience working with buyers in your situation, such as first-time buyers, for example. When you find your perfect match, you and your agent will be able to work together to find the right property this season. Real estate agents take away a huge amount of stress for home buyers, so they are absolutely critical if you plan to fall into homeownership this year.

A note to new home buyers

If you are a first-time home buyer, autumn is often a great season to get started in the real estate market. As we mentioned above, the reduced demand and (generally) higher supply of properties gives you the best of both worlds. This can help reduce some of the stress that may come with buying in the summer or winter, for example. To make your buying experience even better, you can also consider the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive! This is a product from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that allows buyers to borrow the equivalent of five per cent of their home’s purchase price from the government. This is meant to help buyers contribute larger down payments in order to keep mortgage costs down. If this is a product you want to consider, you can read more about it here

If you decide to fall into homeownership this season, we are ready to help you get started! Reaching out to a mortgage broker is a great way to kick off your buying journey this fall. We can help you prepare for the market so that when you decide to start looking for your perfect property, you are in the best position possible. 

If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.