Are you in the market for a new house? In this post, we discuss 5 ways to reduce home buying stress and land your dream home.
As we move further away from summer and deeper into fall, you might be wondering what this season has in store for real estate. Specifically, you may want to know whether this fall is a good time to buy a home. For the past year, it seems like every season has been equally busy and competitive for home buyers, but does that still hold true? As it turns out, falling into homeownership this fall could be a good move for you. Before you start making offers, however, it’s important to be updated on the current Halifax market and all the tasks you need to do.
Halifax fall market
You’re probably not a stranger to the fact that Halifax, like much of Canada, has seen crazy market conditions for over a year now. However, over the summer, the Halifax market started to slow down a bit. The frenzy to buy reached a peak and has begun to settle down, while the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) predicts a drop in sales volume in 2022. However, since prices rose so high so fast, the real estate market has a long way to fall. This means prices are still high right now, and will continue to be for quite some time. The rise in prices may slow down, but it won’t stop altogether. Buyers are looking at prices of $400,000+ for a home in Halifax right now, and for the foreseeable future.
Still, fall has some compelling reasons to buy, and this autumn in particular might offer some advantages. Why is now a good time to buy a home?
Why buy this fall?
As we mentioned, it seems unlikely that prices are actually going to drop — they will just increase more slowly. If that’s true, it means buying in the spring will be more expensive than buying right now, buying next fall will be more expensive than buying in the spring, and so on. Plus, buying in the fall usually means less competition, as spring and summer are traditionally the busiest times to buy. If there are fewer buyers out there when you enter the market, you will be in a better position to negotiate prices with sellers. Mortgage professionals like brokers and real estate agents may have more time for their clients during the slower seasons too. The more time these professionals have for you, the more dedicated they can be to helping you find the right product and home.
Things to remember
Get your pre-approval first
It may be a great time to buy a home, but you can’t do much without a pre-approval. Before you look at homes, find out how much you might qualify for with a lender. A pre-approval is an estimate for the mortgage size you could secure based on your current situation, but remember, it’s not a guarantee. Still, it’s important to have a pre-approval so you don’t end up looking at homes you later find out you won’t be approved for. Your pre-approval helps determine your budget, and it narrows your range to homes that will truly suit you. Plus, you will be a step ahead when it’s time to secure your financing since the lender already has most of your information on file.
Remember your negotiating power
As a buyer, you’ll likely have a bit more power in the fall market than over the summer. Fewer buyers means less competition for each property, and less chance of bidding wars. At this time, sellers can’t rely on receiving a dozen offers high over asking price. You might be in a better position to negotiate prices with sellers, but make sure your real estate agent is part of this conversation. They can tell you what kind of offer to make, help you negotiate, and determine whether they think a bunch of other buyers will want the same property. It’s important to find the balance between offering way more than you need to and not offering enough.
Are you a first-time buyer?
First-time buyers should consider the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This program, a shared-equity mortgage with the federal government, allows first-time buyers to borrow the value of five per cent of their home’s purchase price from the government. The idea is buyers can make bigger down payments, so they can have smaller mortgages and lower monthly costs. You can read more about this program and how repayment works here.
This fall could be a perfect time to buy a home, but it’s important to be prepared. You should still be on the lookout for competition and rising housing prices. Don’t forget to get pre-approved and remember your power as a buyer, and also get in touch with a broker! We can help you navigate this whole process, and find you the perfect mortgage product for your needs.
If you have any questions about buying a home, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.