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spring into homeownership

Is it time to spring into homeownership?

The spring housing market is almost upon us! Is it your time to spring into homeownership? If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, the spring and summer seasons are often big months for the housing market. With that in mind, here are some items to consider before you start viewing potential properties. 

How does the spring market look?

First off, how is the housing market shaping up here in Halifax? According to the Canadian Magazine of Immigration, the average housing price in the area is $518,500. This is a 3.2 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023. Does this mean we are completely in a seller’s market? It’s important to keep in mind that housing prices often increase over time. Compared to the economy’s huge struggle with inflation over the past couple of years, and staggering housing prices, this increase is fairly minor. While the Halifax area is technically experiencing a seller’s market, buyers and sellers are much more balanced than in the past. 

If you are interested in buying a home, keep in mind that springtime is often one of the busier seasons for the housing market. There will likely be more homes for sale, but also more buyers on the hunt for their perfect property. Planning ahead will be a key part of purchasing a house this season!

Have you saved a down payment?

One of the most important parts of buying a home at any point in the year is saving a down payment. This is the amount you must pay upfront when completing your home purchase. As you may know, down payments can range from five to 20 per cent of a home’s purchase price, and are sometimes even higher. The specific down payment requirements depend on the price of the home. If you’re looking to spring into homeownership this season, ensuring you have a solid down payment built up is essential. Springtime is often busy in the housing market. This means housing prices may inflate, and competition will likely increase, as we mentioned earlier. The size of your down payment impacts your housing hunt in a couple of ways. First, the bigger your down payment, the larger a deposit you can place on a home. For example, if you have $100,000 saved up, you can contribute a 20 per cent down payment on a $500,000 home. If you only had $50,000, your down payment would shrink to 10 per cent. Larger down payments allow you to avoid mortgage default insurance, and they reduce the overall size of your mortgage. You may also consider looking at slightly more expensive properties and contributing a smaller down payment. This can open up your options a bit more, since you can work with a wider price range. Your down payment can be very influential during your market search this spring. 

Do you have clear home buying goals? 

Before you jump into the market, you should take the time to consider your buying goals. The more you know about your housing requirements ahead of time, the more efficient you can be in the market. For example, have you thought about the type of property you want to buy, the area you want to live in, or the size of yard you want? Do you need easy access to amenities, or do you plan on searching for a property further away from a city centre? How long do you hope to live in the home you buy? Knowing the answers to at least some of these questions helps your real estate agent direct their search for appropriate properties. This means you won’t waste time looking at homes that don’t fit your needs. You don’t have to know everything right away, but it is very helpful for buyers to have an idea of what they’re looking for. 

Have you established a budget?

Buying a home means budgeting for the largest expense of your life. This can feel overwhelming! However, it’s essential to work out your budget before you start viewing homes and putting in offers. You don’t want to waste time looking at homes outside of your budget, or worse, going through with a purchase on a property you can’t afford. Your budget will take into account your income, expenses, debts, assets, and any other financial considerations. During your work with a real estate agent and mortgage broker, you will receive professional guidance in crafting the right budget. In order to do so, it’s best to come to appointments with these professionals as organized as possible! Bring any information you have about your finances, so you can get a head start in creating the perfect buying budget. 

The decision to spring into homeownership is certainly an exciting one! If buying a home is on your radar, we encourage you to reach out to a mortgage professional as soon as possible. Spring is just around the corner, and it’s important to be as prepared as you can by the time the spring market starts opening up. Whatever your housing needs are, we are here to help you achieve them!

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.