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First Time Buyer Friday #11 – When To Walk Away

In my continuing series, First-Time-Buyer Fridays, I answer a common question from a first-time buyer. If you have a question to submit, first-time-buyer or experienced investor, put one in the comments below, or fire me an e-mail at Tim@TimAyres.ca.

Broken house

“Needs TLC”

Q. I made an offer to purchase a house and my inspector found a few problems. How do I know when to walk away?

A. Unfortunately, not all houses are created equal, and you may find that after finally getting an offer accepted on your first home, that the inspection report turns up some issues you missed on your initial viewing of the property. This is normal – it’s the inspector’s job to pick apart the various systems of the home and point out to you everything you’re taking on when you buy the house. The big question is – what is acceptable and what’s too much?

When I bought my home, it was only 11 years old. Everything that I needed to change was merely cosmetic, and if worse came to worse, I could always wait (and suffer through the pastel pink walls and mint-green carpet). But if you’re buying an older home, things like knob-and-tube wiring, a faulty roof, or a cracked or leaking foundation might be a reality and turn your dream home into a nightmare – and this is why an inspection is the best $400 you can spend when you’re shopping for a home.

You should be prepared to replace a few things and make a few changes once you move in, but you’ll probably want a good idea as to how much money this is going to cost. For example, if your inspection report finds that the roof is failing and you’ll soon need to replace it, it’s not hard to get a roofing contractor over for a quick drive-by estimate. It’s another thing altogether if your inspector suspects there may be substandard wiring, cracks in the foundation, or failing stucco or other exterior cladding. These repairs are often much more costly – and sometimes cover up other problems not visible to your inspector. It’s not necessarily the cost of the repairs that is the greatest cause for concern.It’s what you don’t know that can cost the most. If you aren’t comfortable with this, it might be a signal that it’s time to be glad you had an inspection, walk away, and move on to another property.

Your REALTOR® has probably seen lots of similar houses in his or her career and can certainly help counsel you, but you should always get reliable repair estimates from reputable contractors – they are the ones you’ll be writing a cheque to for repairs. The decision to walk away or not has to be your own; you need to be comfortable with any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary when you take ownership of the house.

A smart buyer will also consider if the house will be difficult to sell in a few years’ time if these issues are not looked after when he or she owns the house. The roof might not be leaking now, but the last thing you want is to take a hit on the price of your home because a subsequent buyer doesn’t want to fix the problems you inherited from the previous owner!

As with dating, there are plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to buying houses, and your REALTOR® will help you find the right house. And, also like dating, you’ll probably find that you love that house even more than you did the one you let get away.

I’d love to answer your questions about buying or selling a house. Give me a call at 250-885-0512, e-mail me at Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form. Connect with me on Twitter at Twitter.com/TimAyres.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Free Real Estate Seminars

Could this be your next home?

Could this be your next home?

I will be co-hosting a series of real estate seminars on Thursday, June 11th at the Juan de Fuca Library, beside the rec centre on the Island Highway. Joining  me are Alexis Mills, a mortgage broker, and Jeremy Kimm, a financial planner, for three different perspectives about buying and selling real estate.

We have two seminars planned for the evening. You can attend one or both, depending on your needs.

Your presenters are:

Tim Ayres – Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty: Tim has a unique approach to real estate, and offers sound, impartial advice to all clients, coaching them along every step of the way. Tim’s no-pressure approach makes his clients feel at ease, empowered, and confident in their real estate transactions.

Alexis Mills – Global Mortgage Corp: Alexis is a true professional in the mortgage world, offering her clients outstanding service and the best rates, bar none. Alexis works incredibly hard on every mortgage, ensuring her clients are matched with the best mortgage product in today’s ever-increasingly complex world of mortgage financing.

Jeremy Kimm, CFP, FMA, Financial Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.: Jeremy has an enthusiastic, yet straight-forward approach to financial services. From life insurance to long-and-short-term investment planning and more, Jeremy’s friendly deameanor and expert knowledge enables his clients to ensure they have the most effective financial plan going forward.

6:45-8:00pm at the Juan De Fuca Library: Upsizing, Downsizing, Investment, and Vacation Properties. Join us for an informative look at moving up or moving down in the Victoria real estate market, purchasing an investment property, and purchasing a vacation property. You’ll learn about buying and selling strategies, mortgage requirements and innovations to help you save, and about the potential tax consequences and how to avoid them.

8:00-9:00pm at the Juan De Fuca Library: Buying Your First Home. First time buyers drive the real estate market in most areas. They allow the move-up buyers to move up and have been instrumental in kick-starting our real estate market in recent months. How can you take advantage of record-low interest rates, falling real estate prices, and government incentives to purchase your first home? What are the steps involved? How can I save a down payment? This very popular seminar has helped many first-time buyers get into their first homes in the past few years.

You can attend both seminars if you wish!

Seminars are free, but space is limited! Please call Tim at 250-885-0512 or fill in the form below to reserve your seat:

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Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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First-Time Buyer Fridays! – New Feature on the 642Blog

They're a little crooked, but soundly built!

They're a little crooked, but soundly built!

Welcome to the first edition of First-time Buyer Friday! In this new section of the blog, I’ll chat about a different topic each week that is specifically important to first time buyers in the Victoria and Sooke marketplace. I’ve been working with a lot of first-time buyers lately, so I am getting a lot of questions from my clients which inspired me to start writing about them. Sometimes the post will come in video format, other times written.

Q. What’s the first step in owning my own home?

A. With Victoria and Sooke real estate prices dropping, and interest rates at historic lows, many renters are considering making a move to their own property. Other than surfing around on Realtor.ca, your first step should probably be to meet with a qualified mortgage broker or your bank to determine how much you can afford, and to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you in numerous ways. First, it gives you the confidence that you are financially able to purchase when you find the right home, and will save you valuable time by focusing only on properties you can afford.

Working with a mortgage broker has several advantages. Being independent, they have access to many different lenders, and will work for you to get you the best rate and the mortgage product that best suits your needs. Contrast this to a bank’s mortgage officer, who is usually tied to that bank’s mortgages and has limited flexibility to offer different products.

If you have any questions about mortgages, buying, or anything else real estate related, contact me at 250-885-0512, Twitter.com/TimAyres or Tim@TimAyres.ca. I would be happy to refer you to a mortgage broker to get you started!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or subscribe to this blog for free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!