I have a confession to make - I selfishly wanted to be the first to inform you that spring is almost here! It’s the end of January, and in the lower mainland that means temperatures should start rising as the days start to grow a little longer.
Alright, maybe it’s a bit of a stretch, it is still January, but this has been a chillier-than normal winter in Vancouver and I’m pretty sure we’ve all had enough. So what’s the next best thing to actually kicking our feet up on the patio and soaking up the sun?
Dreaming about it. There’s hope on the horizon! Literally!
Get a Head Start
For plenty of people in the lower mainland, the end of January signals the start of prime house hunting season. Mainly professionals working in the mortgage or realty industry, but if spring 2017 is your turn to buy and move into a new home, then you’re right there with us!
We always believe in getting a headstart. We talk about finances a lot here on the blog, and so much of our budget depends on getting a head start with the planning process and then taking as much time as you need to pay something off or make a big decision.
Well, fewer decisions are bigger than buying a new home.
The Problems with Spring House Hunting
If you watch as much HGTV as I do then you’ve probably been brainwashed more than once into believing the process is simple. Three choices, pros and cons, and then a final decision - easy, right?
Well, it rarely works like that. Chief among the problems with buying a home at any point in the year is the budget to make it happen. The down payment, the fees, the monthly income to pay your mortgage.
In the spring when the earth wakes up from its winter hibernation and the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, our financial future is usually the last thing we want to think of.
So if you’re shopping the real estate market this spring, be prepared to keep your emotions in check.
Look hard for potential issues such as your commute to work or your proximity to amenities you know you’ll need at some point.
What Can You Control
We’re huge proponents of building a financial plan and then sticking with it. It’s why all of our clients document their financial capabilities and write out detailed plans when it comes to their payments. It’s also why we work on exit strategies to eventually free ourselves of debt. Worrying about what you can control lends focus and empowers you to live your life without worrying too much about your finances.
The same applies to house hunting in the spring. Focus on what you can change about your new home.
You can change aesthetic items such as:
- Furniture arrangements
- Certain integral components such as furnaces and hot water heaters
You can’t change the bones:
- Age of the home
- Your neighbours
Temper your excitement by making a list of the things you need and the things you don’t need. It’s easy to get caught up in a new home that you know deep down is too far from work to make sense long term.
It’s ok to enjoy the process, just try to keep yourself on an even keel. That way when the right home comes around, you’ll know it!