11 Apr 2019

Things to Think About When Buying a Home in Sarnia

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Things to Think About When Buying a Home in Sarnia

You have made the decision that the time is right and you’re buying a home in Sarnia. First off, congratulations on your move, whether it’s downgrading to a retirement home, upgrading to a larger family home, or you’re just moving to Sarnia. Either way, it’s a huge choice to make and it comes with a lot of decisions to make. Your real estate salesperson in Sarnia will be able to guide you through the process, but it’s still a large commitment. It really is the largest financial decision you will make in your lifetime.

Before you go picking out paint chips, designing bedrooms and thinking of hosting parties, you need to consider a few things before buying a home in Sarnia. Buying real estate in Sarnia has a lot more too it than what is on the foundation of a house or condo. It has lifelong implications that you as the buyer need to consider. Let’s take a look at some of those things to think about when buying a home in Sarnia.

Don’t buy for the life you have today

Have you decided what your long-term plans are? What is in store for your future? Are you a young couple thinking of having a family in a few years, or an older couple who wants to travel? After all, those are lifestyle choices that will greatly affect the type of house that you will be purchasing. If you’re looking to grow your family, buying a two-bedroom condo doesn’t offer a lot of space for children. You will need more bedrooms, play areas, and a back yard. Meanwhile, if you’re retiring and expecting to travel, having a five-bedroom home is a lot of space not being used and could come with a higher mortgage and larger property taxes.

If you are planning on buying a home in Sarnia, think about your five-year plan, then your 10-year plan. Where you are going to be in those years. It may be the case that if you buy something small and need to expand later, you won’t have built enough equity in the current house. It’s a tricky road to navigate, because you do have to pull out the crystal ball and think about the future. However, if your life plans and house plans don’t match well, you could be finding yourself moving again in a few short years.

Look beyond the paint

Most Sarnia Realtor’s will tell you to look beyond what colour the walls are and see the house for what it is. Reality house hunting shows are notorious for getting young couples to go through fixer-uppers and see the potential of a house. Well, you should be doing the same. Remember, your taste and the taste of the current homeowner are completely different. Don’t let someone else’s paint selection put you off from buying a home in Sarnia. Paint can be painted over with a fresh coast of the colour of your choice.

In fact, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb for much of the houses you look at. Worry less about cosmetic and more about the structure. When buying a home in Sarnia, you want to focus on the bones of the home to make sure they are solid. Look at the foundation, the roof, the appliances, the flooring, and take a trip to the basement to make sure it doesn’t have any off-putting smells. A poor paint choice can be solved in a good weekend with friends over to help brush on a new coat. A terribly maintained home, on the other hand, will just leave you with a lot of headaches and a lot of costs you weren’t expecting.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Many homebuyers in Sarnia walk into a home and want to play Property Brothers. They talk about which wall can be ripped down, what flooring they will put throughout the house, the type of stone for the counters and wood for the cabinets. There is nothing wrong with thinking of what your dream home will look like, but remember, all those changes come at a cost. And more than likely, you are undervaluing the work that has to be done.

Renovations have plenty of hidden costs and it’s not like the television shows, where they have crews coming in to do the work. Someone has to do the labour and unless you are doing it yourself, the price of renovations can be double or trip what you originally planned. If your plan is to renovate before moving in, ensure you have the proper budget for the house and you are ready for delays and overages. It doesn’t always good smooth and it can be a very stressful time waiting for your home to look perfect. Talk to your Sarnia Realtor and find a home that is worth the investment. And trust their opinion when they say it’s better to walk away form a project that will be way too much to handle.

Buying a home in Sarnia that you can afford

Every home in Sarnia and condo in Sarnia has a price tag. Unless you have saved up enough money, that also means a mortgage. Your mortgage broker will give you a pre-approved price, but it’s up to you to decide if you can afford it. Will you be able to make your monthly payments, or will it be stretching your budget too thin? Remember, this is a large financial investment and you need to stick within your means. That goes for new home buyers who are just starting out and building up credit, as well as retirees who need to make sure there is enough money in the bank for travel.

Write down a budget of all your expenses and the expenses you are going to have. Remember, there isn’t just a mortgage payment. There are plenty of other things to pay for including:

  • Utility bills
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Property taxes

Add up what you will be paying and make sure you can actually afford the home you are after. You don’t want to be buying a home in Sarnia and then have to turn around and sell because you didn’t do a proper budget. Being house broke is something many buyers do because they don’t take into consideration all the costs. Talk to your Sarnia Realtor and ask them to talk with you about the extra costs of owning a home in Sarnia.