Friday, October 21, 2011


Are you so overwhelmed by the home-buying process that you find yourself unable to move forward? If so, you may suffer from buyer’s paralysis.

Luckily, this condition can be cured. Here’s how.

Make a “needs vs. wants” checklist and use it to measure
how each property stacks up. Sometimes, it’s the sheer
amount of choice, or the thought of ending up in a home
that’s not right for them, that leaves buyers stymied. A
checklist helps narrow your focus and prevent you from
purchasing a home that doesn’t meet your needs.

Talk to a mortgage consultant. A home is a big financial
commitment, and that can leave some buyers feeling
paralyzed, as can wondering if they can afford it. A
mortgage consultant can give you an idea of what you
can afford, tell you what you qualify to borrow, and
discuss borrowing options with you to find the best fit.

Let go of “the one” idea. For some buyers, it’s the idea
that there’s such a thing as the perfect home that
causes them to miss out on a good thing. The reality is
that no home is perfect; there will always be something
about every property you wish you could change. The
question is, can you live with those imperfections?

Work with a real estate sales representative. The
home-buying process can be intimidating; some buyers
are so fearful of making a misstep that they can’t
take the next step at all. Team with a professional
and you’ll have someone on your side whose job it is
to explain each stage of the process and look out for
your best interests.

Ready, Set, Move!
Most buyers, especially first-time homebuyers,

agree that finding a property in “move-in ready”

condition is important to them. So, sellers, it’s

time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Making your home move-in ready doesn’t necessarily
mean doing costly kitchen and bath renovations. It does
mean addressing safety issues, as well as performing
maintenance tasks, both minor (such as fixing leaky
faucets and drawers that stick) and major (like fixing
faulty appliances or problems with your heating/
cooling system). To that end, consider having your home
professionally inspected before it goes on market; the
inspection report can serve as your to-do list, ensuring
your property is all fixed up — not a fixer-upper.

Getting your home in move-in condition also means
making sure it’s thoroughly clean and neutral in décor.
Ideally, buyers want to be able to move into a property
where they can apply their personal touch without
having to first remove yours. In other words, your décor
should be a blank canvas — so give your walls a fresh
coat of paint in a neutral tone, and, if not already a
neutral shade, replace your carpeting, too.

Just as buyers want a move-in ready home, you want
top dollar for your property. So, while putting work and
money into your home only to turn around and sell it
might seem counterproductive, doing so will help to justify
a higher asking price than you could set for your home if
it required more work on behalf of its new owners.


The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provided

some interesting — and positive! — insight into the way Canadian

mortgage holders view their mortgage obligations, according to

the CMHC 2011 Mortgage Consumer Survey.

Overall, Canadians appear to enter the housing market with
both eyes open, doing extensive research before they purchase,
and then are diligent in their mortgage management following
their purchase. After all, as Pierre Serré, Vice President, Insurance
Product and Business Development at CMHC noted, “Buying a home
is one of the biggest financial decisions most Canadians will make
in their lifetimes.”

The survey showed that Canadians take, on average, 11 months to plan
their purchase, and 88 percent of homebuyers indicated they had a
good sense of how much mortgage they could afford before purchasing a
home. Many of these homebuyers no doubt took advantage of the research
provided to them through their mortgage brokers, whose job it
is to provide homebuyers with a comprehensive insight into
all their borrowing options.

Following their home purchases, 75 percent of recent homebuyers
surveyed felt it was very important to pay off their
mortgage as soon as possible. To achieve this, 39 percent of
recent buyers indicated they had arranged for higher mortgage
payments than the minimum required, while 20 percent had
made a lump-sum payment since taking out their mortgage.

Whether you have questions about your current mortgage,
or are thinking about taking out a new loan, please remember
that you can call at any time for a discussion and advice, with
absolutely no obligation.