Spring is near and, traditionally, that means house-hunting season.
“Most realtors will advise to buy mainly in the spring. But I believe there are pros and cons to buying in every season,” explains Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins and author of Keep Calm…It’s Just Real Estate: Your No-Stress Guide to Buying a Home.
“In the spring and summer there tends to be more inventory. However, there’s also more competition for homes. Whereas in the winter months there are less competitors for available homes and sellers are more willing to negotiate.”
Here are Sherrod’s top five house-hunting tips:
READ MORE : 4 dos and don’ts of buying your first home
What else should you look for when visiting a house?
“You’re looking for the maintenance and age of the furnace, you’re looking at the hot water tank, you’re looking at the drainage of the house,” recommends B.C. realtor Sarah Daniels.
And, of course, the roof.
“Nobody cares about the roof until it starts to leak.”
If a condo is what you’re looking for, keep this check-list in mind:
“You’ve got to see where the prices are on a per-square-foot basis compared to the neighbour. What are the condo fees? What’s the cost of parking? What’s the maintenance fee?,” adds Ben Myers, a market research and analytics expert with Fortress Real Developments.
Daniels also recommends looking at the maintenance schedule to see what’s been allocated in the budget for that maintenance.
“You want to make sure they have plans in place to maintain that building,” she explains.
Last but definitely not least (in fact, it’s first in terms of importance), make sure your finances are in order and you’ve seen a mortgage specialist before setting out on your search.
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