February 6, 2024 | Buyers

Are You Ready to Buy Your Forever Home?

Young home buyers can give themselves an edge in a challenging market by being less picky about their first house. With real estate values on the rise, the best advice is often to break into the market in any way you can, whether it’s with a small condo, a fixer-upper, or something in a less-than-glamorous neighbourhood. 

The reason for this is to build equity. That starter home may not be what you envisioned, but it gets your foot in the door and opens up greater options for your future. Think about your second and third time around. With that equity behind you, you have more purchasing power and can afford to be more selective about the house you step up to.

From Starter to Forever?

Some homeowners do go from their first to their forever home in a single leap. However, that is rare. Many people tend to move at least a couple of times before buying their ultimate dream home. The reason is this:

As we mentioned earlier, that small starter home gets you into the market and starts building equity. But a larger, more expansive property will build even more equity faster. 

Buying an entry-level home and moving up one step at a time is what many real estate professionals refer to as “the property ladder.” Like many goals, it’s usually best to take it in small increments. 

However, everyone is different and has access to varying amounts of resources. Before thinking about your “forever” home, you may want to start by asking, “What’s next?”  

If your next step depends on selling your existing house, the posts below will help:

Revisit Your Wish List

For a successful first purchase, your wish list is likely minimal. As you move up a step on the ladder, it will become more stringent. What was tolerable before becomes a dealbreaker, and what was once a faraway dream becomes a must-have. 

However, you’ll always want to be realistic at every stage. Consider working with a local real estate agent when making your list of wants and needs. This allows you to set goals aligned with the current market. You won’t go overboard and blow your budget, but you also won’t shortchange yourself. 

Here are a few things to consider when creating your vision for your next purchase, whether it’s your forever home or just the next step in the journey.

What Are Your Must-Have Features?

  • Where do you want your next home to be? What city and, more specifically, what neighbourhood?
  • Should your new home have more space than your existing one? If so, are you prepared for the extra maintenance involved?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? 
  • Do you prefer having a garage or an oversized driveway?

What Can You Be Flexible About?

Consider all the attributes you’d like your new home to have while being flexible. Many aspects of a house can be changed. Others are more set in stone but worth compromising on when everything else falls into place. 

For example, a home might be perfect in all regards, but maybe one of the bedrooms is a little small for your liking. Now, you’ll have to decide whether this is a dealbreaker or something you can work with, especially if the price is right.  

What Do You NOT Want?

When house hunting, it’s just as important to be aware of what you don’t want as much as what you do. In fact, if you don’t yet have a clear vision, listing your dealbreakers can help bring your dream into focus. What is it about a house that you instantly don’t like?

  • Is it on a street that is too busy or too noisy?
  • Are there zoning laws in the way of your plans to teardown or renovate?
  • Is the yard too small or too large?
  • Does the house need more work than you’re willing to do to turn it into your dream home?

Are You Ready for a Forever Home?

Of course, in real estate, “forever” doesn’t actually mean forever. However, it does mean that this will be the place where you put down roots and become part of the community. Perhaps you will even raise a family here.

In any case, it’s a significant commitment that goes far beyond what you can and can’t afford. Are you ready for this monumental step? Here are a few questions to ponder that will help you decide:

  • Can you see yourself living in this home and this location for many years to come?
  • What future developments are in store that might enhance or detract from your enjoyment of the house?
  • Does the location align with your career and educational goals?
  • A house is a financial investment that will pay off in the long term. However, are you prepared for the carrying costs to live in and maintain the home?
  • Does the house have the space and potential to suit your future needs? Remodeling a kitchen is one thing. Renovating from top to bottom is another.
  • Are you mentally, emotionally, and financially ready to settle down into one place for the long term?

What should you look for when buying your next home? The posts below are a great place for some counterintuitive but excellent advice:

What Are Your Next Steps?

Moving up to your forever home is a big step. As you begin browsing through listings, you may even experience the excitement and nervousness you had as a first-time buyer. Fortunately, you didn’t have to buy your first home alone, and you don’t have to undertake this journey alone either.

Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family members can help you make a decision that you will be thrilled with, now and in the future. If you decide to take the leap, a local real estate team can help you find the place that’s just right for you, whether it’s your forever home or just a stepping stone.

Are you ready to buy or sell your home in Guelph or the Tri-Cities? We are happy to help you make the most of today’s market. Reach out today to 519-826-7109 or info@gowylde.ca to take the next step.

GoWylde Newsletter