Another New Year has arrived, and many people are looking forward to a fresh start in 2023. January 1st has long been the time for new beginnings and a chance to set resolutions for the year ahead. Do your goals involve buying or selling a house? If so, it’s an excellent time to review the market and prepare for success accordingly. The last year was one for the record books, with the dramatic increase in market activity at the start of the year, followed by a distinct decline for the latter half of 2022. This shift may be shorter-lived than anticipated, providing countless reasons to feel optimistic about buying or selling real estate in 2023.
Will Balance and Stability Return to Real Estate?
Though 2022 started with a record-breaking housing boom, many homeowners nervously watched as property values dropped due to rising interest rates. At this point, the market is more balanced than it has been for a long time. However, a growing population amid the housing shortage could soon send us back into highly competitive conditions. But for now, there are plenty of opportunities for both buyers and sellers who plan ahead. It is the perfect time to set and begin working towards your real estate resolutions for 2023!
Resolutions for Buyers: Decide What You Want
It is an exciting time for buyers looking to purchase their first home, upgrade to a larger house, or add to their investment portfolio. New listings are down slightly. Still, more inventory is available now than at any point in the last two years. Buying now gives you the pick of the home you want at prices much lower than when the market peaked. The first step to turning this goal into a reality is to create a detailed vision of what you want. The following checklist will help you get the ball rolling:
- What kind of home do you want? A bungalow, two-storey house, townhouse, or newly-built condo?
- When do you want to move?
- Where do you want to live?
The key to creating your vision for your dream home is to list the features you would love to have while staying flexible. Being clear but open-minded can help you find what you are looking for, or something even better!
Make a Plan for Your Existing Home
Do you currently own a home and are thinking about upgrading or downsizing? One of the first decisions is whether to sell that existing property first or wait until you find the right home. Alternatively, you could keep your existing house as an income property to rent out. A strong case can be made for all three options.
Sell your existing house first.
If you sell first, you don’t have to worry about how much you can afford for your next home or whether you will receive the funds on time. Financially, this is the safest option. However, it does place you on a time limit to find and secure your new home.
Buy your new house first.
Given the current temperature of the real estate market, we don’t typically recommend buying first. However, it can be a viable option if you have extra funds for a down payment without relying on the proceeds from your sale, and if the closing date for your new home will provide ample time to sell your current home. Generally speaking, there is less risk if selling first. You should also have a financial cushion to cover you if you end up carrying two mortgages until your existing home sale closes.
Hold onto your house as an investment.
Even though housing prices have dropped in the GTA, they are still out of reach for many residents. As a result, the demand for rentals is unprecedented. Keeping your existing property allows you to benefit from further equity growth when housing values rebound. Plus, your rental income helps you cover most–or in some cases of your monthly costs, provided you have paid down a good portion of your home and carry a smaller mortgage.
Investing in real estate is a fantastic way to preserve and grow your wealth and is a worthy goal at any time. The articles below will help you get started:
- How to Get Started as a Real Estate Investor
- What Is an Assignment Sale
- Should You Sell or Rent Your First Condo When You Move?
Special Guidelines for First-Time Buyers
Buying your first home is one of life’s most exciting milestones and a great resolution to make for the new year! However, it’s a complex process requiring a deep commitment, which can be intimidating for anyone who has never owned a home before. A successful purchase will require focus and determination. The following guidelines will help make your goal a reality:
- Determine your budget and allow for hidden costs, such as closing costs, utilities, insurance, and maintenance.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage before house hunting. This step lets you know how much financing you qualify for and provides a decisive edge when negotiating with sellers.
- Look into government programs available for first-time buyers. Reaching the amount required for your down payment can be difficult when you don’t have equity in an existing home. However, the First Time Home Buyer Incentive, the Home Buyer’s Plan, and the Land Transfer Rebate can help.
- Work with a local real estate agent to help uncover suitable listings and negotiate the best possible price on your behalf.
Resolutions for Sellers: Look Forward, not Back
Perhaps the best advice for sellers is to look forward to your potential opportunities rather than focusing on the past. Some homeowners regret not selling during the real estate peak last year. But in many ways, now is a better time to list your home. Even though you may earn less from your sale than the peak in 2022, you may also pay less for your new home. In addition, your equity in your current home shields you from the impact of higher interest rates.
But the best benefit by far is that finding your next home is much easier and less stressful in this balanced market. These new market conditions also allow you to place a condition on a home inspection, so you can address potential issues in a home upfront. In the long run, this could save you a lot of money and hassle.
One of your resolutions may be to get an accurate estimate of how much your home is worth. We can help with a free home evaluation, which you can book right here.
Commit to the Best Results in the Current Market
In the current market, you should take no shortcuts when preparing your house for sale. You don’t have to overspend or undertake major projects that disrupt your life for months at a time. Some of the upgrades that offer the best return on investment are simple and can include:
- A fresh coat of paint in a light neutral tone throughout
- A complete, top-to-bottom clean and declutter
- New lighting fixtures
- Updated kitchen backsplash and hardware
- New silicone around showers and bathtubs
Home Staging for Maximum Results
Some homeowners may debate the merits of staging a house versus the time and effort it takes to do it right. However, the numbers do not lie, and proper staging has been proven to add to the average final selling price of a home. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending thousands of dollars on an interior designer while replacing every piece of furniture. However, you want to remove your personal footprint from the home so that buyers can imagine it from their perspective. Staging is so impactful when it comes to the final result that we include full home staging by some of the best home stagers in the GTA complimentary for our clients. We are happy to provide this for our clients as it elevates the appeal of a home, results in selling for more money and in less time, and is inclusive within our luxury level client service and marketing.
The more beautiful your home appears, the easier it will be to sell for more money. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Top Luxury Kitchen Features for Your Home
- Simple Ways to Elevate Your Home Decor
- 6 Luxury Home Design Trends to Try Right Now
Connect With a Local Realtor®
Perhaps the most powerful resolution you can make is to connect with a knowledgeable Realtor® who knows your area inside and out. Buying or selling a house is not a quick transaction, and you always want an expert by your side with your best interests at heart. A conversation you start today can be the catalyst for achieving your real estate goals this year.
Are you thinking about buying or selling a house this year and unsure where to start? We can help by providing you with valuable expertise and answering your questions. Reach out today at [email protected] or call 647-293-3785 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.