Planning on buying a new home this Spring? We Have Some Great Tips for You!
Having been in the storage unit business for several years, we have great knowledge of our seasonal clientele. We see most of our clients who are moving to new homes in June and July. Whether they are needing a storage unit temporarily while moving, waiting for a new development to be finished or are downsizing entirely and need a permanent solution, a self service storage unit has been an integral part of their move.
This means that for most of our clients, the shopping for their new home started in early spring, and, with that in mind, we would like to share some tips before you start your exciting home search.
- First Time Home Buyers – Plan Your Budget
If this is your first time shopping for your new home, Congrats! This is the most exciting time for you. It can also be the most overwhelming. The most important thing you can do before shopping for your new home is to plan your budget. Start with a mortgage calculator and decide on what you can afford. It is good to contact a mortgage broker also. A mortgage broker can find you the best rates from several institutions and these rates can often be better than what your own bank will offer. Also, make yourself aware of the financial incentives offered for first time home buyers both in the province and federally. The two most important ones are:
First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit
Introduced by the Government of Canada to assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home, a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.
Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
Allows first time home buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from your RRSP for a down payment. It is tax-free and if you are buying with another individual who is also a first time home buyer you can both access from your RRSP for a total of $50,000.
- Identify your Needs and Your Wants
Make a list of the amenities that are a priority for you. How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms? Is parking a necessity? Consider the amenities that are extremely important to you. The “must-haves”, in your home. Now list the amenities that would be nice to have in your home. You may love the idea of indoor heated parking or granite countertops in your kitchen.
- Identify the Size of Home You Need
This is probably the trickiest one. For the most part, we all want space. Unfortunately, with the cost of housing in Winnipeg rising with no end in sight, and condos getting smaller, and maintenance on larger homes getting costlier, we can not always afford that “bigger” space. Think about your ideal size of home and what you can afford per square foot before setting out. A self-storage unit can actually be an incredibly economical way to have a smaller home without sacrificing your need storage space. See our blog, How Downsizing Your Home and Upsizing Your Storage Unit Can Save You Money, where we crunch the numbers for you.
- Use a Real Estate Agent You Like and Trust
Finding a good realtor is so important. Your realtor should always have your wants and needs at the top of their list. Contact friends who have had good experiences in your area and use their referrals. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with your agent, choose another one. This is your investment and your money.
- Investigate Neighbourhoods
Knowing what neighbourhoods you are interested in before looking will take much of the stress out of home shopping. If you are relocating to a new town and are not familiar with the area, spend time online searching out the best areas that both suit your budget and your needs.