Be prepared to pounce - Metro US

Be prepared to pounce

My last column discussed the buying journey. Unfortunately, the confines of this space sometimes limits the steps within. I’d like to finish that journey now, if I may, because the real value of the proper steps lies in the potential pot of gold awaiting you.

Take it from me, the good deals vanish almost instantly, and few come up — but they do come up. You must move fast. If you’re focused, aware of your needs, finances, and have notes on the properties you’ve seen, moving quickly can be moving intelligently, rather than blindly.

The purpose of establishing your needs, having a breakdown of various mortgage situations, taking notes, and seeing numerous properties, is to enable you to act fast when a bargain presents itself. It’s easy to see how moving quickly can be nerve-wracking. After all, buying a condo or home is often the single largest investment a person or family makes. You must understand that with the real estate market in the GTA being what it is, a person would have to be desperate or crazy — or ill-informed — to sell for less than market value! That’s why it’s important to put yourself in a position to react fast to a hot property, from a position of informed factual intelligence, and taking the right steps towards becoming a clever and astute buyer will do that for you.

Often the most complex issue for buyers is how much they can afford. Many times I’ve shown buyers a breakdown of various mortgage situations, to their pleasant surprise. Fact is, many buyers can actually afford more than they think, given the proper strategy. Assume Buyer Tristy is ready to buy a condo priced at $225,000. Chances are she’d consider a condo-town at $270,000 way out of her price range. With the right mortgage product, her monthly mortgage payment would only be about $200 more, not the $50,000 increase, on the surface. Tristy should also consider her maintenance fees at the condo-town will be less and appreciation will probably be higher. Add all these figures together and the condo-town might actually be the financially sounder option. Of course this is just one scenario, but it pays to know all of your scenarios.

The secret lies in the confidence of being a prepared and knowledgeable buyer, so that you’re in a position to jump on a deal when it comes — very few are. In this market everyone’s looking for the best deal and only the ones that are properly prepared will get it.

– Amit is a Realtor/Developer with Re/Max. amitp@rogers.com

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