Moving to a new, unfamiliar community can be stressful and full of worry. Rest assured. You are moving to a wonderful City. Here’s a few suggestions to make this demanding time go smoother so you can settle quickly in your chosen Halifax neighbourhood.
1. Select the Right Real Estate Agent
Working with a good agent is one of the most important aspects of a successful home move. Key qualities to look for : experience with relocating clients, strong local market knowledge and solid communication skills. Ideally someone who has been through the relocation process themselves will offer a unique perspective.
2. Get Pre-Approved (Not Just Pre-Qualified for your Mortgage)
Pre-approval means your application has already been processed and final approval is only contingent upon an appraisal and other issues. Mortgage pre-approval puts you in a more favourable position with sellers and allows you to make faster decisions – especially if you find a home you love and want to buy. I work with an incredible team of Mortgage Brokers, so can point you in the right direction if you need help.
3. Separate Your Needs From Your Wants.
The difference may seem subtle, but this makes it easier to quickly narrow your options and find the very best home for your needs. There is a huge choice of homes in the Halifax area and each neighbourhood has its own personality. So challenge yourself and think about what you absolutely need to have in a home, what you’d like to have but could do without if you absolutely had to 😉
4. Keep a Ton of Notes
You’ll probably see many Halifax homes in a very short period of time, especially if you are on a whirlwind see-and-buy trip. Detailed notes, photos and listing cuts can help you recall each property after a busy home shopping trip. I tend to keep photos of all the properties we view, so can pass these along as well.
5. Think About Selling While Buying
Many people who relocate to Halifax, especially military personnel, often face future relocations, so it’s important to consider a home’s resale value. If your agent is pointing out flaws and potential problems, chances are they are looking out for your future best interests.
6. Learn the Market
Buyers can gather an amazing amount of information online about the markets they are considering for their new home. My Neighbourhood Guide is a popular resource for buyers relocating to Halifax as it provides a breakdown of each neighbourhood including local amenities and schools. Check it out here.
7. Be Prepared to Make Fast Decisions
The Halifax Home market tends to be fairly stable, however there are times when the market has a lack of adequate inventory, often leading to multiple offers on properties. Knowing what type of home you want in the neighbourhood you desire will help you make decisions quickly.
8. Before Placing an Offer
Regardless of what sellers are asking for their Halifax homes, you should base your offer on the comparable sales nearby. I can easily pull up a quick CMA (comparative market analysis) to get a true idea of the true value of the home.
Also consider the condition of the home. Ask about estimates for repairs and don’t automatically assume all repairs will cost thousands of dollars.
And finally, the old adage is true. Location, location, location. Location has a huge bearing on the sales price, and you don’t want to buy a Halifax home in a bad location because resale will be difficult.
9. Be Prepared for Emotional Ups and Downs
Negotiating an offer can be a draining experience. Try to remain calm and maintain perspective as offers and counter offers are exchanged. It’s an emotional time, I completely understand that.
10. Learn from Home Inspectors
The levels of detail in home inspections has improved dramatically. I use a team of home inspectors that are top notch. I attend every home inspection and if at all possible, I would advise you too. You’ll get many valuable tips about maintaining your home in the written report, plus you’ll get many verbal tips from the inspector if you are able to attend the inspection.
I hope this offers you some helpful advice. As always, I’m here if I can help in any way.
Just give me a call on (902) 489-1804 or email me richard@richardpayne.
Good luck with the move!