A House - The Most Unusual Purchase You will Probably Make
Buying a house is an extremely important decision. With the average price for a single-family home in Edmonton hovering around $430,000, buying a home is a significant investment and not to be taken lightly.
However, when you compare it to other purchases with much less significance the whole process is somewhat weird and extremely daunting to would be buyers.
Think about the last purchase you made. Perhaps it was for clothing or electronics. You had the opportunity to go to the store and try on the jeans. See how they look on you, maybe walk around a little bit. If you decide you do not like them you can leave and if you change your mind, you can easily come back. No worries if someone else buys the same pair before you, there are 10 pairs of the exact same jeans sitting on the rack! Maybe you decide to buy them, but you get home and don’t like how they look outside the store. No problem take it back tomorrow, no questions asked!
What about that laptop you just purchased? Is it not functioning properly? No big deal, you can return it to the store for a refund or have it replaced. After all its covered under a nice warranty. Thinking about buying a new car? Hit up the dealership for a test drive. Go home think about it and go back tomorrow for another test drive. Sure, you are annoying that eager salesperson but its just part of the business, right?
When buying a house its a different story. There are no opportunities for a test drive. You can't spend the long weekend at the house to find out if the laundry room is big enough or if the neighbors are super annoying. You are limited to a showing of 30-60 minutes and maybe you have the chance to come back but maybe you don't. Often there isn't much time to decide if its the right house for you. There could be 3-4 or more people lined up behind you eager to see and buy the house. In a hot market, or if the house is aggressively priced, you will need to decide if you are in or out pretty quick. There are no return policies and warranties are limited after the sale has closed, unless of course you are buying a brand-new home with new home warranty Even then you are reliant on the home builder and the new home warranty policy.
No two houses are alike. Even if they are the exact same size, layout and interior they will be on different lots. Maybe the backyard is facing a slightly different direction or backing onto something less desirable. For that reason, a house is different than almost every other product you will buy. It is truly finite and unique.
This is where a Realtor can help immensely. I see hundreds of houses every year. I have been in every type and style of house imaginable. From a 1920s 2- storey house, to a $50,000 condo, to a brand new build. I have seen so many different layouts, styles, lot shapes and sizes. With this experience I have a good sense of what appeals to the majority of buyers out there. Using this knowledge, I am able to point out features and aspects that one might not normally consider both positive and negative to help you make an informed decision more quickly.
Home buying is a daunting process but there is no need to go at it alone. A strong supporting cast of Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Home Inspectors and Lawyers can help take the stress and fear out of the process.
About the author: Peter M Leveille is a licensed real estate agent, Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has been selling real estate for 15 years and is the Broker and Owner of AB Realty LTD.