Let's talk about what a good buy is, shall we?
Let me preface by saying that everyone is really SO SO different and so are their needs, so what is a fit for you isn't maybe a fit for another. What I am referring to is way beyond fit, more along the lines of good quality. For those buyers who love older areas, and simply do not want a brand new home (in-fill or otherwise), this post is for YOU!
Alright, so why buy in an older area?
- Big trees
- More walkability (hello coffee shops and bistros)
- Usually bigger yards (means you can fit a pool and trampoline!)
- More established schools, parks, shopping, etc.
- Usually closer to downtown and core areas
- Often has detached garages, and usually bigger than ones in new areas. #mancavepotential
The things is, so many people have caught onto this secret.. older areas have some serious fans! So lots of homes are being renovated by owners, and bought and flipped by investors. This has driven the prices up a bit.
If your budget doesn't allow a renovated home, despite you really dreaming of one.. really consider one in need of updating.
You need to buy grandma's house. For real. They are the best.
Hear me out!!
Who cares if the decor isn't your style, we can fix that (See below for tips to fix up ideas).
Houses with long term owners usually mean pink carpet and original kitchens, sure, but usually they have newer windows, plumbing updates, sunrooms, newer roofs (and not the cheap kind either).
If you found a home in need of some cosmetic updates, maybe a finished basement.. don't pass it up. I know that doing renovations isn't your favourite thing.
However you have a few options in terms of making that happen.
You can do something called purchase plus improvements. This is a financing option your mortgage broker can help you with wherein you get quotes from qualified contractors and you can finance the renovations into your mortgage amount, up to a certain percentage, usually 10%, but depends on the bank. There are also lines of credits, savings, etc.
I, of course, would help with research to make sure that the renos you wanted to do would make sense in terms of local neighbourhood market values. No sense putting money into a place you would never get it back out of, that's called non-confoming with a neighbourhood, not a great idea in my opinion.
Best places to put your money in a renovation:
Remember - quality matters and stands the test of time.
Places I don't think necessarily yield ROI:
- Hot tubs
- Really unique updates.. too unique = doesn't appeal to everyone, could turn people off.
I personally also think fancy lighting makes a HUGE difference!! Use edison bulbs, LED potlights, etc. I have had clients buy houses simply because of things like a killer designer lighting package. And the great thing about that is lighting is fairly simple to update! (Google Edison lightbulbs and iron light fixtures)
Lastly, and this might be the BEST reason to buy a dated home to reno yourself.. you get to pick all the things! Your fav colours, fixtures, flooring.. ALL OF IT!!
Design is in the details. So is life. So live in the designs that suit YOU! Not the investor who flipped the home.