Tips for Buyers: Search Above and Below Your Price Range

30.08.2013

Looking for Real Estate in East Vancouver

How to Find a Home Within your Price Range

After reviewing you finances, checking in with a Mortgage Broker and speaking with me – your Realtor – about the costs of buying a home, you should have a good sense of how much money you have to put towards a new home. This is the all important budget. There are certain factors that can affect this number – i.e. will the home have a mortgage helper in the form of a basement suite? Are you planning on renovating a home or do you want something ready to live in today?  Buying a home is both emotional and analytical, so the more you understand what type of home your budget can get you, and whether this home works with your lifestyle, the better off you’ll be. Also, if you encounter a Multiple Offer situation, you can maintain some clarity in the situation rather than letting emotions kick in, which can lead to overpaying for property.

I suggest you determine your budget, then look for homes listed higher and lower than that number (not too much, consider +/- 10%). Starting your search for a home in a *slightly* wider price range will give you a good sense of exactly what you want and what is offered by different price points. You’ll determine how much the extra den in a 1 bedroom East Van condo is worth to you, whether you can live with traffic noise, which side of Main Street you want to be on and how much space you really need in a townhome in East Van.

Considering that Realtors make commission off the sale price of the home, you may be thinking that I’m trying to sell you into something more expensive so I make more money. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I make money from happy home owners, not people who feel stressed over their budget or forced into anything. Frankly, there isn’t much difference in commission between a $500k home and a $550k home! Realtors are there for professional advice, useful knowledge, support – and – the love of real estate!

The Cost of Real Estate in East Vancouver

How Price, Style & Location Affect Real Estate in Vancouver

We have a lot of clients who decide to spend a little bit less that their pre-approved mortgage so they have less strain on their financials. Great idea! Be sure you the different between what you’ll get it you spend a little bit more and a little bit less on your next home. Perhaps spending $50k less will get you a great place that faces east rather than west, or it will get you one floor lower in a tall condo, or it will get you a house with less custom work that’s still looks great. Maybe $50k more can get you an East Van townhouse with your own private entrance and garden, rather than a 2 bedroom condo in East Van. Maybe it can get you higher quality finishings. Maybe it can get you a storage locker. I find this process helps people determine exactly what they want because people become more critical, and therefore confident when deciding on if the home is for them or not. Believe me, you won’t be looking at listings too above or below your price range for too long since we’ll quickly dial down to what works for you. This also gives me a good sense of your style.

When you’re looking for a new home, you have to consider price, location (i.e. which area of East Van?) and type of home (i.e. condo, townhome, detached home, new, old, etc).

If you want to live in a certain location in a certain style of home, you can get a good sense of the average price based on a quick market search (i.e. detached house in west of Main: expect to pay over a million dollars). If you want to stay at a certain price in a certain location, you may have to settle for a certain kind of home (i.e. $250k in East Van: you’ll be in an older condo building or a sub-500sqft studio). If you want a certain style in a certain price, you’ll have to move to the location where you can find it (i.e. the further you get from downtown, the cheaper it gets).

SIDENOTE: For People interested in architecture & style, check out Vancouver House Styles for a complete encyclopedia.

You never know what might happen if you:

  1. Keep the price range and your expectations exact and buy what you can afford.
  2. Look higher than your price range, and possibly get a great deal on a high end listing with a motivated Seller.
  3. Look less than your price range, and find a home with great bones and use the extra money to renovate it to your liking.

You never know until you start looking, but the more secure you are with your financial situation, your wish list and your expectations, the better I can help you find your perfect home. Keep in mind that this also applied to looking outside of your desired location. If you really want to live in Mount Pleasant East, and the thought of living in Hastings doesn’t appeal to you, then you know not too look there. However, if you’re willing to consider it, then you never know what could happen!

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