With all the buzz and talk about the market I find the question I am most asked these days is “when is a good time to buy?” & “what should I buy to ensure a good purchase?”
I tend to find that my advice through any market stays the same. The key piece of the puzzle is to make a smart buy. There are so many options out there and multiple products to choose from that this can sometimes be tough. I tend to find that answering and or establishing some questions is always a good place to begin as it allows one to narrow the scope.
1) Establish your goal – is this purely an investment? for personal enjoyment? to accommodate a growing family? are school districts important? etc…
2) How long do you plan to hold the property for? – I tend to say that a 3-5 year time horizon is an important bench mark when you are looking to purchase.
3) What market do you intend to get into – housing, condo’s, lofts, town homes?
4) Do you have a specific neighbourhood in mind?
With these questions more narrowed down I find the ability to then find a match within each individual’s established goals is more achievable. At this stage I tend to recommend looking for product that is not generic or easily reproduced. Houses, boutique condo’s and lofts are all good places to start.
Houses: There is a large range of houses, detached, row homes, semi’s, town homes, bungalows etc.. When considering a home purchase there are many area’s to consider, and many items to note such as lot size, school districts, finishes, ability to add an addition, basement ceiling height, and location. You will pay a premium in the housing market for a turn key house so looking for something that needs some cosmetic work may be a good option to lock in additional value come sale time.
Boutique Condo’s: I would classify these as smaller buildings, with fewer amenities, and are approximately 15 storey’s or less. Generally speaking I tend to find that these buildings have lower monthly fee’s (fewer amenities), greater layout choices, and more distinct features or finishes. WIth an ever growing high rise condo market I feel these smaller more boutique buildings are more desirable for buyers and sellers longer term.
Hard Lofts: Again keeping with the boutique theme lofts are exactly that! They are impossible to re-produce and have elements that are unique to the days when the buildings used to be factories, warehouses, or production facilities. Loft spaces are normally characterized with rustic elements such as concrete floors, high ceilings, and wooden beams.
Working within the product listed above is just the tip of the iceberg for the buy but I feel are great parameters to work within. The goal I feel when buying is to look for product that is unique both today and long term. Ensuring your property stands out in todays market and future markets I feel is the key to a smart buy and a successful sale in the future!
Stay tuned for up coming posts where I will dive into more niche items within the purchase such a reserve funds, lot sizes, and renovations.