After studying housing markets for two decades, I have learned that making better real estate decisions is not about luck, or timing, or wealth.
It’s about asking ourselves the right questions before we even buy a house.
But what are the right questions to ask ourselves?
What are the most common mistakes home buyers keep making that lead to financial and relationship stress down the road – and how do we avoid making those same mistakes ourselves?
To answer these questions, I've developed an online course that I call Defensive Home Buying.
For us at Realosophy, the Toronto-based brokerage I founded, “BUYING SMART” means “BUYING DEFENSIVELY”.
It means capturing as much of the upside that real estate has to offer while minimizing its downside risks. It means ensuring that your home helps you build the life you want – without exposing you to financial risk and relationship stress.
We love seeing our clients make better real estate decisions so I created this online course to reach even more consumers that would benefit from our approach – this is the course you should be taking before you start touring homes and before you meet with a real estate agent.
The course covers the three most important things I believe buyers should be considering before buying a home.
Is Now the Right Time to Buy – For You?
Even if we are confident that we want to buy a home, it’s important to revisit the perennial buy vs rent question to make sure we are buying for the right reasons.
To do this, we need to challenge biased statements like “renting is a waste of money” and “real estate is a great investment” because they can lead to lazy decisions.
If you're an existing home owner, then you may instead be wondering whether this is the right time to move to that next house.
Is This the Right Time to Buy – in Today’s Market?
Unfortunately, house prices don’t always go up, and while we can’t eliminate the risk associated with buying a home, we can mitigate the risks by being more mindful of the three red flags we should be keeping an eye on.
The red flags that helped us warn buyers about the neighbourhoods that turned to out to see the biggest decline in house prices when the market turned in 2017.
Getting Your Numbers Right
Financial stress is among the top reasons couples get divorced. And for most people, housing costs are their single biggest expense. Does this suggest that the home we buy today may be the first step towards financial stress in our relationship tomorrow? I think it does.
Thousands of owners today are feeling the stress of their high housing costs and are only able to make ends meet by borrowing against their home to pay off their debts – even if that means going to high interest private lenders.
How do you avoid getting yourself into this situation?
By understanding why the traditional approach to building a home buying budget leads you to the wrong number and learning how to get to the right one instead.
Ready to start learning?
John Pasalis is the President and Broker of Realosophy Realty Inc. Brokerage in Toronto. A leader in real estate analytics and pro-consumer advice, Realosophy helps clients buy or sell a home the right way.
Follow John on Twitter @johnpasalis