Top 5 Biggest Mistakes When Buying a Condo

Are you thinking about buying a condo in Vancouver? No doubt it’s an exciting time, but many buyers let their emotions get the best of them and make some big mistakes in the process. Here’s the top 5 biggest mistakes when buying a condo. Are you making any of them?

1. Fear of Missing Out

Let’s be honest, Vancouver real estate is all the buzz these days. Everyone wants a piece of the pie before it’s too late. It’s what we call FOMO or fear of missing out. Just because everyone is buying real estate or because prices are soaring doesn’t mean you need to or should be getting in on the action. For many people they end up stretching their budgets and becoming house poor. They’re no longer able to do the things they love because they’re putting every dollar they have into paying off a mortgage. Stick to a budget and don’t buy just for the sake of buying, sometimes renting makes more sense for the time being.

2. Not Getting Pre-Approved

Here’s the deal. The Vancouver real estate market moves quickly. Once you find a home you like you have very little time, you must act quickly! If you haven’t even been pre approved how do you know what you can afford? You could be wasting a lot of time. Speak with a mortgage broker and get pre approved before you start looking at homes.

3. Falling In Love With New

I see it all the time. Buyers fall in love with a home because it’s been renovated and looks all sparkly and new. Many times the home doesn’t match any of their criteria or it’s something they normally wouldn’t consider but because it’s new they make sacrifices. This is a huge mistake! Many times it’s an old beat up building but an investor came in, bought if for cheap, and did a quick fix and flip. Investors are looking to make a quick buck and many times will use cheap materials that look good to the untrained eye. It’s a quick cover up and one that buyers should avoid.

4. Building Over Location

You’ve heard the saying before, location location location. Well it’s true. Location trumps the building every time. If you’re debating between 2 potential homes always choose the one with the better location. In the long run location always wins. It’s important to know what’s going on around the area too. For example buying on the east side of Downtown Vancouver right now is a great idea for the long term. They’re taking down the viaducts, creating a 5 acre waterfront park and re doing much of the seawall.

5. No Buyers Representation

If you’re buying a condo why would you not want representation? It costs you nothing to work with a Realtor. Also here’s the biggest myth of all- working directly with the listing Realtor gives you an advantage. It doesn’t, seriously. They are representing the seller and so they owe you no fiduciary duty. Sounds risky doesn’t it? Because it is! If you’re going to buy a place your best bet is to find a Realtor you can trust and have them exclusively represent you on the purchasing side.