CONTACT
RSS

New Year, New Home? Set Homeownership Goals Whether You’re Buying, Selling, or Staying Put

New Year, New Home? Set Homeownership Goals Whether You’re Buying, Selling, or Staying Put


The start of a new year always compels people to take a fresh look at their goals, from health and career to relationships and finance. But with historically low mortgage rates, increased home sales and price growth, and a tight housing inventory, the time is right to also make some homeownership resolutions for 2021.


Home buyers, is this the year you work to improve your credit score, pay down some debt, or save for a down payment? 


Home sellers, we’ve laid out plans for you to get top dollar for your property, including timing your home sale, making your property stand out from the crowd, and investing in your extra living space. 


And even if you’re staying put for awhile, homeowners, you can resolve to improve your status quo by evaluating your home budget, finalizing your home maintenance schedule, or maybe investing in a second property.


So no matter your homeownership status, we’ve got some ideas and advice for you to make this year your best one yet. Read on to learn more.



HOME BUYERS


Resolution #1: Qualify for a better mortgage with a higher credit score.

 

Your credit report highlights your current debt, bill-paying history, and other key financial information. Importantly for your home-buying journey, it is also used by lenders and companies to calculate your credit score, which partly determines if you are qualified to obtain a mortgage. Therefore, before you start house-hunting, make sure your finances are in the best possible shape by checking your credit report and credit score, available directly from Equifax and TransUnion.1

 

Your credit score will be a number ranging from 300-900. Generally speaking, a credit score of 725 or higher is considered very good to excellent.2 If your score drops below 725, you might need to work at boosting your score for a few months before you begin house-hunting. Ways to do this are to pay your bills on time every month, keep your credit card balances low, and avoid applying for new credit.3



Resolution #2: Improve your credit health by paying down debt.  


Do you have student loans, credit card debt, or car payments tying up your income each month? That debt is hurting your “buying power,” or the amount of home you can afford. Not only is it money that you can't spend on your new home, but your debt-to-income ratio also affects your credit score, which we discussed above. The less debt you have, the higher your score and the better mortgage you can obtain.


If you can, pay off some debt in its entiretylike a low balance on a credit card. Then apply that "extra" money you previously paid on that credit card to pay off bigger debt, like a car loan. Even if you can’t pay off all (or any) of your debt in full, reducing the balances of each account will help you qualify for the best possible mortgage terms.



Resolution #3: Create a financial safety net before applying for a mortgage. 


Don’t forget that buying a home requires some cash as well. The down payment depends on the home’s price, but the minimum is 5% for a purchase price of under $500,000, and closing costs range from 2-3%.4,5 You’ll also need money for moving expenses and any initial maintenance tasks that might pop up. And as the pandemic taught us, you never know when an unforeseen event might cause a job loss, drop in income, or health scare, so having some liquid savings will ensure that you can still pay your mortgage if a crisis occurs.


Dedicate some effort to building up your reserves. Cut down on unnecessary expenses, and consider having a portion of each paycheck automatically deposited into your savings account to avoid the temptation to spend it.



HOME SELLERS


Resolution #4: Decide on the right time to sell your home.


In a typical year, spring is when home sales spike in Canada. This might be the best time to take advantage of the price increase predicted by the Canadian Real Estate Association, which says, “The national average price is forecast to rise by 9.1% in 2021 to $620,400.”6


But sales price isn’t the only thing to consider. You might not be ready to sell your home yet because you don't want to uproot your kids during the school year or because you need to tackle some minor upgrades before placing your home on the market. 


This means that there is no one month or season that is the perfect time to sell your home. Instead, the right timeline for you takes into account factors such as when you’ll earn the highest profit, personal convenience, and whether your home is even ready to put on the market. A trusted real estate professional can talk you through your specific needs to clarify when to sell your home. 


 

Resolution #5: Boost your home’s resale value by making your property shine.


Housing inventory is at historic lows across the country, and that means the market is fiercely competitive.7 Selling your home in 2021 has the potential to net you a huge return right now, and you can maximize that amount with some simple fixes to make sure your property outshines your neighbors’ for sale down the street. 


In your home, you might need to tackle a minor remodeling project, such as upgrading the flooring or adding a fresh coat of paint. According to one remodeling impact report, simply refinishing existing hardwood floors recoups 100% of the cost at resale, and completely replacing it with new wood flooring recovers 106% of costs.8


Outside, you might consider improving your curb appeal by removing a dead bush, trimming a tree that blocks the front window, or power-washing your moldy driveway and sidewalks. In fact, real estate agents say cleaning the exterior of your house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to a home’s sale price.9 And improving a home’s landscaping may increase its value by 15 to 25%.10 


A good agent should provide custom-tailored suggestions to ensure your property pops inside and out. Ask us about our local insider secrets that will make your home stand out from others on the market.



Resolution #6: Invest in your “extra” living space to meet current buyers’ needs. 


Due to COVID-19, more people are staying at home to work, go to school, exercise, and stay entertained. And these lifestyle changes are showing up in home buyer preferences. For example, according to one study, buyers are looking more and more for homes with formal, outfitted home offices, private outdoor spaces, and updated kitchen appliances.11


So if you’ve got an underutilized room, consider turning it into an office, home gym, schoolroom, or multi-purpose room to meet current home buyer needs and attract better offers on your home. Got some underwhelming space outside? You could turn it into an outdoor entertainment area by adding a firepit, upgrading the patio furniture, or installing a grilling area. Be sure to consult with a local real estate professional before investing in a renovation, however, as each market’s buyers have different tastes.



HOMEOWNERS


Resolution #7: Evaluate your household budget to reflect financial changes.


After this past year, in particular, your financial picture may have changed. Maybe you were furloughed, had your hours reduced, or got a new job further from home. Perhaps you’ve kept the same job, but you’re now working remotely. A work-from-home arrangement could mean less money spent on gas, tolls, a professional wardrobe, and dining out for lunch. 


But this could also mean new (or increased) expenses now that you’re working at home, such as new tech-related purchases, faster Wi-Fi, and higher energy bills. January marks the perfect opportunity to update your income and expenses and review last year’s spending habits, tweaking as needed for 2021.


For more specific ideas, contact us for our free report "20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget."



Resolution #8: Save money now (and earn more later) with a home maintenance plan. 


Having a schedule of regular home maintenance projects to tackle will save you money now and in the long-term. You’ll avoid some surprise “emergency fixes,” and when you’re ready to eventually sell your home, you’ll get higher offers from buyers who aren’t put off by overdue repairs.


Even if nothing necessarily needs fixing right now, you can lower your energy costs by maintaining and upgrading your home. For example, consider upgrading some features to ENERGY STAR high-efficiency products. You could save 10% in energy costs if you switch out your gas broiler, and up to 45% if you change your windows!12,13


For a breakdown of home maintenance projects to tackle throughout the year, contact us for our free report “House Care Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home.”



Resolution #9: Invest in real estate for a better standard of living. 

 

Even if you don’t plan on leaving your current residence, real estate is a great way to improve your quality of life in 2021. 

 

Have cabin fever from the long quarantine? A vacation home in a getaway location you love lets you safely spread your wings. And if you have been looking for a second stream of income, an investment property might be your answer. Just be sure to consult with a real estate professional to get a realistic sense of a property’s true income potential.


Want more information on how a second property fits into your 2021 plans? Request our free report, "Move Up vs Second Home: Which One Is Right For You?"



LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR 2021 GOALS

Without a plan and a support system, 73% of Canadians will break their new year’s resolutions.14 Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay put in your home, it helps to connect with a trusted real estate agent to keep you motivated and on track.


As local market experts, we have the knowledge, experience, and networks to help you achieve your homeownership goals, whatever they may be. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and commit to a happy and prosperous new year.




Sources:

  1. Government of Canada -
    https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/credit-reports-score/order-credit-report.html
  2. Equifax -
    https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/education/credit-score/what-is-a-good-credit-score/ 
  3. Government of Canada -
    https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/credit-reports-score/improve-credit-score.html 
  4. RateShop -
    https://www.rateshop.ca/page-minimum-down-payment-in-canada  
  5. Bank of Montreal -
    https://www.bmo.com/main/personal/mortgages/closing-costs/ 
  6. Canadian Real Estate Association -
    https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/quarterly-forecasts/ 
  7. Canadian Mortgage Trends -
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/12/tight-market-conditions-keep-home-sales-and-prices-at-historical-highs/
  8. National Association of Realtors -
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-remodeling-impact-10-03-2019.pdf 
  9. House Logic -
    https://www.houselogic.com/save-money-add-value/add-value-to-your-home/adding-curb-appeal-value-to-home/ 
  10. Ottawa Citizen -
    https://ottawacitizen.com/life/homes/landscape-tips-to-increase-your-homes-value
  11. HomeLight -
    https://www.homelight.com/blog/top-agent-insights-for-q2-2020/
  12. Government of Canada -
    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/spotlight-energy-efficiency/2020/10/21/23081
     
  13. Government of Canada -
    https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/spotlight-energy-efficiency/2020/11/26/winter-coming-top-tips-heat-your-home-less/23141 
  14. Ipsos -
    https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/three-ten-31-canadians-will-set-new-years-resolution-yet-three-quarters-73-eventually-break-them 
Read

New property listed in Rochdale Park, Regina

We have just listed this great property at 1207 Butterfield CRES N in Regina.
Welcome to 1207 Butterfield Crescent, an excellent 1000 square foot bi-level, located in the heart of family friendly Rochdale Park neighbourhood, and only steps from numerous parks, leisure centre and Public (plainsview), Catholic (St. Nicholas) or french immersion (centennial) schools! The main floor welcomes you in with a bright living room containing hardwood floors, and large picture window with an abundance of natural light. The spacious kitchen provides ample cabinet and counter space for cooking and entertaining, and flows nicely into a large dining area. Down the hall you'll find a four piece bath, and three good sized bedrooms, the master with its own three piece ensuite bath! The basement is fully finished, and boasts a large family room with gas fireplace, another three piece bath, utility/laudry facilities and a fourth bedroom with storage. The yard is landscaped, with a newer fence, two tiered deck, and plenty of space for your growing family! don't miss this great home. Come see it today!
Read

New property listed in Lakeridge RG, Regina

We have just listed this great property at 1444 Benjamin CRES N in Regina.
Check out this Lakeridge family home located steps away from Lakeridge Park North. This two-storey split offers 1635 sq.ft. of living space. On the main floor, there is a welcoming formal living room featuring a vaulted ceiling and a winding staircase to the second level. The kitchen features ample cabinetry and corner pantry. The dining area overlooks the backyard and has dir4ect access to the deck. Down a step is the spacious family room with a gas fireplace. A really special feature is the main floor guest bedroom. Finishing off the main is a 2-pce bath. On the second level, there is a good sized master bedroom with a walk-in closet and 3-pce ensuite. There are two more bedrooms and a 4-pce bath on the second level. The basement layout features a large rec room, office, bedroom, and 3-pce bathroom.
Read

New property listed in Washington Park, Regina

We have just listed this great property at 925 Robinson ST in Regina.
Nice upgrades in this approx 750 square foot home. Very nice kitchen with newer oak cabinets and updated flooring. The main floor features original hardwood flooring and has upgraded light fixtures. There are updated PVC windows on the main level. Bathroom is also been updated in the past few years with tub surround oak cabinet and sink. There are two bedrooms upstairs. The basement has some partial development and appears to be very solid and features a high efficient furnace and upgraded electrical. The back yard is fenced and has a lawn area and an older single detached garage.
Read

New property listed in Regent Park, Regina

We have just listed this great property at 4514 2nd AVE N in Regina.
Welcome to 4514 2nd Ave N! This 1950 built 585 square foot 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home with a finished basement sits on a large 40'x150' lot backing a walking path on a quiet street in the Regent Park subdivision of Regina. You enter the freshly painted main floor of this home into the bright south facing living room. The master bedroom is also on the front of the house. The main floor is completed with a second bedroom, the renovated 4 piece bathroom and the kitchen with included stainless steel appliances and patio doors that lead to the large deck overlooking the massive fenced back yard with a 22'x30' garage pad. The basement is fully finished with a large rec room, another bedroom and the utility/laundry room with included washer and dryer.
Read

New property listed in Harbour Landing, Regina

We have just listed this great property at 103 5301 Universal CRES in Regina.
Welcome to 103-5301 Universal Cres. This excellent condo is in immaculate shape, and features a bright and open floor plan. The open concept floor plan boasts a large living room, eat in kitchen with quartz counters, and stainless steel appliances. The master suite is massive, and features a walk-in closet, and access to the main bathroom. As a bonus you'll find a den (which can be used as a second bedroom) and a convenient laundry/storage room. The condo complex is located only steps from all Harbour Landing amenities, and contains a underground parking garage, car wash stall, gym, and movie theatre. Don't miss this fantastic property!
Read
Categories:   #HomeBuyingTips | #RealEstateAdvice | #RealEstateNegotiation | Affordable Housing | Albert Park, Regina Real Estate | Argyle Park, Regina Real Estate | Arnhem Place, Regina Real Estate | Balanced Market Conditions | Balgonie Real Estate | Benchmark Property Price | Bethune Real Estate | Broders Annex, Regina Real Estate | Buena Vista Real Estate | buy a home | buy investment property | buy regina real estate | buying a home | canada | Cathedral RG, Regina Real Estate | Chamberlain Real Estate | Churchill Downs, Regina Real Estate | Cityview, Regina Real Estate | ClosingTheDeal | Coronation Park, Regina Real Estate | Creekside, Regina Real Estate | Crescents, Regina Real Estate | Development and Expansion | Dieppe Place, Regina Real Estate | Disley Real Estate | Dominion Heights RG, Regina Real Estate | Downtown District, Regina Real Estate | Dufferin Rm No. 190 Real Estate | East Pointe Estates, Regina Real Estate | East YO, Yorkton Real Estate | Eastbrook, Regina Real Estate | Eastview RG, Regina Real Estate | Edenwold Rm No. 158 Real Estate | Emerald Park Real Estate | Engelwood, Regina Real Estate | Fairways West, Regina Real Estate | Findlater Real Estate | First-Time Homebuyers | for sale | Gardiner Heights, Regina Real Estate | Gardiner Park, Regina Real Estate | General Hospital, Regina Real Estate | Glen Elm Park, Regina Real Estate | Glencairn Village, Regina Real Estate | Glencairn, Regina Real Estate | Gray Real Estate | Greens on Gardiner, Regina Real Estate | Harbour Landing, Regina Real Estate | Hawkstone, Regina Real Estate | Highland Park, Regina Real Estate | Hillsdale, Regina Real Estate | HomeBuyers | HomebuyingJourney | house for sale | houses for sale | Housing Market | Housing Market Updates | Interest rates | investing in real estate | investing in regina | investment real estate | June Sales Report | Kendal Real Estate | Kensington Green, Regina Real Estate | Lakeridge Addition, Regina Real Estate | Lakeridge RG, Regina Real Estate | Lakeview RG, Regina Real Estate | Lakewood, Regina Real Estate | Lebret Real Estate | Long-term investing | Longlaketon Rm No. 219 Real Estate | Lumsden Real Estate | Maple Ridge, Regina Real Estate | Market Growth | McCarthy Park, Regina Real Estate | Mission Lake Real Estate | Montmartre Rm No. 126 Real Estate | mortgage | Mount Royal RG, Regina Real Estate | moving to regina | Normanview West, Regina Real Estate | Normanview, Regina Real Estate | Palliser, Moose Jaw Real Estate | Parkridge RG, Regina Real Estate | Parliament Place, Regina Real Estate | Pilot Butte Real Estate | Pioneer Village, Regina Real Estate | Property Inventory | Property Prices | PropertyNegotiation | real estate | Real estate appreciation | Real Estate Forecast | Real estate investment | Real estate market trends | real estate negotiation | Real Estate Prices | Real Estate Trends | realtor | Regent Park, Regina Real Estate | regina | Regina Beach Real Estate | regina experts | regina experts team | Regina Housing Market | Regina Housing Supply | Regina Market Conditions | Regina Property Market | regina real estate | regina realtor | remax | remax realtor | remax regina | Rental properties | Residential Property Market | ResidentialRealEstate] | River Bend, Regina Real Estate | River Heights RG, Regina Real Estate | Rochdale Park, Regina Real Estate | Rosemont, Regina Real Estate | saskatchewan | Saskatchewan Beach Real Estate | sell my home | sell my house | Sherwood Estates, Regina Real Estate | Sherwood Rm No. 159 Real Estate | Southey Real Estate | The Creeks, Regina Real Estate | The Towns, Regina Real Estate | top producer | top realtor | top regina realtor | Transition Area, Regina Real Estate | University Park East, Regina Real Estate | University Park, Regina Real Estate | Uplands, Regina Real Estate | Varsity Park, Regina Real Estate | Vibank Real Estate | VLA/Sunningdale, Moose Jaw Real Estate | Walsh Acres, Regina Real Estate | Warehouse District, Regina Real Estate | Wascana view, regina real estate | Washington Park, Regina Real Estate | Westhill RG, Regina Real Estate | what's my home worth | White City Real Estate | Whitmore Park, Regina Real Estate | Windsor Park Regina Real Estate | Windsor Park, Regina Real Estate | winter | Wood Meadows, Regina Real Estate | Woodland Grove, Regina Real Estate | yqr
Categories
The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.