You run the numbers, spend nights scrolling through listings and start to imagine your new life in your dream home. Sound familiar?

When you see all those “FOR SALE” signs pop up in Guelph neighbourhoods — and then see them change to “SOLD” shortly afterward — it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out if you’re not buying a home this year.

There’s just one thing: you may not be ready to buy a home right now. While most real estate agents point to a hot market (and still low-interest rates) as a good reason to start making offers, there are more factors.

The real estate agents that automatically tell you that NOW is the right time to buy a home can’t know that without knowing the specifics of your situation.

Before going down a long and stressful journey, let’s go through some scenarios that might help you decide if it’s the right or the wrong time.

You have to get very creative to afford a down payment

Let’s face it: Saving enough for a 20% down payment on a home can be a daunting challenge. The good news is that you don’t have to put 20% down to buy a house.

While many loans allow for lower down payments, these also often come with “hidden expenses” that add to your monthly mortgage costs such as private mortgage insurance (PMI) or higher interest rates.

While every homeowner-to-be anticipates making sacrifices to afford their home, you don’t want to be in a position where affording your monthly mortgage payment requires serious hardship.

Beth and Ryan published an article that talks about the expenses and closing costs that first time buyers can expect. Read it here.

In addition, your monthly mortgage payment isn’t the only expensive line item in your budget: you’ll need to be able to afford maintenance, furniture, and emergency repairs big and small. 

Your friends are all buying homes and you feel left out.

This is a big one. When everyone else is buying new places, it’s easy to fall down the spiral of judging yourself. However, the grass may seem greener on the other side of that “sold” sign.

Your friends may be showing off their new digs, but they’ve had to put off going on vacation. Or, they may be able to afford it, but they’re not the ones who will be paying your mortgage. Don’t fall for peer pressure if your current place fits your needs right now. With almost every house holding offers these days, it’s easy to get caught up and spend more than you really thought you would.

Everyone keeps telling you you’re “throwing money away” on rent.

It’s true: you do build equity after you buy a home, but it can take years. If you need to move before you have positive equity in your home, then you could actually be in the negative.

If you value flexibility more at this stage in your life, then renting makes more sense. You can build your net worth in other ways too, like contributing to a savings account, RRSP, or other investments.

You have no idea what your current home is worth based on listings

Sometimes the market is just not in your favour right now. And there might be little changes you can make that can increase the value of the home you’re currently in.

The other things you need to consider is: what are your goals in the next 5 or 10 years? As an example, if you’re trying to downsize to lesser house in order to travel, maybe a condo is better for you. If you just need more space, maybe a renovation is the better and cheaper option.

If you’re interested in a home valuation, just get in touch with Beth and Ryan. they’d be happy to provide a no obligation estimate of your current home.

You’re focused on the style of the home rather than the lifestyle of homeownership.

You’ve passed by a certain home dozens of times. You’ve studied the Guelph photos VERY CLOSELY. You’ve mentally re-decorated and decided exactly where you’ll put your sofa.

Fun, right? Imagine waking up at 7 AM on a Saturday to mow the lawn, fix the toilet in the master bathroom. Or trying to find out what’s making that creaking noise in the attic. Or, having to cancel your weekend get-together with friends because your water heater decided to stop working. Not as fun.

Home maintenance is an ongoing project filled with unglamorous tasks that you may not be ready for just yet.

Your dream home will significantly add to your commute.

Driving from Guelph to the GTA on a daily basis? It may seem manageable at first, it’s likely you’ll feel differently after the novelty of the new home wears off. Commutability is one of the main factors that has contributed to areas like Grange Rd and Pineridge growth in 2021.

Though there are always trade-offs with homeownership, one involving location requires a huge life change. So, it isn’t one to take lightly or rush into. This is also true when it comes to moving to a drastically different kind of area. Or, any time you have to also consider a change of school systems.

Scouring is one thing; the very idea of moving makes you panic.

Even if you can afford the down payment, have leftover money for emergencies, are okay with the lifestyle change of homeownership?

And have found a new home that offers way more than your current place, you still may not be emotionally ready to buy a home.

Something to consider: if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed about the idea, a timeout may be needed. Pick a date in the future to revisit the idea of buying a home, then see how you feel.

If your gut says you’re ready, get in touch with a real estate agent who will get the process started. Your situation may not have been mentioned. We know everyone has different concerns and personal circumstances.

If you’re still unsure if you’re ready to buy or just have questions call Beth and Ryan. We’re ready to walk you through every step of the home buying process whenever the time is right for you!