I’m not going to go into the home buying process here in Canada – that’s Richard’s area of expertise – and he’d be more than happy to share his knowledge with you.
The purpose of today’s blog is to get you thinking about a few practical things when the time comes to buying your first home in Nova Scotia.
I’m going to start with the size of the house 🙂
It’s true….you can get a LOT of house for your money here.
Where we live in Fall River, most of the houses are detached and on large plots of land. That’s wonderful, I hear you say. And I have to agree, but remember, when you buy a bigger or more expensive home, almost everything costs more.
For example, more space generally means more square footage to heat and cool — in other words, higher utility bills. And nicer, more expensive properties almost always mean higher property taxes and pricier home insurance premiums.
But that’s not all.
A bigger house means everything is bigger and more expensive to repair. A bigger roof will cost more than a small one, and the more windows you have, the more expensive it will be to upgrade or replace them. A bigger yard means more landscaping and a longer driveway means more expense getting it paved (not to mention the pain of snow clearing in the winter). The list goes on, and all of those additional costs can quickly add up.
The reason I mention this is, when you first arrive in Nova Scotia with a lot of Canadian dollars in your pocket, it’s very tempting to get caught up in the emotion of buying your first home. After all, look at what you can get for your money!
But don’t fall into the trap of buying what you can afford.
Decide on a price range you can comfortably live with before you go house shopping and when you are looking at homes, look within your price range. Richard is excellent at keeping people on track and often won’t show a house if it’s out of his client’s agreed price range.
For us, personally, we ended up buying the smallest property out of all the homes we viewed. Although we could have afforded more, it was more about setting a price range less than we could easily afford so that we could could enjoy the kind of lifestyle we wanted to live.
Unlike many other housing markets, Nova Scotia’s is slow and steady with no real booms and busts. The old adage of “the more you buy, the more appreciation you will see over time,” doesn’t apply so much here.
If you plan on living in your home forever, you may not care how much your new house will be worth. But what if you ever need to move?
It’s just something to think about….
As always, feel free to get in contact with us anytime.
Enjoy your week.