Should You Try to Time the Market When Buying a Home?

August 23rd, 2023 / Buying

If you’re beginning your home-buying journey in the GTA, you may be full of excitement and anticipation. This is a big step, and is often associated with a flurry of thoughts and emotions. In this current market, buying can also be challenging as you navigate the reality of fluctuating prices, changing interest rates, and other economic factors. Many people are wondering if the time is right to buy at all, if they should wait a little longer to see what happens, or lamenting that they didn’t buy a decade ago.

Considering how fast conditions can flip, predicting the market can feel like gazing into a crystal ball. The future is murky, your outlook is uncertain, and everything can change on a dime. But there is a better way! Instead of relying on luck to try to predict what will happen next, you can gather accurate data and tune into the market while giving yourself the best chance of securing that perfect new home. 

Timing the Market vs. Time in The Market: Start Building Equity Sooner

The current real estate market may seem hectic, but fluctuating prices and uncertainty are as old as time itself. When trying to time the market, the goal is to buy when housing values reach their lowest point before prices begin to climb again. While you want the best terms, getting it perfect may be an impossible feat that will keep you on the sidelines permanently. 

Instead, consider arming yourself with as much information as possible, then make your decision based on your own resources and what is right for you. You may not necessarily buy at the bottom of the market. However, prices alone do not tell the whole story. You also have to factor in interest rates. When prices are down, interest rates are typically higher, and vice versa.

It’s important to remember that you can refinance later. For example: Imagine buying a house for $500,000 at a rate of 7%. If the rates later fall to 5%, you can refinance and reduce your mortgage payment, at least on paper. In the real world, it isn’t always so simple. You must ensure the math works out in your favour. 

Financing can be complex, but a local real estate expert will be happy to help you understand your options in the current market. 

Overall, buying a house as soon as it’s financially feasible can be one of the best investments for your future as real estate values always tend to rise over the long term. Your equity will grow as time goes on, and you can get out of the rental market and into a house you love.

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Why Knowledge Beats Timing in Real Estate

Buying low and selling high may be the ultimate ideal. No one complains when it happens, but savvy real estate professionals like to take a more consistent approach rather than relying on good timing. It turns out that there are always advantages and disadvantages in every situation. Let’s take a look at what types of conditions you may encounter when you begin house hunting.

  • A balanced market: When the number of buyers and sellers is equal, both have some degree of negotiating power. Both parties may also have to make some concessions before finalizing the transaction.
  • A seller’s market: This happens when housing is in great demand but supply is low. At first glance, it can be very challenging for a buyer, but a local real estate agent can watch the market like a hawk to help uncover a listing that’s just right for you.
  • A buyer’s market: In this case, there are plenty of listings available and not enough buyers. You’ll have little to no competition to contend with and many options to choose from. Plus, a little negotiation expertise can help you enjoy a transaction that’s even more in your favour. 

Success Begins With a Plan

Another significant difference between relying on luck and tuning into the market is the level of planning involved. A successful purchase starts with a vision backed by real-world data. For example:

  • What is your budget range? You want to determine a ceiling on how much you’re willing to spend. This will prevent you from overpaying and getting caught up in expensive bidding wars.
  • Are you looking for a home that is move-in ready, or do you prefer one with “good bones” that you can mould into your dreams?
  • Remember that while almost everything can be changed over time, some aspects about your new home are written in stone, like the location and lot size. 

As you begin searching for your new home, you’ll realize that some of your desired features are non-negotiable while you can be flexible on other aspects. Your vision will become clearer and more focused as you explore your options.

Thinking of getting into the condo market? The resources below will help:

Take Stock of Your Resources

High prices and a fast-moving market may make the process of buying a house feel overwhelming. However, you may have access to resources that you weren’t even aware of. If you’re an existing homeowner, the equity you have built over the years will give you significant purchasing power to secure your new dream house. 

What if you’re a first-time buyer looking to break into the market without the advantage of equity? You may be surprised to know that both the provincial and federal governments have several plans in place to help you afford your first home, including:

  • The First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive
  • Home Buyers Plan
  • Land Transfer Tax Rebates
  • First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Do you want even more practical tips for first-time buyers? Check out our Guide to Buying Your First Home.

A Local Expert Can Light the Way

Working with a local real estate agent provides the best opportunity to find a home that’s right for you. Your agent has a fiduciary duty to represent your best interests at all times. Having a trained professional on your side can also provide premium access to private or hard-to-find listings while negotiating the best price and terms. When searching for your next home in a competitive market, this local expertise is one luxury you won’t want to be without.

Are you ready to explore your options for buying or selling in the GTA? I’m standing by to help with anything you need.

Call or text today at 289-536-4143 or email to begin a conversation.

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