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Looking to buy but aren’t sure a house matches your lifestyle? Nervous about selling your worn-in condo? Tap into realtor Jill Hann’s wise ways.

click to enlarge CHRISTIN ROPER
  • Christin Roper

I'm not sure if I'm ready to buy just yet, but it's definitely on my radar. At what point should I start searching and chatting with an agent?
I find the sooner that buyers start talking to me about their dreams of home ownership, the more I am able to help them out. Even if they aren't ready to buy right away there are typically some personal questions around the process that I am able to answer for them. I am happy to help my clients with the preliminary steps to buying a home, formulating a plan and taking them one step closer to home. 

This is my first time buying. How do I know what's best suited for me?
I'm finding condos are becoming more and more popular with busy, modern lifestyles. It's about looking at your lifestyle to decide what would be a better fit for you. I typically ask buyers to consider their hobbies, travel schedules and interest in amenities condos often offer like gyms, guest suites, meeting or party rooms, underground parking, security versus the private environment and benefits a house can typically offer like exterior yard space, personal driveway, a front door, et cetera. Location and budget are big factors in this decision as well. What's the best piece of advice you would give to someone who's hunting the market in hopes of buying a condo?

In my experience the happiest condo buyers are those who ask a lot of questions to find out about the culture of a condo corporation they are interested in. It would be a shame to find out after moving in that you aren't allowed to have your own BBQ on your patio if BBQ is a big part of your lifestyle.

I'm looking to sell my condo to upgrade to a bigger space. What can I do to get the best price? Are there really people out there buying condos that aren't brand spankin' new?
I find the sellers that take the steps to prepare for the market very seriously have a more successful selling experience. Location, price and condition are the main factors of value in buyers eyes. Location you cannot change. Pricing the condo for the market conditions will ultimately determine whether the condo sells or not. As for the condition of the home, pull up your sleeves! A fresh coat of neutral-coloured paint goes a long way, removing over-dressed window coverings to let more light into the space, as well as making sure all your lightbulbs are shining bright, are a few basic preparation steps. Think of it like taking someone on a date---are you going to spend more money on a hot date? 

I'm looking to buy an income property, is there a common mistake I should look out for?
The common mistake around purchasing a rental property is whether or not it fits in with your financial planning. Along with seeking advice from your realtor about the process of buying income properties, you should seek advice from your financial planner as well to fully understand your position when buying as well as how selling the property in the future would align with your financial portfolio.


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