Finding the Right Home in a Seller’s Market

A Seller’s market can be tough for those looking to purchase a home. With a very limited supply of homes to choose from and high competition for what is available, many buyers are faced with difficulty in getting any property – let alone the right property – for their needs. While the Ottawa real estate market is currently low on options and high on competition, that doesn’t mean that those looking to buy a home need to make massive compromises in what they want. In this article, I’ll guide you through current buying conditions, and explain what you can do to improve your chances of finding the right property for your needs.

Choose Your Neighbourhood

First thing’s first – in order to find a home that will deliver you value over the long term, you need to have an idea of what neighbourhood you want to live in. This is important, because regardless of whether you find the perfect house or not, it will mean nothing if it’s in a neighbourhood that makes your life more difficult to manage. Afterall – Location, Location, Location – right?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you need to be close to any specific locations, public transit stops, or schools?
  • If so, how close? Do you need to be within walking distance or are you comfortable with driving?

The answers to these will help you in identifying what your circumstantial needs are and what neighbourhoods or regions work best for you.

If you want to narrow your options down further, try factoring in things like:

  • Walkability
  • Proximity to hospitals
  • Crime rate
  • Nearby stores
  • Parks

Your list may look different depending on your situation. In addition to this, your agent should be able to fill you in on property values and trends in these areas to provide you an even better idea of which locations make the most sense for you.

Identify Your Preferences

Once you’re clear on where you want to buy, it’s now time to list your preferences. Consider what matters most to you in a home – from square footage and layout to design and features. Get an idea of what out of this list is the most important to you, and organize them in order of importance. This will assist you in getting a firm, quantifiable idea of what you’re looking for, as well as give you an excellent reference to use when browsing what’s out there.

House Hunting And Viewing

Now that you know what type of home you want and where, it’s time to scope out your options. House hunting and viewing can be a lot of work, especially considering how many places there are to go to and properties to see. It can also be fun however, and is an invaluable opportunity to get the best insight possible into the options you’re considering. A helpful strategy to use during this step of the process is to have a friend or family member accompany you on your tours. After all, two sets of eyes are better than one.

Also be sure to take advantage of your viewings as a chance to ask as many questions as possible. Get all the answers you need to know in regards to things like its time on the market, age of the home, and recent repairs.

Take some photos and videos on your smartphone too if you can – they will be extremely helpful references later on when you’re reviewing everything you’ve toured.

Finding the right home for your needs in a sellers’ market can be difficult, but is absolutely conquerable with the right strategy. By being diligent and taking the initiative to define what you want, you’ll be able to better target your search and ultimately end up with a house that you’re more than happy with.

If you’re thinking of buying a home this spring or summer, send me a message and let’s chat about finding the right home for you.