How to avoid house hunting with your heart

Valentine’s Day is all about your heart, and while following our heart can be a thoughtful idea for many aspects of life, it is not a helpful notion when it comes to house hunting. Buying a home is a big investment, potentially the biggest investment of your life, so you want to ensure you have a clear head when it comes to making these big decisions.

According to the 2017 Genworth Canada Homeownership Study, 60% of first-time buyers were worried they might miss out on the “perfect” house. That can lead emotional homebuyers to act against their own best interests by, for example, forgoing important conditions, or paying more than they had budgeted. [Genworth Canada]

In order to pull our heart out of the house hunting game, we need to remove emotion from the process completely. Our automatic reaction when walking into a beautiful home may be to imagine our family and furniture there, but this can lead to irrational decision-making. Here are some more tips for avoiding home buying with your heart:

  • Gather a team of professionals to guide you. Before you should ever step foot into a house, you need to determine exactly what mortgage amount you will be approved for so you know what kind of budget you are dealing with. Speaking with professionals like a mortgage broker, financial planner, lawyer, etc. will make the process smoother.
  • Stick to your budget. There is no point in falling in love with a home you can’t afford, so only ask to view homes that are within your price range.
  • Ask a lot of questions! Information will be your best friend when it comes to making an emotion-free house hunting decision. Ask a lot of questions, and consider even taking notes so you ensure you remember.
  • Look for what you can’t see. Place a high priority on finding out about things like electrical systems, roofing, plumbing, etc. While paint, flooring and appliances are all part of the appeal, it’s what you can’t see that can add up in the end. With new homes, ask about warranties and projected maintenance costs.

Do you have other house hunting tips? Share them with us on social media!