Tag Archives: buying a home

Moving Stress, Buying in Canada 2021

As you may or may not know, Canada seems to be in a major housing crisis. There are homes going as much as 50-100k above asking in regular old neighborhoods. Trying to find a place to live has been nothing but stressful. Not to mention there are many folks who are being evicted due to their landlords selling the properties they have been living in. And apartments around the city, specifically Halifax are going anywhere from 1000+ for a one bedroom. So once someone is essentially left homeless or scrambling they now are finding it hard to find an affordable solution. Especially this is difficult if you have animals as well too.

If you are familiar with buying a house, it really was not this hard when we first bought a home about 8 years ago. You would simply find a home that you think you would like, and put an offer in. The sellers would than come back with a counter offer if they were not fond of your offer. And you would go until the home was inspected and everything fine and than you would be done and over with. There was no usual waiting period or holding offers it was pretty straight forward. Sure, if you were not fast enough there is a chance of losing the home to someone who maybe had finances in order quicker or perhaps you would lost it to someone who did put in a better offer but more likely than not you were pretty good on a home once you picked one you would like.

Fast forward to now, things are completely backwards. You no longer have time to wait and put in an offer. A home is listed on say a Thursday, and by Monday you will know if you are an accepted offer. There is a very short window for viewings and then they typically say close at a specific time and hold offers until 3-8 hours later. After that you will find out if you have won essentially. What you may or may not know is that there could be anywhere from 5-15+ people who are also putting an offer on the same home. Therefore you can no longer ask a few thousands above asking, You need to literally put your highest mac on the table and hope it is the best. You also have no idea what others put on their offers so essentially you are almost for sure going to be over paying for a home. It is a flex on who has the deepest pockets. In Nova Scotia more specifically there has been a lot of out of province buyers from Ontario and Quebec who are purchasing homes leaving Nova Scotians stranded with no where to live.

Essentially the new way of buying a home is in my opinion barbaric. Until the province or bank or whoever steps in to make it “fair” for everyone I don’t think it will let up anytime soon. You have to ask yourself what you are willing to pay for a home. Mortgage rates are so low due to this boom in housing for sale that they even do a stress test where they jump the rates up to 6% in order to see if you can survive the increase of you will end up having to sell again before the bank takes your home. Even homes that are outside of the city of Halifax that are normally going for asking are going anywhere from 60-110k over. What is weird is that there is no rhyme or reason as to what homes will go above asking or what will go slightly above asking. There is specific areas that are more expensive to buy in, ie: Directly downtown or close, Dartmouth or even Sackville which is super weird and never seen before. If the home is renovated you can nearly guarantee that they will be going at least 75k above the asking price. Some homes that we thought would go way above asking didn’t, others that we thought would go a bit above asking flew up to 100k+.

Another tactic that you hopefully know and do not fall for is that there are homes listed far under asking price. This is because they want to see more offers and where people are normally familiar with the market they are likely to be putting more into their offers. The best advice you can do is not to go over your max. Regardless of if the house is worth it or not. Do not go over the max you can do or you risk losing financing because the house is not worth what you paid. Another bit of advice would also be to make sure you have a proper down payment when it comes to buying a home. If not you risk losing financing as well based on the debt ratio that you will have when paying for mortgage payments etc.

And a final piece of advice, If you are able to on whatever website you use to look at homes, favorite ones you like and watch prices. There have been times that I see homes go from sale, to pending, back to sale and they have an increased price. Which suggests that the offers that the seller initially had gotten were too low and instead of putting the house for sale at the price they wanted to they did this in hopes to get more bites which didn’t work.

So where does that leave us? Well, I will be going more in depth about the journey that we took when it came to buying a house. As of the time of writing this we have had an accepted offer, and against all odds it was below asking price. There is a lot of work that will need to be done however we have to quarantine for 2 weeks upon arriving and we will hopefully get the painting done a lot before. I can tell you it is extremely disheartening and stressful to be putting offers on homes (That to be frank, are just not worth that much to begin with) And have them be 30-60k over asking and be denied.

Regardless we have out inspection tomorrow, I will hopefully have an update in the near future once the sale of this home is finalized and I will write up the amount of homes that we put offers on, the prices, and the bids to give you a better idea how crazy the market is. More of the math side of things. And hopefully I can share that the sale of the house is for sure!

Have you sold a home in Canada in this crazy market?
Are you looking to buy a home in Canada?


Let me know in the comments below and hopefully this can help you in your house hunting journey too!

– Stacey

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3 Private Home Buying Tips + The downside of private home sales

If you are unfamiliar with the stream, you will have noticed that Wednesday last week I was given the new that our dream was dashed.

My boyfriend and I are moving back home to Nova Scotia in the coming months and to say we are stressed about a house to buy is an understatement. The reasoning for this is because there has been a minor boom happening there. This is where people from Ontario are buying all the homes as soon as they come up however they are putting it sometimes 20k – 100k above asking price. I think we are prematurely becoming stressed since we wont get our official message of moving til mid April, with hopefully moving in July.

Here is where the story begins. My best friend since grade 6, her parents were selling their house. Well, thinking about it anyways. We had discussed a price. And agreed. For a while they were worried about my boyfriend and I backing out of the deal and leaving them with things. We hyped it up, there was multiple confirmations about this. There were many things happening and nearing the point where we would have an actual agreement written up so that they could sign and it would be a done deal (Obviously confirming we get out message to move as well as an inspection doesn’t have something crazy with it either!). They didn’t want to go public as they were not comfortable with having so many people through their home, they wanted to save money on agent fees since they are also expensive and take a HUGE chunk of the profits too.

Then, their son told them if they were to go public with this sale. He said they could get more money if they went public and welp, long story short. They did. They informed us on Wednesday evening AFTER we had confirmed again that same day. To the point that if my boyfriend had of gotten his lawyer to write up this agreement then he would have been out of money.

Doing a private sale was never something we wanted to do. We did this as a favor for them. However we were screwed. Before people start coming at this, “But of course if they could make more money blah blah blah”. We never denied that they could probably make more money if they were to go public with the sale. We told them that if they wanted to go that route they could. However the multiple confirmations and moments they could have told us they were having different thoughts was far too many to count. We aren’t upset at the fact that they told us they wanted to go with an agent. We are upset at the fact that we were strung along for 3 weeks this promise of a house which never was going to happen. To say we are devastated is an understatement.

That being said. Here is my tips for you if you are considering having a private sale or buying of a home.

1) Get it in WRITING! – One thing we didn’t do quick enough was get everything in writing. The day they called to back out of the verbal agreement was the day we were talking with lawyers to draw up a purchase agreement. Had we have had something in writing then maybe they would have been stuck in what they agreed to however that was our mistake for trusting someone I had known for over 18 years through my friend.

2) Have a back out clause. If you are going the private route make sure that you have a back out clause. Had they have come back to use and wanted to re-negotiate a deal with us. Which they had not done first (Mind you we could have also offered them a bit more then what they wanted to if they had even asked us..But they choose not to.) we would have for sure put something in the new contract in regards to them that if they were to back out they would have owed us something of financial security for wasting our time with them.

3) And I know.. This may come as a wasted point. But DO NOT GET EXCITED UNTIL EVERYTHING IS FINALIZED! My boyfriend and I continuously reminded one another not to get excited, this isn’t for sure, don’t get your hopes up and all that stuff. However as time passed we got more and more excited because there was the confirmations along the way. No more of that for us. It is a very difficult lesson to learn and we are still feeling the loss of this house. Sure nothing was set in stone but that didn’t make anything less real. We got our hopes up in a world that could use a little bit more. And we are the ones who are feeling this loss.

If anything, I hope by reading this you learn from our mistakes. Now we are on the hunt and keeping our eyes peeled on the house of our dreams. We may be looking far too early for when we are able to move. However you really have to keep your eyes on what houses are selling, what prices they are going for, and when are they going up for sale. We have all the criteria we would like to have it’s just catching one that we can put an offer in at the right time without having it go up tens of thousands of dollars and it quickly becomes out of our price range too.

And a friendly reminder, You really don’t know someone for any amount of years. Money changes people. Even ones you thought that you knew. And before letting your heart get broken and back to square one again, remember that you have to look out for number one. YOU.

Do you have any moving horror stories?
Anything you wish you could have done differently when buying a home whether publicly or privately?
Let me know in the comments below!


– Stacey

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