Tag Archives: Homebuyer

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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Things We Want For Our New House!

It comes as no surprise if you are a regular reader of the blog that I am more than excited to move back home to Nova Scotia. Mostly because we rent right now and cannot wait til we buy and have our own property again. There isn’t a whole lot on our list of demands when searching for a house but there is a few non-negotiable here. Especially where this will be our hopefully forever home and we won’t be moving again after this.

My boyfriend has one major request. That would be he either wants a garage or he wants a place to build a garage. All we had before was 2 sheds and now in our currently rental we have nothing. He wants a place he can tinker around or store his bike if he wants too. A place to put all his tools and what not too. For me it really doesn’t effect me about a garage or not but for him it is for sure a major deal breaker. If a property does not have a garage either, that will hopefully be reflected in the price. That way in the future he would be able to build one too.

For me, I am way more picky. I would like the house to have at least 1.5 bathrooms. In our old house we had a master bathroom and a half bathroom upstairs. No second shower or anything but there was a second toilet and sink which was great. If my boyfriend was getting ready for work he would be able to shave or wash his face instead of taking up the bathroom. Also if you needed to use the bathroom and someone was in the shower you would be able to do that without intruding on the person washing up. This was huge and we never really noticed the difference til we move to this rental where the bathroom is so small you can barely even move around. If you are sitting on the toilet you are only able to open the door a crack unless you turn around because there is so little space. I wouldn’t mind if we had just one shower and bath but I know for sure there best be two toilets in the new home! Along the lines I would like to also have a deep bathtub. Ultimately I would like to have a bathtub that I can lay down in and have my knees be under the water. I am not super tall so this might not be a hard task however the bathtub that we have no it gets the job done, don’t get me wrong, but I would like something that is a bit deeper. As far as jets or anything I really could care less since apparently they are a lot more pain in the butt than they are worth.

The backyard is something we are slightly both picky about. If the backyard has a fence that would be huge bonus points. We had a fenced in yard when we owned a house before and going to a house where you cannot have a fence and if you do it is a pain in the butt since you cannot take it with you when you move and you have to sell it. I would like a fenced in yard so that Sheldon can run around and enjoy the freedom. He cannot be let off a lease or he would run and run and run. So a fenced in backyard is for sure a bonus, if the yard doesn’t have one though we will just put one in so that really isnt a deal breaker.

Privacy is huge for us. our last home we lived somewhere that everyone could see in your backyard. There was no privacy what so ever and our rental home here is no different. When you stand on your back deck you can see at least 8 other homes. We do not want this. Ideally, we would like to have a house where we don’t see anyone. Total privacy but not in the sense that you have to drive to a neighbor, but just so that you don’t see them. They are close enough that if something happened you can go there but far enough that you don’t have to see them when they do things. We want it to also be a big back yard as we would like to put in a pool eventually, my spouse would love a hot tub but for me I could care less. We also want to build a nice fire pit for some entertaining hopefully when covid is over with. We want our back yard to be like a hidden oasis. I know it sounds nutty. We do not want to be house poor and forced to live just at our house but we want a space that is so nice we wont want to go anywhere else.

As far as inside goes, I would like a big kitchen. And big to us is really not what you may think. Our kitchen now in our rental is so small you can’t even stand together cooking. We want something where you can have a few people around and much more counter space as well. We went from a big open concept kitchen to this super small one and we both do not like it. So something open or even just a bigger space would be great. if it has a dining room area that would be a bonus for us but by no means a deal breaker though. And as far as bedroom I would love it to have 4+ since we would like to have 3 kids. Master bedroom would be ours and each child would have their own. However if there was a den that could be turned into a bedroom eventually that would also work out great as well too. Though I have no idea where we would be putting out computers and things though, that is all up in the air! Paint colors or flooring is not really a deal breaker either as we will be changing it if we do not like them.

Overall I feel like we are a bit more picky this time around instead of when we first bought a house. Mostly because of the fact that this will be our forever house. I will not want to move anywhere after this. I want to be here for the rest of my life tweeking and working on it so that we have a home anyone would love to be in.

What are somethings you want in your dream house?
What are your deal breakers?

Let me know in the comments below! Maybe I can add to my list too!

-StaySeeJ08