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2022 has been a year of change in Ottawa’s real estate market. One of the most noteworthy of these changes is cost. Back in January, most home buyers were facing noticeably higher home prices (and significantly lower interest rates) compared to those buying in the summer and fall.

This change has inspired plenty of headlines in the news, and led some buyers to ask “can I avoid overpaying for a home?” 

The short answer is yes. But it’s not always as black and white as sticking to your budget and avoiding obvious markups. In fact, there are plenty of variables that can directly or indirectly impact the final cost of a home. 

Before you begin looking for a home, it’s important to understand what you will be spending before, during, and after you make your purchase. If you’re buying a home in the near future and are concerned about paying over market value, exceeding your budget, or running into hidden costs – these tips are for you!

Buying a home in 2022 means navigating new market conditions. Check out our blog post on some of the recent shifts in Ottawa real estate here

Work With An Experienced Local Real Estate Agent 

If you want to find your dream home and also pay the right price for it, you’ll need the support of a knowledgeable local real estate agent. Once you find a home you like, your agent can help you determine if the property is best suited to you and what a fair offer for the home would be. They can also perform a community market analysis to compare the home to similar recently sold properties in the area to ensure the asking price aligns with local trends. 

In addition to helping you steer clear of properties listed beyond their market value, they can also provide unique localized knowledge that may impact the long-term value of a home. Maybe future developments nearby are set to boost property values in the neighbourhoods. Or maybe that same development could hinder the home’s resale value long-term. In a nutshell, the easiest way to avoid overpaying for a home is by staying informed. Having a trusted real estate agent by your side is a great way to do just that. 

There’s No Extra Cost

The best part? Working with an expert professional during your home purchase doesn’t cost anything! In Ottawa, the commissions for both real estate agents involved in a home sale are paid out by the seller. If you have concerns about costs, you can rest assured that working with an agent won’t take away from your budget. 

Full of life, culture and incredible scenery, Ottawa and its surrounding communities are a great place to buy your next home. Check out these resources from our blog to discover how you can find success in the Capital’s housing market. 

Choose The Right Mortgage

The total cost of your home isn’t just about the number on the for sale sign. One of the largest expenses involved in your home purchase will also be your mortgage. 

In today’s market, buyers have a lot of options for getting a mortgage, however, these options can vary significantly in cost. Choosing the best mortgage requires having a close look at your personal finances and doing some shopping around. Simply opting for the first mortgage you see could have you paying more interest than you need to. 

If you don’t know where to begin, your real estate agent can recommend a mortgage broker or bank who can help you crunch the numbers. 

About to begin your house hunting journey? Visit these neighbourhood-focused blog posts to discover your next dream community. 

Don’t Skip The Home Inspection

Lastly, if you really want to avoid running into hidden costs, always ask for a professional home inspection before finalizing your purchase. A comprehensive home inspection can identify any elements of the property that need to be fixed or upgraded. Should they find any issues that will require expensive repairs, you can factor these costs into your negotiations. 

Home inspectors analyze homes from top to bottom to ensure it’s up to par. They look at the home’s exterior conditions, foundation and structural integrity, HVAC systems, electrical systems, technical appliances, floors, windows, walls, and other important areas including the ceiling, crawl spaces, and pipes. 

Inspections have long been a critical step in the home buying process. However, when real estate in Ottawa becomes a little more fast-paced, some buyers may submit unconditional offers in an effort to be more competitive. This can introduce new risks for buyers as an uninspected home may be hiding structural damage or other flaws that are costly to repair. 

Once again, if you don’t know where to start when finding a home inspector, ask your agent. They work with local inspectors on a daily basis and can put you in touch with a professional they personally use and rely on.

Ready to buy your dream home in the Ottawa area? As long-serving local agents, we can help. Email us.