Early House Hunting

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my wife and I have been house hunting.  One of my medium term goals is to upgrade our house, and if you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you would have noticed that this is an interesting time in the Canadian real estate market.

Not only is there talk of a real estate bubble bursting, but now the Competition Bureau has successfully challenged the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) practices of forcing consumers to opt for an entire slate of services in order to list their property on the MLS.

This settlement could save consumers thousands of dollars when selling their homes, as a home seller can now pay a nominal fee to have their house listed on the MLS without having to use the full services of their real estate broker.

So with all of this to think about, we’ve already decided on a floor plan for a house that we want to build.  We are currently in the process of aggressively paying down our mortgage, which is prudent in this low interest rate environment.

House Hunting: When to buy?

What we need to decide now is what the best time will be to start building a house and when to put our existing house up for sale.

This particular builder will take between 4-5 months to complete the house.  Given the fact that there are currently 120 houses for sale in the price range of our house, I’m thinking we will have to put our house on the market as soon as we start the building process.

We will also be using our existing home equity as our down payment for the new house, so we will need to figure out how that process works.

The home builder will require deposits at 3 different stages of construction (initial, framing, and completion).  We will be meeting with our mortgage representative soon to determine what our time line will look like to get started.

Related: My Biggest Home Buying Regret

This will be an exciting time for our family, and I plan to keep you posted on the progression of our new housing adventure.

Are any of you actively house hunting right now?

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  1. Ian Brennan on October 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Congratulations on your new home plans. Don’t know if you have built a new house before, but one of my lessons learned is don’t pay building deposits directly to the builder. Pay them into a trust, and find out how much of the deposit is insured. If things don’t work out, the builder doesn’t get to keep all of it. I would suggest consulting your lawyer (I don’t feel comfortable using the builder’s lawyer) for the details.

    • Echo on October 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Ian, thanks for the tip. You say this was a “lesson learned”, did things not work out for you?

      • Ian Brennan on October 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

        I’m happy to say our situation ended well despite the odds definitely not being in our favour! The economy went into recession and we were very afraid the builder might go under. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

  2. nancy (aka moneycoach) on October 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Building your own home! That’s wonderful, and I hope you’ll put photos up as it progresses – sheesh, that could be a blog in and of itself I’m sure. Anyway, congrats. Thanks too for the intel re: Competition Bureau. First I’ve heard of it.

    • Echo on October 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Hi Nancy, yes I hope to keep everyone informed on our progress with the new house. Hopefully this leads to many positive experiences to write about.

      The news from the Competition Bureau could change the real estate landscape as we know it. Giving consumers more choice is always a good thing.

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