7 Tips for Millennials Buying Their First Home

If you were born somewhere between 1980 and 1998, you are a part of the Millennial generation.  Since you were born with the Internet practically at your fingertips, it only makes sense to say you live in a research-driven world.

Today, Millennials make up the largest group of home buyers and are powering the modern housing market.  If homeownership is a part of your Canadian dream, here are seven tips to help you have a better idea of what it takes to buy your first home.

Educate yourself.

When you're ready to make the plunge into buying your first home, I can walk with you through the home-buying process.  We will research available financial programs for first-time home buyers, discuss the mortgage application and approval processes, talk about what happens after you have a contract in place, learn about closing costs…the list goes on and on.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Before you start your home search, you need to know your budget. The pre-approval process will help you do this.  While the pre-approval process gives you an idea of how much home you can afford, it is not the same as loan approval. It’s a quick review of your income and expenses and an estimate of what the lender would be willing to loan you. Loan approval requires documentation (paycheck stubs, tax returns, bank statements, home appraisals), and that all happens once you have a contract in place, so get your documents together.

Decide where you want to live.

Do you want a condo or single-family home? We can talk about different neighborhoods and decide which one fits best with your lifestyle.

Don’t expect to get everything you want.

Studies show that most people stay in a home between six and nine years.  It stands to reason you may buy several homes in your lifetime. Buy what you can afford and what works for you now (and possibly for the next few years to come).

Don’t overspend.

Lenders are in the business of lending money. You may technically be able to afford a more expensive home, but that might mean you never go on vacation (or even out to dinner).

Be realistic.

If you’re handy, buy something that needs work. If not, forego the fixer-upper. It’s not as easy as it looks on TV unless you have a big budget for contractors.

Get a home inspection.

An inspection should uncover foundation problems, water damage, and big-ticket electrical or plumbing issues that you just won’t find on a walk through.

Contact me when you're ready to start the search for your first home.


The 2023 Victoria real estate market year in review

January 2, 2024  A total of 329 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 2.8 per cent more than the 320 properties sold in December 2022 and a 16.5 per cent decrease from November 2023. Sales of condominiums were up 14.9 per cent from December 2022 with 108 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 1.3 per cent from December 2022 with 158 sold.

A grand total of 6,207 properties sold over the course of 2023, 8.77 per cent fewer than the 6,804 sold in 2022.

"I've spoken a lot this year about our market's return to traditional seasonal patterns," said 2023 Victoria Real Estate Board Chair Graden Sol. "And at the conclusion of 2023 we can see that this trend continues. This is a welcome relief for sellers and buyers after an extraordinary five years of real estate market disruption. Everyone benefits from a more predictable real estate market, so it is encouraging to see the rhythm of seasonal trends reestablished. If this continues into 2024, we should see more inventory added in January and February and an increase in sales as consumers prepare for the spring market. True to seasonal form, December met expectations and was a slow month, both for sales and for new listings."

There were 2,132 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2023, a decrease of 19.4 per cent compared to the previous month of November but a 26.3 per cent increase from the 1,688 active listings for sale at the end of December 2022.

"The single biggest impact on the housing market this year was interest rates," adds Chair Sol. "The increased cost of borrowing money meant that consumers had less purchasing power, which resulted in a drop in transactions. There is however still huge demand for housing in our market and as we move forward into 2024 and beyond, we need to continue to put focus on the creation of new supply so that as market activity increases prices don't increase as quickly. The only way to moderate housing prices is to bring supply closer to meeting demand. As always, our market is subject to many influences and the purchase and sale process is complex. If you are contemplating buying or selling in 2024, call your favourite local Realtor who can create the best strategy for you and for your property."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2022 was $1,236,500. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2023 increased by 2.5 per cent to $1,268,000, down from November's value of $1,286,400. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2022 was $565,800 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2023 decreased by 0.7 per cent to $562,000, down from the November value of $577,400.


Choosing the Ideal Paint Colour when Preparing your Home for Sale

Painting your home, especially the main floor, is the most affordable way to make your listing look great to buyers. But what paint colours should you choose?

Here are a few tips.

 When it comes to selecting a palette, neutrality reigns supreme. Bright, eccentric colours may reflect your personality, but remember, you're trying to appeal to a wide array of potential buyers. Neutral colours like whites, greys, and beiges are not only safe but also allow buyers to envision their own furniture and decor in the space.

 However, don't think of neutral as boring. Many subtle shades can add depth and character to a room. For example, a soft grey with a hint of blue can make a space feel serene and relaxing, and is ideal for bathrooms or bedrooms.

 The living room and kitchen are often social hubs of a home, and warmer neutrals can make these spaces feel welcoming. Shades like taupe or a creamy off-white can make these areas inviting yet versatile.

 Lastly, remember to take lighting into account. The way a colour appears can dramatically change under different lighting conditions. Always test paint samples under various light conditions before committing.

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.