Have you thought about buying a home in the last few years? In this current real estate market, house hunting can feel like something out of an adventure epic, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. 

On the one hand, it’s full of excitement as you dream of a happy ending where you move into a house that is everything you ever wanted and imagined. On the other, the journey there can be filled with landmines and pitfalls that can quickly squash your enthusiasm for the idea of homeownership.

The road is filled with high interest rates, a lack of inventory, and a long list of sellers who think their homes are worth far more than they are. To top it all off, houses keep getting more expensive, but the old saying “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always hold true. A property that was $500,000 five years ago might now cost $1 million or more. How can you navigate this changing landscape and obtain great value when searching for your next home? Keep reading, and we’ll show you some little-known insights that just might be the competitive edge you need to make your search a success.

A Fixer-Upper or Money Pit: What’s the Difference?

Did the previous owner slather fluorescent green paint all over the house? Is the silicone around the bathtub blackened and oozing with what appears to be slime, while the windows are so grimy they might as well be non-existent?

Ugly features, dirt, and grime may be unappealing to most buyers. But to those with a selective eye (or expert guidance), they can be the key to purchasing a property at a lower-than-market cost. Imagine saving tens of thousands of dollars for a home that simply needs a few quick fixes and a good scrubbing! If this happens, you have just found yourself the perfect fixer-upper and an outstanding investment.

However, if a house you’re considering has a crumbling foundation or bad smells permeating throughout each room, you might want to rethink your decision. These can indicate massive problems that are nothing but headaches and a non-stop parade of expensive repairs.

It pays to know what to look for and what to avoid at all costs. That may be a tall order when you’re not buying a home every day. However, a local real estate agent can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget without unwelcome surprises.


Searching for more guidance when buying a home in today’s market? The posts below are a great place to start:


What Are You Willing to Do?

One buyer’s cosmetically imperfect is another’s money pit. It all depends on what you’re willing to invest in and what you are able to repair. A house that needs a lot of upgrades may save you money upfront, but you will have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. 

If the scope of the repairs is beyond what you can or want to do yourself, you will have to hire contractors to do the work for you. This may mean living in a construction zone while the cost of labour and materials piles up. In addition, you may have to wait before the home is ready to live in, which means adding temporary residence to your growing list of expenses.

Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Charge

“Listen to your heart” may be sage advice in love songs and friendship, but not when buying a house. Then, it’s time to put your emotions aside, listen to your head, and pay attention to the numbers.

However, since buying a house is an emotional experience by nature, this advice is easier said than done. Understanding the home-buying process and laying down the rules ahead of time will help. For example, know that many homeowners will deck the house out in splendour to make you fall in love at first sight and increase your desire to buy. It’s their job to try to get you to pay more!

Your job is to analyze carefully and determine the actual fair market value. Depending on how much competition there is, you can order a home inspection. Once again, having a real estate agent who will run the numbers and negotiate on your behalf can ensure you get the best possible value. 

Above all, make sure to put a ceiling on your budget and commit to it. Knowing your limit prevents you from being tempted into a bidding war that causes you to spend more than you ever intended.


Understanding the market can give you a solid advantage when buying a house, whether it’s your first or your tenth purchase. The posts below will help bring you up to speed:


Expert Help Is Essential

Unless you’re a seasoned buyer, it’s hard to keep up with a market that constantly changes. And in a low-inventory market, being “picky” can mean not finding a house at all, never mind the house of your dreams. Working with a local Realtor® will help keep you grounded in reality, all while negotiating for the best value, spotting hidden problems, and uncovering listings that you may not find on your own.

Best of all, since the seller pays the commissions, this non-stop support and expertise is usually free to you as the buyer. In any market, having a trusted professional by your side can turn what could be a gruelling experience into the adventure of a lifetime! 

Are you ready to begin your house hunt in Etobicoke? We are happy to be your hidden advantage even during challenging markets. Reach out to contact@thompsonsells.com or call 416-450-5900 for more information or to start the conversation today.

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