New Is Not Always Better – First Time Home Buyer’s Perspective
Some of you may not know much about me, so here is a quick introduction! My name is Molly Mullin, I am 21 years old and I am Mike and Sheila’s daughter. I am going into my fourth year at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, I was in an accident at the beginning of June that left me with a severe concussion and whiplash. I needed to return to Ontario to get the help I needed to recover.
Since being home, I have been given the opportunity to attend a few showings with both Sheila and Mike. While out on showings I noticed a few things. Firstly, the market in Orangeville is CRAZY in comparison to Nova Scotia and secondly most people want to buy “new or newer” homes and are missing opportunities in the older homes available; new is not always better. Let me be the first to say that I love the glitz and glam, as well as new and shiny things…but sometimes they are not always the best options. I know that it is hard to have champagne taste on a beer budget!
My university is located in the small town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Since I would be staying in Nova Scotia for the majority of the time over my 4 years at school, it made the most sense for me to purchase a home instead of paying the outrageous monthly rental prices in a university town. Antigonish, NS is a completely different real estate market than Orangeville’s. In Antigonish I was able to purchase a three bedroom home, with a completely separate 2 bedroom basement apartment, a yard, a detached workshop and in a prime location – a short walk to the university. A property with similarities would go for over $550,000 in Orangeville, and in Antigonish it was worth $200,000.
As a first-time home buyer, I learned a lot through this process. Without the expertise and knowledge of my realtors (mom and dad), the purchasing process would have been significantly harder. Like most, I wanted new. I couldn’t visualize what a room could look like; I only saw what was there. As a result, looking at older homes was quite difficult for me as I couldn’t see how great they actually could be! With the help of an experienced realtor and the keen eye of Sheila, I purchased my bungalow!
The lesson I wanted to share from what I learned through my own purchase, as well as over the past few weeks, is to look past what the house looks like now! Look at the basics… the big ticket items like windows, furnace, etc., the layout, the location and size! Home buyers should have faith in their realtors. A good realtor has seen transformations of many homes and can see the potential and opportunities within a house that you might not be able to see. Sometimes they may bring you to a house that is a little “rough” but has huge potential! Many times, a small investment in the home will yield a huge return.
When you find that home, that’s a little outdated but has almost everything you are looking for, it’s like finding a diamond in a rough. Although it is a little rough now, with some small changes you can make a significant difference! These changes can range from minor cosmetic changes like a quick slap of paint to more major changes like a complete kitchen reno. It really depends on what you are looking for. Additionally, when you do small projects and renovations, you can make the home your own… add your own personal touch and really make it yours! Completing a project or renovation gives you a sense of excitement, accomplishment, and pride. Every time you sit in that renovated room or look at old pictures that you took before the renovation – it will blow your mind the difference YOU created in YOUR home! Yes, renovating can be a little intimidating and scary but take the chance! New is not always better! ?