(NC)-As with every market, the real estate sector experiences its fair share of ups and downs. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), annual residential sales activity in 2007 was up 7.6% from 2006 levels. CREA predicts that the average residential property price will increase by a healthy 5.5% in 2008.
Knowing when to enter the market can be a difficult decision in an environment where property prices are rising. However, with mortgage rates continuing to sit at near 20-year lows, now is as good a time as any to jump into the market as a buyer or a seller.
Here are some tips to get your house hunt started:
. Know the neighbourhood. Start studying listings in the area in which you want to buy to better understand what constitutes fair pricing. Drive around to count "for sale" signs and get a feel for activity levels.
. Get pre-approved. Know what you can afford before you buy and know what terms mortgage lenders are willing to give you. Mortgage brokers can usually secure an interest rate guarantee for up to 120 days from lenders to protect you from fluctuating rates.
. Watch the calendar. Time of year is a major driver of market activity. Buying during seasonal winter and mid-summer slowdowns can give the buyer an advantage.
. Consider your timeline. Are you buying your house as a long-term investment or do you simply want to flip it in a couple of years at a profit? Longer term investors are less sensitive to short-term fluctuations in rates and market activity.
Mortgage brokers work closely with homebuyers to assess their personal and financial goals and develop a home ownership plan uniquely tailored to their clients.
More information on this topic is available online at www.mortgageintelligence.ca.