Uncovering the Truth on Real Estate Myths

In the vast and dynamic world of real estate, misconceptions can easily lead to confusion and misguided decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or simply curious about the real estate market, understanding the truth behind these myths is crucial for making informed and successful property-related decisions. From the notion that buying is always better than renting to the belief that all Realtors are the same, we'll delve into these myths and separate fact from fiction to empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate the real estate landscape confidently. 

MYTH 1 - The real estate market is predictable: Although there are some common expectations in Real Estate, such as increased activity in the spring, the market can be influenced by a wide range of factors, making it challenging to predict with any degree of certainty.  Trends and cycles, immigration, interest rates and inflation, government policies, employment levels, and global events, all have a surprising impact on our local real estate market. Reflecting on Leduc's real estate market last year, significant differences are evident in comparison to the present. Notably, the lack of inventory this year (down 48% compared to last year) is impacting housing costs and buyer pressure. The dynamic relationship between supply and demand continues to play a pivotal role in shaping market conditions. 

MYTH 2 - Real estate value always goes up: It's a common belief that real estate will always appreciate, but this isn't a guaranteed outcome. Economic fluctuations, regional factors, and external influences can lead to property value fluctuations or even declines. Property values can be significantly affected by external changes like infrastructure projects, environmental concerns, natural disasters, neighborhood developments, or crime rates, to name a few. To navigate these uncertainties, diversification and a long-term investment perspective are advisable strategies. 

MYTH 3 - Renovations will increase the value of your home: It's important to recognize that not all renovations will automatically increase the value of your home. While certain upgrades like kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, or adding extra living space can enhance your home's appeal and potentially raise its value, other projects may not yield the same return on investment. For instance, highly personalized upgrades that don't appeal to a broad range of buyers, or over-improving for the neighborhood, may diminish returns. Additionally, low quality work on your house, such as poor craftsmanship in renovations or visible signs of neglect, can raise red flags with potential buyers and lead them to question the overall quality and maintenance of the property. If you are thinking of selling and are considering renovation projects to improve your home’s value, it's wise to consult with your Realtor, and prioritize upgrades that align with market trends and buyer preferences. 

MYTH 4 - It’s better to just get into a house, even if the location is not great: Have you heard the old real estate adage "Location! Location! Location!"?  Though it is not the only thing to consider, location plays a pivotal role in determining a property's desirability, demand, and ultimately its market price. Factors such as proximity to amenities like schools, parks, shopping centers, public transportation, and employment hubs, greatly influence a property's appeal to potential buyers. Additionally, factors like neighborhood safety, and overall community vibe can significantly impact property values. Therefore, it's essential for homebuyers and investors alike to prioritize location when considering real estate investments, as it can make a substantial difference in long-term value appreciation and resale potential. No one wants to get stuck with an undesirable property that is difficult to sell in the future! 

MYTH 5 - Renting is like throwing money away: Whether it's better to rent or buy a house depends on various factors such as your financial situation, long-term plans, market conditions, and personal preferences. Owning a home can bring a sense of stability and pride, but it's essential to weigh the upfront and ongoing costs against your long-term financial goals and lifestyle flexibility. Renting, on the other hand, offers the freedom to adapt quickly to life changes. Ultimately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, so it's wise to evaluate your unique circumstances and priorities. Consulting a financial advisor can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation. 

MYTH 6 – You can buy a home with 0% down payment: While it was once the case, its no longer accurate that you can get a mortgage with NO down payment, in Canada. Institutions like the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada Guaranty, and Sagen offer various mortgage insurance products and services that enable homebuyers to purchase a home with as little as 5% down. While it can be borrowed, you must have at least 5% of your own resources.  With a 20% down payment, you qualify for a conventional mortgage, helping you avoid Mortgage Default Insurance, saving you money in the long run. To explore financing options for your home purchase, consult with your Mortgage Broker. They will help you find the product that best suits your financial situation. 

MYTH 7 - You can’t buy a house if you have bad credit: A strategic approach is required if your credit, income, or life circumstances, might not fit with a traditional lending environment. For example, a higher credit score, or verifiable income, can improve your mortgage options and interest rates, some lenders will offer options for individuals with lower credit scores (or badly bruised credit), challenging employment criteria, or relaxed debt servicing requirements. Consult a Mortgage Broker who can help you align you with a great Alternative Lending option. It is important to check your credit report to understand where you stand and identify areas that need improvement. A larger down payment, or enlisting a co-applicant with good credit, may help to strengthen your application. Be prepared to explain your credit history and demonstrate your ability to make timely payments going forward. Lastly, be realistic about your budget and prioritize finding a home that you can comfortably afford both now and in the future.

MYTH 8 - All Realtors® are the same: While all Realtors are licensed professionals who facilitate real estate transactions, it's important to note that they are not all the same. Realtors vary in terms of their experience, expertise, communication style, market knowledge, networking, and marketing abilities. Some Realtors may specialize in specific types of properties, such as luxury homes or commercial real estate, while others may have a broader focus. The quality of service provided by a Realtor can also differ significantly, with some going above and beyond to educate and guide their clients throughout the buying or selling process, while others may offer more limited support. It's crucial for homebuyers or sellers to conduct thorough research, ask for referrals, and interview multiple Realtors to find the best fit for their unique needs and preferences. 

The Jason Rustand Team is committed to empowering individuals to make informed decisions that match their specific needs and goals. Keep in mind, real estate is a diverse and dynamic field, and grasping the truths behind these myths is crucial for navigating it effectively. Equipped with accurate information, you can tackle property transactions, whether you're buying, selling, or investing, with confidence and clarity. We're here to assist you in making wise and well-informed real estate decisions!

Special thanks to our friend Curtis Irvine, of iMortgage Solutions for providing advice on mortgages and financing options. Visit Curtis’ website at www.imortgageYEG.ca