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The one thing potential home purchasers ask themselves is, “Is now the right time to buy a home?” The truth is that investing in real estate is always a good move, but when you choose to buy can, indeed, make a difference in what you might pay.

The real estate market in Canada is like anything else—it’s cyclical. Understanding what’s going on at any given moment may make you more aware of trends and help you to make more prudent decisions. One of the things you’ll want to watch is mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage Rates
When interest rates are low—as they are now—you’re able to fully maximize your budget. Even a small jump can mean a significant difference in what your payment will be each month. The higher the interest rate, the less home you’ll be able to afford, so jump on the bandwagon while rates are low. Hesitating can be your downfall since other buyers are in the same boat and competition is brisk, so you could find your offer swimming alongside others. When you find a home you love, have your agent present an offer as soon as possible.

Type of Market
Being a buyer in a seller’s market can be tough, so putting forth your best offer with aggressive terms is your best bet. You could also offer something a little extra like a personal letter to the sellers letting them know who you are and why you love the property. It can be a nice touch and will set you apart from other buyers. It also shows your genuineness about buying their home.

The ideal time for you to buy is obviously in a buyer’s market when there are more homes on the market and fewer people looking. You have some leeway in this type of market. You shouldn’t shy away from putting an offer in on your dream home, no matter what type of market it is.

The Offer
Your agent can help you to look over comparable sales for the area in which you’d like to buy before you make an offer. Having a handle on area sales will give you a better idea about the home you’d like to purchase. Never discount looking for a home in the “off” season or winter months. Most wait until warmer weather to buy, but that could be a mistake since you’ll likely have less competition from other buyers.

Taking the Plunge
Enter the market when you know you can afford a home. The time of year isn’t as important. Affordability is the primary factor in making that decision. When the time is right for you, get into the game and start looking no matter what the market is doing.