With Politics in worldwide upheaval is it best to buy or wait?

Article by Heather Chilvers, Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty

You maybe tired of throwing your money away on rent, or want to buy your own piece of the rock - but with all the political upheaval worldwide you’re not sure if now is the right time, or how it will affect Bermuda? Perhaps on an economic level you are not sure if you can afford all of the expenses that come with having a mortgage, or the responsibility!

For most people buying a home is the most significant investment of their lives. And in spite of the doubt and confusion clouding both the financial markets and political headlines both here and overseas, there are many genuine real estate opportunities, especially for first-time buyers. On average, housing inventory is good, prices are lower but stable, and historical data demonstrates that purchasing a home has always been a proven and a sound long-term financial investment which can often weather stormy markets better than investments, unless you are very savvy. However, first-time homebuyers are often understandably anxious when it comes time to making the purchase.

Check through the following helpful list:

Get preapproved by your loan officer, why? Because they will let you know your financial parameters so that you don’t over extend yourself. They will let you know what you can afford, and being pre-approved puts you in the best position to make an offer, and move forward quickly.

Define your needs versus your wants: If you are buying your first home it is almost certain you will have to compromise something on your wish list. Making a list of needs versus wants before starting the process can make it less overwhelming.

Be an informed buyer: Check with your real estate agent on zoning restrictions or condo rules and regulations for the property you hope to buy. If you are unsure of the neighborhood take a walk or drive by after 5pm or at the weekend.

Are you purchasing a property for $750k or under? If you are Bermudian, or Bermudian with a non Bermudian spouse. You should know that the Government of Bermuda offers exemption from payment of stamp duty on the conveyance of the property you purchase, which can save you as much as $12,000 on your transaction.

Work with an Agent: An agent can help guide you through the process step by step, offer advice and support, educate you about the process, and if you’re a buyer it’s free! As it is the seller who pays the commission.

Do what’s right for you:  If you are planning on staying in your home for a decade or more, short term fluctuations in the house’s underlying value shouldn’t make a difference. After all the purpose of your own home is to provide you with shelter, security, pride of ownership, independence, stability, a solid tangible asset you can live in, a community and an improved quality of life. A property is a tangible investment and protects you against rent fluctuations and difficult landlords. At the end of the day purchasing a home is your investment towards moving yourself to a better future.

I would recommend that you start taking the first steps, in the long run I think you’ll be glad you did.

Happy House Hunting!

Heather Chilvers is amongst Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s Leading Sales Representatives. She has been working in Real Estate for 28 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332 1793. Or follow her on facebook ‘Ask Heather Chilvers Real Estate’

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