Simple Money Magazine Article – Three Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First Home

I’m honoured to have been asked to write the below article for Simple Money Magazine. Read the beginning here and jump over to their website if you’d like to read the rest after subscribing.

Three Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First Home

Don’t rely on a spur-of-the-moment impulse when it comes to one of your biggest financial decisions. Because although you might get lucky—you also might not.

Home is where our stories are written. It’s where babies are brought home from the hospital and where family comes to stay over the holidays. It’s where neighbors become lifelong friends.

It’s also where we argue about the bills, where we find unexpected expenses, and where our relationships can be most tested. Home is a unique place.

As a real estate professional in one of North America’s most active markets, I’ve witnessed all kinds of stories. In fact, when I was getting started, it didn’t take long before I realized people approach realtors like they approach pastors or therapists at the beginning and end of the chapters in their lives. The positive transitions are the same: “just married,” “just engaged,” or “expecting our first kid.” The same goes for the negatives: “We’re getting a divorce,” “The diagnosis came in,” “Mum just died,” and so on.

These are the moments that matter most, and we need help navigating them, because—let’s be honest—nobody prepares us for them. We are taught geometry, but we don’t learn which taxes are payable on a home purchase. We understand how government works, but do we understand what a fiduciary is and how they’re supposed to serve us? We study minutiae at university, but we rush decisions like choosing which neighborhood to live in and what kind of home to buy.

At least, that’s what my wife and I did. “Let’s swing by the bakery for some bread” was followed by “Let’s drop into that show home.” Before we returned to our rental condo that day, it was “Congratulations! You’ve just bought a townhouse!”

There are all kinds of ways to approach buying your first home. My reality was definitely not the best tactic.

Read the rest here: