If it's a seller's market, the question may be...now what?


If you are looking to buy a different home in a seller’s market, you may want to ask yourself if it is really worth it.  It’s important to ponder the question “What does a seller’s market usually entail?”

  • That there are usually more buyer’s than homes available.
  • Which can mean that prices are higher because of the demand.
  • Multiple offers or bidding wars can occur as a result of the shortage of supply, and houses often sell fast.

This was seen in 2017 with bidding wars and high prices in many areas of Ontario, and in turn many homeowners chose to renovate their existing home instead of trying to buy a different one. 

Why renovate?   Well, several reasons!  In 2017, one may have been that bidding wars for a home meant paying more than one actually wanted to pay or risk losing out to a higher bid.  Many people found themselves repeatedly making offers on different homes and being outbid every time, which can obviously be very frustrating…so renovating became a very real option.

But a seller’s market is not the only time people choose to renovate instead of buy.   

Some homeowners absolutely love their homes but have outgrown the available space. Perhaps their home has charm or character that isn’t always found in newer homes or subdivisions.  Maybe it is the size of their yard or the beauty of the landscaping that tugs at their heart and would be difficult or impossible to duplicate elsewhere.  However, often it is simply their neighbours or neighbourhood that they love and don’t want to leave.  They have wonderful friends, schools, or even favourite eateries in their neighbourhood that they can’t bear to leave behind.  So, while buying may be the answer for some, for others renovating is the better option.

A wise real estate agent will usually reinforce the importance of ‘location, location, location’.  If your existing home is in a sought-after neighbourhood it may be easy to sell, but you then become a buyer for a new home. Will it be financially feasible to relocate and how difficult will it be to find an equally desirable location in which to live?  Buying and selling means closing costs and possibly real estate commission. If a home owner is simply trying to upgrade in the same area, it may be preferable and more financially feasible to renovate instead.  

There are many factors that will influence a homeowner’s choice, and it is important to know what options are available in advance of making such a big decision.  Here are just a few things you may need to consider if you see yourself outgrowing your home in the future:  

  • If you love your neighbourhood, you may want to find out if you would be allowed to build on to your home (i.e. out or up).  Check with your local municipality on restrictions, setbacks, etc. and any other government commissions/authorities you may need to consult (i.e. The Niagara Escarpment Commission, conservation authority, etc.)
  • Look into your neighbourhood’s fair market values – Will upgrading be financially feasible in your area.
  • And speak to your financial institution about your options for financing,  if you will need it. 

So whether you are in a seller’s market or not, if you are looking for the perfect home then perhaps you want to consider re-creating it in your existing one. If your home is well built, has special charm, holds wonderful memories, or is on a large lot that you may not find elsewhere, renovating may be an option for you to consider. Renovating allows you to make the choices that are perfect for you…creating your dream home.

If you are considering a renovation, call us at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. 905-562-4463 or 905-684-5823.