Industry All-Stars – Barbara Lawlor, CEO, Baker Real Estate Inc.

By Wayne Karl
November 20, 2022

If you're looking to buy a home, but not sure what to make of housing supply, interest rates, affordability, the lingering effects of COVID… who better to help you sort it all out than those who specialize in the marketing and sales of new homes and condos?

We sat down with a select group of Industry All-Stars for our 2022 Builders' Annual for their insights and advice.

Contrary to what you may read in the media, this fall we are extremely busy at Baker Real Estate Inc. We have several exciting projects launching, and our clients have not postponed introducing them to the market. Previous deals are closing well, with just a handful of cancellations, which is always normal. My first piece of advice for anyone thinking of purchasing a home or condominium suite, now or in the new year, is to buy new. In fact, new construction is a great hedge against inflation. When you purchase pre-construction, you have a few years to save and plan for your move. In addition to being covered by Tarion Warranty Corp., you will be the first one to live there. Like sliding into a new car, the feeling is amazing.

Builder incentives

Recent mortgage rate increases have, of course, influenced sales. Trying to predict the Bank of Canada is nearly impossible, but with inflation decreasing, we may see lower interest rates in 2023. My next piece of advice is to keep your eyes open for deals now. Next year, we are likely to see a spike in sales from those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for rates to go down again. Even if that happens, our demand-exceeding-supply situation means prices are likely to continue going up. There are deals to be had this fall, with some developers offering financial or upgrade incentives, so waiting may be counterproductive. Frankly, today’s rates are still very low compared to a decade or two ago. Owning a home or condo is well worth sacrificing a few luxuries – something people have been doing for generations. Owning real estate is historically a lucrative financial and lifestyle investment.

Mortgage pre-approval

Importantly, it’s wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Going into ownership or right-sizing with an idea of how much you can afford is a solid approach. Then make your lists of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider location carefully, especially if you are an investor. Buying next to or on a public transportation route means it’s possible to live without owning a vehicle. That saves a lot of money for those who plan to live in their purchase – money that could go toward mortgage payments.

Shop around, hire an experienced real estate lawyer and do your homework. To sum up the advice I give regardless of the market and economics, buy new and buy sooner rather than later.

About Wayne Karl

Wayne Karl is an award-winning writer and editor with experience in real estate and business. Wayne explores the basics – such as economic fundamentals – you need to examine when buying property.

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