There are certain old chestnuts of wisdom when it comes to real estate. Here’s our take on a few of them:

1. Buying a home is the best investment you’ll ever make.

This one falls into both categories at once. Real estate in Kingston has been solid for several decades now. We’ve seen small and steady gains and little, intermittent dips but haven’t experienced anything like what the larger centres of Toronto and Vancouver have (although, if you bought a house in Bayridge in 1991 and sold it ten years later you might be wondering where all the “gains” are.) The steady rise should continue in the foreseeable future – but in real estate, as in life, there are no guarantees. Still, there are precautions you can take to help you avoid from buying in the wrong neighbourhood, landing a fixer upper that turns into a money pit, and other missteps that can wind up costing you in both the short and long run.

2. Location, Location, Location

FACT – This one holds true every time, all the time. Having said that, it means different things to different people. Investing in an up-and-coming neighborhood like Williamsville can be a risk that pays off in the long term. Choosing a fine home in an established neighborhood like Sydenham Ward is a safe bet both short term and long term.

3. Working with a REALTOR can save you time, money, and heartache

This one goes both ways. Working with a buyer’s agent that you get along with, that you trust, that knows the market, knows the neighbourhoods, and is committed to this profession on a full time basis can save you on all three of the above. We can save you time by helping you separate the good from the bad, eliminating certain neighbourhoods, previewing houses for you, setting up and scheduling tours. We can save you money by implementing our market knowledge to insure you don’t overpay for a home, connecting you to qualified home inspectors, mortgage agents, and lawyers. We can save you heartache by helping you negotiate the deal and guiding you through the process. Also, it’s important to note that agent commissions are paid for by the seller. That means that you don’t pay for our services out of pocket.

But on the flip side, working with an agent that isn’t the right fit, due to different communication styles or conflicting schedules can bring more stress to a high-stakes transaction. That’s why we recommend interviewing a few agents before selecting one.