Why buying your second home may be more difficult than the first

Published 08 September 13 07:34 AM | Gord McCormick 

Buying a second home can be much more complicated than
buying the first, primarily because you have to be able to co-ordinate the
purchase with the sale of your first home and this can raise a number of

Timing is everything:
The first timing issue is that you don't really know when
you are going to find "the perfect house". 
Some people take only a few weeks and others can take months or even
years. This makes preparation to sell the existing property a bit of a
challenge, as you have to be ready to have your current property immediately
ready to sell once you have found your "dream home".
The second timing issue is that you have to co-ordinate
closing dates with at least two other parties; those buying your existing house
and the sellers of the property you wish to buy.
The third timing issue is whether you should buy first or
sell first?  Doing the sale or purchase
independently is really challenging and stressful.  No one wants to end up owning either two
homes or no homes! 

Unknown factors:
One can't say 100% what the purchase price of the new
property will be or what the selling price for your existing property will be
and this can make budgeting difficult.
Selling timelines are also an unknown and most of us tend to
think things will sell much faster than they actually will.  Selling timelines and price expectations are
probably the most stress causing factors in the buy and sell process. 

You don't know for sure when you will discover your dream
home and there are seasonal patterns in real estate that can affect the buying
or selling process.  For example, you
should reasonably expect to have a better time selling your existing home in
the busier time of the year than in December or January when sales are at their
lowest.  Offsetting this however, is the
fact that there are more buyers and sellers in the spring market which means
more competition which can affect both your purchase and your sale.

Additional Costs:
You will face additional costs for legal fees and disbursements,
since the lawyer will be managing two transactions on your behalf.  You also have the costs of selling your
existing property including real estate fees which you did not have to incur on
purchasing your existing home, since these are normally paid by the seller.
There may be some additional fees for financing the new
purchase from the bank or CMHC to take in to consideration.
Provincial land transfer tax is a on a graduated scale and
the higher the house price the higher the % of tax. For example, the land
transfer tax on a $500,000 purchase is $6,475.
One also doesn't get some of the incentives or "freebies"
from governments which are accorded the first time buyer.
There are some intangibles and other costs related to
purchase of a new home which cannot be quantified in advance.  You may have additional outlay for some
cosmetic changes, window coverings, appliances, fencing, landscaping etc. 

Don't take it personally:
It can be difficult to think of your existing home as a
product or commodity to be sold.  The
pride of ownership and emotional attachment we have to our homes can be a huge
hurdle to overcome in meeting our selling objectives. Realtors and buyers will
make comments about your home that you may not like, so remember it's business
not personal. 

Other challenges:
Children, pets and in-laws can also have an impact.
Young children make it difficult to keep your home in HGTV
showing condition for prospective buyer visits that are requested on the buyer
timetable not necessarily the sellers.
School age children may either provide a challenge in
staying in the same school district or ensuring good schools and transportation
at the new location.
Teenagers will generally not want to move away from their
friends, activities or to a new school.
Pets can be a complication in showing your property as some
may need to be removed for showings; others may be a distraction.  Some pet odours can be problematic and buyer
allergies (cats) or fears can bother visitors to the point they cannot
visualize the property in its best light.
Some sellers feel they are being "invaded" and their privacy
compromised by opening their home to strangers coming for showings and open
Realtors and stagers may make changes to the home set up
that enhances image for photos and showings but makes things less "homey" and
The perfect house may compromise proximity and transportation
to work, family, friends or activities.

It is these factors (and others) which complicate the buying
of one property while selling another are some of the biggest reasons why there
are so many Realtors.  People with busy
lives, families and careers need a trusted professional they can rely upon to
help them navigate through the process, in order to meet their buying and selling

We would be happy to discuss our credentials for helping you
to make a successful move.  If you are
upgrading to a higher priced home, we think we have probably the best bundled
listing fee package deal in the city! 
Many of our customers will save up to $10,000 in commission and HST on
the sale of their existing home when they both buy and sell with us concurrently.
(compared to traditional 5% listing fees)

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty

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