My Experience Buying My Own Regina Real Estate


Dear Reader,

I've contemplated writing this article and sharing this experience with you, because I’m sure you might assume that because I sell dozens of homes a year to other people, I should probably have bought a home myself. I just bought my first home, a full 3 years into my Regina real estate career. I started a business in my early twenties and moved into my boyfriends owned condo not long after. Financing when your self employed is almost impossible and my life didn’t call for the need to own my own property just yet.

I also realize that there are so many industries where the person authorizing the purchase or transaction may not have ever done the “thing” themselves, which I think is both normal and ironic.

  • Travel agents probably haven’t been to every single destination.
  • Dentists can get cavities.
  • A car salesman may not have a driver’s license.
  • Restaurant owners can be bad cooks.

Everything is a first for someone at some point.

Despite not buying my own home until a few years into my career, I have successfully helped many happy buyers and sellers with their own real estate needs. 

 

This Is What I Learned Buying My Own Regina Real Estate:

My boyfriend and I had been pre-approved for a mortgage in early October 2018, so we had started talking about buying a home. We had talked about selling his condo in the spring and starting to look once we had it sold. 

FUNNY ENOUGH, my grandfather was 2 weeks away from listing his own home on MLS®. I was over at his house one-afternoon cleaning and helping tidy up the house. I was actually making sure it was ready for listing photos and my marketing video.

I was thinking about what I would write for the property description and it dawned on me that I would LOVE to live in my grandparents’ home. It has always been a constant in my life, a place for all of my family’s happy memories. My grandparents had owned the home for 40 years and I had spent a large part of my life coming and going from this place. 

So, on October 28th, Kyle and I came to look at it together, vacant. We looked at it through the eyes of buyers. We looked at it objectively, because there were definitely things that needed to be done. It’s an old 1970’s bi-level, with an updated main floor but a totally dated basement. The yard has no fence, the bathroom is still original. It needed work.

However, the home has new windows, new shingles, a new furnace and a solid foundation. If you have ever been a client of mine or attended a home buyer’s seminar, you know that I PREACH this to my clients. Paint can be changed, new light fixtures installed, baseboard painted. But these other big-ticket items are so costly that they can prevent you from doing anything cosmetic to the home that actually makes it look and feel new. 

So, it checked the boxes for us. These are the things that were important to me, as a first-time home buyer:

  • Windows. 
  • Shingles. 
  • Furnace. 
  • Foundation. 
  • Location. 
  • Price.

On October 31st we decided to make the purchase and we removed conditions by November 5th. Financing was done within 48 hours, (thank you Justin George from RBC) and the home inspection didn’t show any other major issues. 

We went from deciding to buy this home to removing conditions within 6 days.

Big, rash decisions that I don’t get to spend days and weeks contemplating make me lose sleep. And I lost sleep not because I was worried about owning a home, but I was thinking about everything we needed to do before we moved in in such a short period of time. 

Realistically, had we bought anyone else’s home we could have planned things differently. We would have been able to stay in our condo for an extra two weeks and do those renovations before we moved in, but my grandpa needed a quick possession and we had the condo rented for December 1st. 

It created a crazy push to paint, replace the electrical, clean, install new carpet, paint the baseboards and get a new washer dryer into the home. This was stressful for me. Thankfully, with the help of in-laws, friends, and family we got it all done. 

December 1st, after I had 90% of our stuff unpacked, the stress was completely gone. We got our stuff into the house, the tenants moved into the condo and my stress and anxiety melted away. This, I’m sure, is what it feels like for other people too. 

The funny thing is, I have moved 8 times in the last 6 years so I’m very used to the packing and cleaning and hustle of moving into a new place but I had never packed a house full of two people’s possessions. I’ve always had the normal amount of stuff for a single person, so packing for Kyle and I took TWICE as long. Which was completely understandable, but I never really gave any thought to how time-consuming packing a house with double the belongings was. So, I now have a new appreciation for how much work it can be to get ready to move a family bigger than 2. I applaud all my clients and non-clients who will make a move in 2019, I know it’s a ton of work.

 

I Understand That It’s Stressful Not Because It Can’t Be Done But Because There’s Just SO MUCH TO DO

The biggest question I’ve been asking myself as I’ve been writing this is

Knowing what I know now, how can I make buying or selling a home a better experience?

And here’s what I’ve come up with… 

  • Always offer more compassion. 
  • Always respect that people get stuck in their own heads. 
  • Recognize that the very thought of ‘everything’ that needs to be done can trigger an avalanche of fear and limiting thoughts. 
  • Encourage people to ask for help. (Hire a cleaning service or find a painter that can do a good job for cash.)
  • Be more mindful of the “quick possession” scheme. 
  • Remember that “easy fixes and small repairs” are still time-consuming, annoying and can be expensive. 

I think buying my own Regina real estate taught me more about the emotional side of moving through the process than the actual transactional part. I’ll be a better real estate agent because of this and for that, I am thankful. 

 

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If you have any questions or want help with your own Regina real estate needs, give me a call at 306-552-7047 or fill out my online contact form

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