If you are looking to buy a home, chances are you have done as many other countless homebuyers have done and have put all of your focus on timing the market to ensure you are not buying at the top of a supposed housing “bubble” instead of focusing on your own personal circumstances and ensuring that the timing fits your personal plans and goals.

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are:

1. Do you have a strong down payment?
2. Are your current jobs stable?
3. What is your timeline for living in the home? Planning to live there for 5 years or beyond?
4. Have you done your due diligence and factored in the potential for income changes or new expenses as a result of having children/due to children?
5. Do you feel comfortable with the responsibility of maintaining/repairing/looking after your own home? Do you even know what is involved with owning a home?

Believe it or not, most people that make bad real estate decisions do so as a result of bad decisions made without taking their personal circumstances into account rather than the market declining.

So how do you go about making smart decisions with regards to real estate? First and foremost, make decisions that will help you get through any short term slowdown that may occur in the market (look for low demand and high inventory situations to assess a slowdown).

Of course it is very important to take your personal situation (now and your future plans) into account. Some of the things you can be looking at to ensure you are putting yourself in the best possible situation when it comes to buying a home:

1. Buy below the budget you are given by your lender/bank. If they say you are approved up to $400,000, buy around $350,000 to provide yourself with some breathing room monthly.
2. Consider a home that could work as an income suite (if you don’t use the basement for the children or storage).
3. Saving up a bigger down payment to lower your payments and buy a house that is perfectly suited to your personal situation today and in the future.