Preparing to Buy
When purchasing a home preparation is key in success. Taking the time before hand to go over some key elements in the process will result in a successful experience. It is most likely the largest financial investment that you will ever make, so take some time to make some decisions and set up some parameters.
The Wish List
Before you start looking it is important to sit down and make up a list of what is important to you in a house, a location and essentially your lifestyle. You also need to make a distinction between your wants (nice to haves) and your needs.
Some Things To Consider:
- New or old home – Are you seeking a home with charm and character or do you prefer something with a little less maintenance?
- Lifestyle – A key element in the process. Lifestyle plays a huge role in deciding where you want to live. Are you someone who likes to walk everywhere, have a sense of community are amenities important to you and if so which ones? Do you like running, biking or sitting in a park? All these questions revolve around your lifestyle and how you like to live. In other words your lifestyle.
- Location – Where do you want to live? Most people want to live in neighborhoods with good schools, relative proximity to work, friends or family can also play a role. Then there are those who prefer a walking lifestyle – where all amenities are close at hand. Others prefer a little more space – perhaps a nice size lot. These are all considerations when trying to find that right fit.
- Affordability – How much are you able spend? This will in large part determine where you are able to live and what type of home you are able to buy. It will depend on a few factors including, how much of a down payment you have, what the lender is willing to lend to you and what monthly payments you can make comfortably while still being able to eat!
- Thinking ahead – It is always a good idea to try and think a little ahead and plan. As an example, if you are planning on having children in a few years, you may want to think about the number of bedrooms or the schools in the neighborhood. If you are planning on a getting a dog in a few years – maybe you need a backyard. Do you have an aging parent who may need to live with you in a few years – maybe you need an in law suite or something that has the potential to create additional space.
- Prioritize – Lastly it is important to list what is most important to you. Some people need space so the location becomes less important. Other people want a lifestyle that enables them to walk to shops, schools and amenities – so location is the main focus. Everyone has different lifestyles and therefore different priorities.
- Deal Breakers – Some things for some people are what we refer to as deal breakers. As an example some people will not live on what would be considered a busy street – no matter how nice the home or how good the value. It is important that you figure out what these are and communicate them to your agent – this will save both time and energy looking at homes that you will not buy anyways.
Other Things To Consider:
- The floor plan- open concept? centrehall?….
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Garden/yard or no yard
- Parking/how many spots/garage/no garage
- Updated kitchens/bathrooms
- Hardwood floors
- Close to transit or ability to walk to work and shopping
- Finished basement
- Fireplace-wood /gas
- Updated wiring/plumbing
- Schools/community centres