What do you do if you want to buy a home but you’re not sure where to start?
There are a few things to consider before you jump into the real estate market, whether you’re in a small town or a big city.
First of all, what is your motivation for buying a home? Are you currently renting and want to make the next step? Are you currently a home owner but need to up-size, down-size, move cities? Or perhaps your family situation has changed and you are looking to sell the family home and move on or maybe you’re bringing two families together. There are times when people decide to move because they no longer enjoy the neighbourhood they live in.
Whatever the reason it is important to be honest about your motivation because it will impact the choice of what you’re going to purchase.
Once you know why you’re looking to buy a home, whether it be a new build or a resale property, you need to make a list. It is beneficial to write down what features you’re looking for in this home. How many bathrooms do you need, how many bedrooms? Do you want a garage, and if so, what size? Do you have to have at gas fireplace or mature trees?
The next thing to write down is your ideal location. What type of neighbourhood do you see yourself thriving in? A subdivision, a mature neighbourhood, a rural property with a few acres of land? Do you need to be close to schools, shopping centres, your place of employment? Or are you a commuter who needs to be close to the highway? These important items could make that ideal home impossible to live with.
Once you know what you want inside your home and where you want to be located, think about the style of home that would suit your needs. Some people enjoy the maintenance-free condo life while others enjoy tending their own gardens and shoveling their own drive. Do you want a detached raised bungalow or a link home? Do you need a semi-detached home or a 2 storey detached? Every style of home meets a need and has benefits and drawbacks. You just need to know what you can live with and what you can’t so that you can narrow down your search.
The last thing to consider is your budget. It might be the most important consideration given that it doesn’t do you any good to spend time looking for the perfect home if you’re looking in the wrong price range. It’s always a good idea to go and see a mortgage specialist to discuss how much of a mortgage you will qualify for. The home buying process is much more enjoyable when you know what you can comfortably afford before you start looking.