Spring has finally arrived…well in some ways. With spring in the air that means house-hunting seasons has begun. Many real estate agents will advise their clients to buy a home in the spring, but as with anything, there are usually pros and cons to buying a home in every season. In the spring and summer there tends to be more inventory. There is also a higher competition for homes. In the winter months there are less competitors for available homes and sellers are more willing to negotiate. Here are some valuable house hunting tips:
- Carefully create your wish list and stick to it. If your house hunting with your partner, discuss your must-haves and deal-breakers so you’ll be on the same page.
- Remember you’re not only buying a house, but the neighbourhood too. Is it safe? Talk to neighbours and ask questions. Spend time in the area to determine if it offers the lifestyle conveniences you’ll need.
- Don’t bombard yourself by trying to see too many houses in one day. You may begin to feel overwhelmed and confused after touring several homes. Too many homes in a short period of time will blend together in your mind and you won’t recall which kitchen or bedroom belonged to which house.
- Stay within your price range and don’t forget to consider additional expenses such as taxes, homeowner’s association fees, insurance, maintenance etc.
- Visit your prospective home at different times of the day. Homes may appear different during the day than they do at night. It also wise to visit the home again right after a heavy rain and go straight to the basement. Does it smell or feel damp? If so, water may be getting in.
What else should you look for when visiting a house?: you’re looking for the maintenance and age of the furnace, you’re looking at the hot water tank, you’re looking at the drainage of the house, and, of course, the roof. Nobody cares about the roof until it starts to leak.
If a condo is what you’re looking for, keep this checklist in mind:
- Research the builder and other developments they’ve created.
- Chat with some of the residents of the condo building you’re interested in.
- Find out if the building allows tenants.
- To maximize resale value, look for something close to transit.
- Don’t purchase a one-bedroom condo if you can avoid it. It may be hard to sell and recoup the costs.
You’ve got to see where the prices are on a per-square-foot basis compared to the neighbourhood. What are the condo fees? What’s the cost of parking? What’s the maintenance fee? It is also a good idea to look at the maintenance schedule to see what’s been allocated in the budget for maintenance. You’ll want to make sure they have plans in place to maintain the building. Last but not least, make sure your finances are in order and you’ve seen a mortgage specialist before setting out on your search. Happy hunting!
Source: Global News
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.
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By Production CENTURY 21 Canada 2013
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