If a photo tells a thousand words then a home tells a thousand stories. It’s where we start and end our day, eat the majority of our meals, raise our kids and celebrate our milestones. Not to mention, its four walls contain our most cherished possessions.
For that reason, the task of picking the perfect house is a daunting one and one that carries with it a lot of pressure—especially if you’re a first time home buyer. Instead of getting overwhelmed with everything that could go wrong in the process, come armed with these tips on nabbing the place of your dreams (without sacrificing your sanity, of course).
Do your homework:
What do you value in a property? Lots of open space and greenery? Proximity to certain amenities (i.e. schools, parks, shopping)? Access to public transit? Make sure you know what you’re looking for and research areas in advance. Don’t forget to take other important factors like safety into consideration by exploring local crime rates. You can use online resources such as walkscore.com, a tool used to promote walkable neighbourhoods, to gather all the facts. Doing a bit more work upfront will save you time and energy in the long run in finding your dream home.
Stick to your budget:
Sure, everyone veers off a bit here and there, but when it comes to home buying you can’t disregard your financial reality. You’re inevitably going to have to make certain concessions so know your “must haves” versus your “nice to haves” to help keep you on track. The cost of living fluctuates city to city and neighbourhood to neighbourhood. So, when you’re in the early stage of planning, make sure you’re well informed so you’re not wasting your time looking at places that are well out of your price range. No matter how hard you look, there isn’t going to be a perfect one out there, but there is a perfect one for you.
Consider the commute:
Time is money so when picking your home ensure you are factoring in things such as transportation time to and from work. It might not seem like a big deal when you score your dream home and it just seems “a bit out of the way”, but when it comes down to it, the time you save in commuting means less time in your car or on the subway and more time actually enjoying the house you purchased. When dealing with multiple commutes in different parts of town, it’s important to discuss what makes the most sense between you and your partner.
Factor in family:
Every homebuyer comes with a different set of family responsibilities that come into play when picking a city, neighbourhood, and ultimately a property. For instance, if people want to be near other family members for specific reasons (i.e. an elder dependent, divorced families, etc.), it’s important to make those factors known so you are filtering out options that ultimately won’t be able to satisfy your needs. Little inconveniences add up over time so don’t be afraid to be honest about your list of domestic demands, even if they seem indulgent. Buying a home is a big deal and not a time to gloss over the details. Cross your t’s, dot your i’s and make sure you’re asking for what you need.
Once you’ve considered these tips and are ready to take the purchasing plunge, I can help you find the perfect home in that neighbourhood.