Here are some of the guidelines I give my clients BEFORE we start looking at homes.
- What is your budget and have you been pre-approved for that amount?
It is wise to meet with a Mortgage Professional so you know your budget. Why put in all the effort of looking for a home and be disappointed to find out you can’t afford it. We are in a SELLERS MARKET and this can create bidding wars where a home sells for more than the listing price. Know your budget and stay in it.
- What are you looking for in a neighbourhood?
There are many factors to consider before choosing the right area for you. Where do you work? Do you have children? Are school boundaries an issue? Don’t be fooled. A home may look beautiful but what is happening in that and surrounding neighbourhoods? Is there a lot of crime, construction etc.? It is wise to consult with a Real Estate Professional who knows the area.
- What are you looking for in a home?
Square footage, age, characteristics of a home etc. varies for each individual/family. It is wise to have the discussion BEFORE you start looking at homes. Make a checklist of what you NEED and WANT in a home. Often a person goes into a well staged home and gets caught up in the fact “it looks like something out of a magazine”. It is wise to picture YOUR family, YOUR furniture, etc. in this home. Now does it look as good? It may be that your budget does not allow you to have ALL the items on your checklist, then it is wise to make some necessary adjustments. Perhaps you can find a home that has the “potential” to be upgraded to that perfect home for you and your family. Or perhaps this is a starter home you can eventually sell and upgrade to the one you really want.
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Make sure you use someone you trust and has your best interests in mind. If time is not of the essence, take your time. The right home will present itself at the right time. Just make sure you are ready so you don’t miss the opportunity.