Buying a home? Consider this
If you’re buying your first home, there’s a lot you need to know and even more to consider.
Whether you’re buying with a partner, a friend or by yourself, it’s crucial that you make a plan and see it through.
The type of home you want
Are you looking for condo living? Do you love the idea of having a gym, a pool and underground parking? Do you want a high-rise or a low-rise? A balcony?
Maybe you detest all of those things and are looking for a fully detached family home. In that case, do you want a bungalow? A multi-level? Or a tradition two-storey?
It’s important to outline these details so you have a direction to go in when you begin searching for your home. Granted, your wants can change as your search progresses, especially once you find out the reality of the pricing difference that exists between each, the availability of each property type in your desired location and so on.
Where you want to live vs. where you want to buy
Where you want to live vs. where you want to buy is an important consideration. Often, your first home purchase might not be in your desired location. As I mentioned in my last home-buying post, we wanted to live in Pickering, but purchased in Ajax because it was more affordable and relatively close.
While some people purchase in an area different than where they hope to live for cost purposes, the other reason might be more logical and very rewarding.
The other reason is that people understand the value of purchasing in high-demand areas to make the most of their investment. So if you want to live in the suburbs but purchase a condo downtown, the potential profit you might make off of that core condo might be enough to get you your house in the suburbs in just a few years, whereas an investment in the suburbs might take a bit longer.
Your price range
You have to decide whether or not your price range will unfold like a scenario on “Say Yes to the Dress”. You know when brides bring their parents and the parents agree to toss in the extra few thousand to get the dress?
Are you firm or flexible? How much do you have saved? How much are you qualified for?
Several homebuyers spend more than they initially thought they would, and for some couples, that may have been okay, but for others, it may have put a dark cloud over the joy that is homeownership. Think about the effect it will have on your quality of life. If you can afford the extra couple hundred bucks a month and find a home you love, go for it! If it means you might be restricted to beans and rice, keep looking.
How long you plan to stay there
Deciding how long you want to stay in a home is crucial. If the home you’re shopping for is your forever home, you might want to take your time searching and make sure that you really get the best home possible.
You’ll want to ensure it has enough bedrooms if you’re planning on starting a family, enough space for your lifestyle, and a backyard if you’ve got a dog or are thinking of getting one.
But if you’re only planning on being there a few years, you can compromise on a lot of those things, especially if it means turning a better profit on your investment (see first point!)
How much you’ll have to put into the home
Unless you’ve got a healthy budget or are buying brand new, you might need to put some money into your home. My partner and I knew we’d have to redo the floors (we’ve got parquet, yuck!) and update the kitchen (it was hip in the '70s). But we figured those were moderate enough renovations that the home was still worth buying.
If you’re looking at massive renovations, consider whether it’s worth buying the home at all. How much money and how much work? Living through a renovation can be tough. Financing it can be even tougher.
If you keep your eye and mind on all of these things throughout your homebuying process, you’re likely to find a fantastic home that fits you, your family and your lifestyle impeccably. If you get stuck or have trouble throughout the process, consult your realtor. They’re there to help!