The more prepared you are as you start looking for a new home, the easier and more enjoyable the process will be.
The first thing to consider is your needs vs. your wants. Looking for a new home can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many things to think about, and so many choices. A small investment of time and effort right at the start will pay enormous dividends. When I work with you, I always take the time to sit down and help you organize your thoughts before you start actively looking. Making a plan will simplify the process, save you time, and help lead you to the right home!
Here are some important questions to ask yourself even before we meet:
- Where do I want to live? (community/general area)
- Are schools a factor?
- Do I want an older home or a new one? What style of home do I prefer? (detached, town home, condominium, multi-family, bungalow, other)
- How much renovation and remodelling am I willing to do?
- Is being close to public transportation important?
- Do I have special physical requirements, such as wheel chair access?
- Do I have pets to consider?
- What sort of lot would I like? (small yard, large yard, fenced, garage, patio/deck, other buildings)
- How many bedrooms do I need? How many would I like to have?
- How many bathrooms do I need? How many would I like to have?
- How big a house do I want? How many rooms? How many square feet?
- What features are important? (air conditioning, carpeting, ceramic tile floors, hardwood floors, eat-in kitchen, separate dining room, formal living room, family room, den, library, finished basement, separate laundry room, fireplace, workshop, other)
Ideally, find out about your mortgage options before you start looking. There’s nothing more frustrating that falling in love with a home, only to find out you can’t afford it. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage is the best way to discover how much you can afford. Your banker or financial planner will look at your income, expenses and debt to determine how much a lender will lend you. Combine that amount with the money you have for a down payment, and that’s your budget.
Of course, I can introduce you to several trusted mortgage brokers who can help you look at the big picture. Want to get an idea of how much you can afford? Try our Mortgage Calculator on the left-hand sidebar for a quick estimate.