Step 1: Deciding Where & What to Buy
Congratulations on taking this first step toward buying a home. Pride of home ownership is indeed one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments. It is an exciting time and my hope is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying journey.
Let’s get started! The first step is deciding where you want to live, what type of home you are looking for and what features are “must have’s” or “would be nice to have’s” in a home. Invariably, there will be tradeoffs, but rest assured we are here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price and with as many of your wants and needs as possible.
Here are a few key questions to help you get started
- What type of home are you looking for? Single family, semi-detached? What style of home is best for you? Bungalow, split level, duplex?
- What about the age of the home?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
- What are you looking for in a kitchen, family room? Do you want a separate dining room? What is your preferred layout?
- What are your high priority features? Appliances, Ensuite, fireplace?
- What other types of rooms do you need? Main floor laundry room, home office?
- What about storage space? Basements, lockers?
- Do you need a garage or extra parking spaces?
- Is energy efficiency important? Newer windows or a high-efficiency furnace?
- How is your daily commute? How easy is it to get to the places you need to go?
- How close do you need to be to transit, shopping, schools, hospitals?
- Are there any important location factors? Backing on to parks, road traffic?
- What size yard are you looking for? Is the backyard important? Or is a side yard okay? What about the front yard?
- What are other landscaping features important? A fenced yard, play areas, pool, gardens?
- Is it important what direction the house faces?
- Who are you sharing this home with and what are their needs? For example, pets might need a fenced yard or extended family wants a separate entrance.
- How much do you want to invest beyond the purchase price of the home in terms of financial or sweat equity, if you can’t find all the features that you want?
- How long do you plan to live here? That can impact the type of home, the location and how much you will spend.