So you’ve decided to become a homeowner. Congratulations!
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases most people will ever make in their lifetime. It is no wonder it can be a long and confusing process until you move in, but it is vital to do your homework and think carefully to ensure you will choose a place that will fit your needs and your expectations for years to come.
Meeting with a financial representative to determine a mortgage that you can comfortably afford is a crucial first step. This will ensure you will have a better idea of the types of homes in your price range. Consider getting a pre-approved mortgage to help you shop for a home with added confidence. Generally, you should have five per cent or more of the purchase price of a home for the down payment. You should consider other priorities in your life to determine if this is the right time to be buying a home. Are you recently married, in school or planning on starting a family or a business that will require a good portion of your savings? If you are at a stable place in your life, buying a home will not be too much of a strain in your finances.
Location is everything when searching for a new home. It is important to think about the area you would like to live in to ensure it will mesh well with you and your family. Do you prefer living close to the city or in a suburban town? Will the place be close to schools, hospitals, transportation and shopping centres? Evaluating the lifestyle of your family will help you come up with a must-have list for the location of your new home. Is it important that you be relatively close to jobs and extended family members? Once you decide which geographical features you can and cannot live without you can move further into your home search.
You should also decide if you are planning on buying a new home from a builder or prefer a resale in an established community. If you would like to buy a new home, you can read up on new developments in the home section of major newspapers and real estate publications. It is also recommended you research any home building companies you are considering to find out about their policies and their services. Talk with other recent homebuyers in the area to see if they were satisfied with the level of service they received from the builder. Don’t forget to keep in mind the estimated dates of completion for homes in the new area to decide if they will work well with your tentative moving schedule. If the area has yet to be developed, try inquiring about what future plans will be for nearby schools, hospitals and shopping centres to get an idea of what your neighborhood will be like in the coming years.
If you are looking into a resale, there are some other factors to consider. The age of the home and the amount of renovations that need to be done upon moving in are big factors. You will want to make sure the area is safe, close by to amenities, and well maintained by the municipality. Find out what the property taxes and the homeowners insurance will generally be like for the home, and ensure you have it inspected before the final sale.