Why are you moving? Is it a need to move or do you want to move? Do you want to be closer to work or family and friends, or would you prefer to try a new area? It’s important to determine your reason for moving and make a plan. There are many types of homes across Canada available for sale. The more informed and focused you are on why you wish to move, where you wish to live, what type of home and how much you can afford, will make the home purchasing process go smoother for you.
How much can you afford? It is very important to get a pre-approval done prior to moving to determine how much you can actually afford. The pre-approval may help you decide if you should put off the move until you are in a better financial position. Or possibly take out the equity and apply to a new home (if you are looking to invest) or perhaps provide you with more options on the area, size, or type of home you can move into. The pre-approval will also provide you with a rate guarantee while you shop around.
Make a budget to determine how much you can afford to pay per month. You may have been pre-approved for $500,000, but once you have taken the cost of living monthly expenses, you may prefer to purchase a home under budget. Likewise, if you know you will be expecting a raise, inheritance, or any other financial increase, you can stretch to the limit you were approved for.
Location, Location, Location Before you decide that you want to move, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Where do I want to live? Why do I want to live there? How long do I want to live there? How long will it take to commute to work?
Once you have been pre-approved, you need to look around neighborhoods to have an understanding of where you prefer to live. A Real Estate Agent can assist you in this process and may recommend communities, but you should have an idea of which neighborhood you wish to live in.
When deciding on an area, you need to factor your commute, whether it be for work or day to day activities, amenities (shops, community centres, parks, schools, daycares, and public transportation).
You even need to consider the laws. Often you may come across a property in an area, and then find a similar property five minutes away or across the street and it is located in another region or municipality. Changing regions will affect social programs available to the public, by-laws, zoning, property taxes, and amenities available to the region.
If you are considering moving to another region, conduct a search on the new area and determine if the changes are acceptable for you.
What type of home do you want? There are many types of homes one can choose from. Some people think there are only freehold of condominium; freehold not having any fees and condominium having fees, but that only scratches the surface. It is possible to have a freehold townhome/semi-detached or detached home on condominium roads. The associated fees are very small and cover the maintenance of the roads in the complex. The home owner is still responsible for the up keep of the exterior of the home, such as the roof, windows, and the clearing of the driveway.
You may not be interested in paying any fees at all and wish to have a freehold home with income potential. Homes with multi levels, such as back splits, front splits or side splits may be easier to convert into multi unit homes. You should try and locate a home that has a legal basement apartment.
On the other hand, you may appreciate a lifestyle of convenience and feel high rise condominium living is for you. The fees associated with condominiums may include utilities, amenities ( cleaners, security, gyms, pools, party rooms, etc.)
When it comes to real estate, you will come across many people who will want to help you and who will advise you. It is best to work with a full-time real estate agent who has experience. Your agent is actively in the market and can give you up-to-date information. Everyone will not have the same experience in buying a home, but your agent is there to make the process easier for you.
Wishing you the best in Real Estate,