The house-hunting process stirs up many emotions. It’s a lot like dating: finding “the one” is a daunting task, and the thought of commitment makes many people nervous. Some basic considerations can help narrow down the options.
Cast a Wide Net
The MLS universe is pretty vast, and navigating it with a specific budget and lifestyle in mind adds an extra layer of challenge. An experienced Realtor has a variety of tools to comb through what’s available and eliminate properties that don’t meet your needs. They’ll also red flag issues such as outdated wiring or heating systems, and assess whether they could present an issue for you.
Do the Math
Think you’ve found your dream home? Run the numbers before you fall in love. Mortgage pre-approval identifies what you have available to spend. From there, you can decide on a budget that feels right to you. Your Realtor will direct you towards properties that offer solid a value for the price, and can help you budget for associated expenses such as closing costs, renovations or repairs.
Consider What Matters Most
The décor of a particular home might be enticing, but don’t let it distract you from why you wanted to move in the first place. Keep in mind what your family needs, be it an extra bathroom, a finished basement or a larger backyard.
When shopping for a home, I ask my clients to make a “top ten” list of their favourite features. A property that checks 8 out of 10 boxes (and falls within their budget) is generally a great candidate. When adding a few personal touches can make it a 10, you know you’ve found your new home.