Decide What You Want to Buy
Ahh, the big city. Sure the prices are generally higher,
but you can walk to a restaurant, maybe even to work. You’ll also
have the widest range of housing options.
Newer schools, newer shopping centres, bigger yards, bigger
homes, no wonder so many people love the suburbs.
Smaller Cities and Towns
There are many wonderful self-contained
communities and compared to the big city, you can save a bundle.
If you like the idea of owning land how about a few acres all
to yourself? Seclusion is not for everybody, but for some, it’s heaven.
Next, decide what type of home you want
By now, you probably have a good idea of what type of home is right for
you. To familiarize you with the terminology, here’s a quick overview.
As the name implies, the home is not attached to the home next door.
Styles range from a single-story suburban bungalow, to a three-story Victorian.
Semi-detached or linked
Two houses that share a common wall. Usually less money than a fully detached
A two-family home.
Also known as terrace or row housing. Several homes with a common style
and joined in a row. They usually share walls on both sides.
The Condo Alternative
Some people can’t wait to start gardening on Sunday morning. If
you are not one of those people, it’s just an elevator ride away.
Condos also make a great first home purchase because they’re often
thousands of dollars less than a detached home.
How Condos are owned
You’ll own 100% of your unit and a share of the common areas.
Common areas include the necessary plumbing, electrical systems, hallways
and elevators. They may also include lots of fun stuff like a private gym
or party room.
Condo fees - Membership has its privileges and it
On top of your mortgage and property taxes, condo owners also pay a monthly
fee to operate and maintain the common areas. Be sure to look into condo
fees and how well they’re managed, before signing anything.
New or Resale?
Resale - Previously loved
Nothing can match the charm and character of an older home. As a bonus,
the previous owner may have made improvements and upgrades and you get
them with the house, usually for less than the cost of putting them in
yourself. However, some may have a little too much ‘character’ like
a leaky roof. Know what you’re getting into. You should always work
with a knowledgeable REALTOR® and as we cover in Step 10 never buy
a resale home without a Home Inspection.
Ah, that new house smell
You will be the very first person to live in your new home. In fact,
your new home may be so new, that it’s not even built yet. Before
you commit to anything, carefully examine the property, the blueprints
and visit other homes built by the same company. Have your REALTOR® and
lawyer review everything before you sign. While your home is being built,
stay on top of the process and remember, you have a legal right to make
a full inspection of the house before you accept it as complete.
You know what you want, but let's talk needs
Are you getting out of a two-bedroom apartment because it’s too
small? Then your new home should have at least three bedrooms and probably
a second bathroom. REALTORS® call these must-have features needs.
Features you’d like to have are called wants. Your
strategy should be to find a home within your price range that fulfills
all or most of your needs and as many of your wants as
Next Step: How Much Can You Afford