So you want to buy a home for the first time?
Buying a home is a big decision and one you want to take seriously! There are many factors to consider when buying a home, especially when it’s your first time.
Here are 5 general factors to start thinking about if you are looking to buy in the near future.
1. The location of the home
This might seem obvious, but location is one of the first things you should consider when buying a home!
Where do you want to live? What cities or areas appeal to you?
Every area has their own unique characteristics that you should consider. Do you know what the neighborhoods are like? Take a drive by to get a feel for the neighborhoods and imagine where you see yourself living.
Location is important in determining what your commute is if you work. Are you willing to take a longer commute to live in a calm suburban neighborhood? Or would you rather live in the area you work so you have a shorter commute?
When looking at specific homes, there are more detailed factors to consider. Is the home on a busy street? If so, is it going to be noisy if you live there?
Take a look at what is around that home too! Are there recreation centres, parks, groceries or restaurants nearby?
If you have kids, maybe you need to live close to a reputable school. Are you able to drive your kid to school in the morning or do you need to live within walking distance?
It is best to determine what is important to you in terms of your surroundings. Maybe you want to live close to a grocery store so you can pick up items you forgot for dinner. Or maybe you don’t mind living further away if it means you get the house you always wanted.
2. Your desired lifestyle
Take some time to consider what kind of a lifestyle you want to live. Your home and location play a big role in shaping the kind of life you can live.
Are you a city person? Big cities are active and lively, with lots to do including a nightlife scene.
If not, maybe you prefer a quieter suburb area that has recreation centres for the kids. Or you like nature and want to live near parks and hikes to enjoy in your downtime.
Figure out what is essential to you for a happy, fulfilled life. Also, figure out what you are willing to compromise on and what your non-negotiables are. This will help you out when it comes time to making the big decisions.
3. Future needs
We often tend to think about our lives in the present and what is currently going on. When it comes to buying real estate, it is good to think towards the future.
There are costs to moving and relocating so you may need to consider what you will need in 2, 4 or 5 years down the road.
Do you have plans to get married? Are you looking to have a family any time soon? If this is the case, you might need more space than you think.
You never know what exactly is going to happen in life, but it doesn’t hurt to think about it.
4. Costs of buying a home
It takes time to buy your first piece of real estate. You need to save for a down payment and make sure you can pay your monthly mortgage payments.
However, there are additional costs to be aware of when buying a home. For example, you might have to pay for Property Transfer Taxes unless you meet the exemption criteria. Not to mention, annual property taxes!
Being a homeowner means maintaining your property. Expect to incur maintenance costs throughout the year. If you live in a strata, this could be covered by strata fees. But either way, you are paying for the cost of maintaining your new home.
There are costs to actually buy a home too! From home inspections, lawyer fees to the cost of moving, you will need a set amount of money to pay for these.
Additionally, you should consider what your cost of living will be in the specific location. Some areas tend to be more expensive than others.
5. Assessing the value of a home
Buying a home is a big purchase. Therefore, you want to be confident in your purchase decision.
Work with your realtor to determine what you should pay for the home you want.
Take market comparables into consideration and always compare with homes nearby that sold that are similar to yours.
There are many parts to consider in the value of the home. Does it have a large yard? Patio space for entertaining? One home has a pool and the other doesn’t? All of these unique factors make a difference in the pricing of a home.
Making the Big Decisions
If you are looking to buy, this list of factors should get your thoughts going. There are so many things to consider when purchasing your first home!
Working with an experienced realtor can ease the process of buying a home. Make sure to find a trusted realtor to work with in making this big decision.