Are you in the market for a new home? Before you start attending showings, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself and your family for one of the largest purchases you will ever make. With housing stock at historic lows and tight competition among buyers, you may be able to give yourself a competitive advantage by being prepared.
Make sure you have the right professionals on your side. Follow this list of tips to help you be as successful as possible when shopping for your new home.
- Create a wishlist. List and rank all of the things you are looking for in a home. Consider things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and parking spaces you need; whether you want a home on one level or multiple; open concept or defined rooms; and your accessibility needs. Think about your priorities outside the home as well. Do you want to live near restaurants, parks, a particular school or place of worship? Identify the things you are and are not willing to compromise on.
- Choose a neighbourhood. One of the biggest questions you’ll have to ask yourself is where you want to live. If affordability is a concern, as it is for many in the current market, you may need to consider areas outside your preferred location. A real estate professional can help you identify neighbourhoods that will satisfy both your wishlist and your budget.
Use the Royal LePage ‘Your Perfect Life’ tool to match your needs to the right neighbourhood for you! Learn more about this useful application in this helpful blog post.
- Find the right agent. You can begin the search for your new home online, but there is no substitute for the professional expertise of a real estate agent. They will have in-depth knowledge of the local market and will be able to guide you through the shopping and purchase process. They can also help with the sale of your current home, if necessary.
- Create a budget. It’s important to assess your household’s weekly and monthly expenses before deciding what size loan you are comfortable taking on. It’s about more than simply what size mortgage you qualify for. Remember to take into consideration extra expenses associated with a home purchase, including moving costs, land transfer taxes, closing costs and potential renovations.
- Get pre-approved. Once you’ve identified the size of your down payment and what you’re comfortable spending on a monthly mortgage, get it in writing. A professional mortgage specialist can offer you a pre-approval letter, outlining what you can afford to offer on a property. This can eliminate the need for a financing condition in your offer, which may make your bid stand out from other potential buyers’.