A REALTOR® can help you search through the houses on the market, but you can narrow the search by considering these steps:
What down payment for a home have you saved? Have you looked into using your RRSP(s) for a down payment? What can you afford? Have you done some preliminary research with various banks?
Make a list
Make a list of your needs and wants. Do you need an extra bathroom, a garage, a fenced backyard, or lower utility bills? Do you want a fireplace, a short drive to work, or maybe minimal yard work? Once your list is complete, review it and decide what is most important to your lifestyle. Decide which items are “musts” and which you are willing to give up.
Deciding where you want to live may be the single most important factor in choosing a home. Location affects your day-to-day living and is one of the most significant influences on value. Your choice of location may be limited somewhat by the price you can afford. Even so, make sure you consider such things as:
- Distance to work, schools, shopping, and entertainment,
- Proposed changes in land use such as commercial shopping centres and new roads, and potential problems such as noise from a nearby airport or roadway.
Type of home and lot
A single-family detached home is attractive to many people because it typically provides more living space and land area than other types of living units. Typically the detached structure permits you greater freedom (less restrictions) on remodeling, expanding, painting, and altering the appearances of the structure. On the other hand, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice for you, with an emphasis on maintenance-free living.
Size and style
Consider size and style. You may already have in mind a contemporary home with a sun deck or a two-storey Victorian-style with a cozy study. Or maybe you won’t know what you want or like until you see it. Whatever the case, your REALTOR® will listen to your preferences and help find the right home for you.
For further information on buying a home, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has an insightful section “Homebuying Step by Step” on their website.
The Canadian Real Estate Association has put together a homebuyers’ roadmap to help buyers through the proccess of attaining a home.