Canadians considering the purchase of a home in the near future should gear up for an exciting and rewarding time in their lives. Before signing a contract on a home, there are a few steps that should be completed to make the entire home buying process run more smoothly.
Learn How Much You Can Afford
Many potential home buyers consider the price of their home without thinking about the other expenses involved in homeownership. Other primary expenses that are involved in owning a home in Canada include property taxes, renovations as needed, heating and routine maintenance, and these costs can vary from markets like North Calgary and other areas in Canada. Meeting with a mortgage lender or a broker can help a potential homeowner realize how much of a home they can afford over the long term.
Know the Parameters
Every home buyer has those features that are most important to them when looking for a home. A family or a couple who wants to start a family soon will likely be interested in the schools, parks and other family-centric amenities that a neighbourhood has to offer. An empty nest couple or a childless person might prefer a home that is in a walkable neighbourhood or one that is only a short commute to and from work. Other considerations could include a home's special features like a swimming pool or a fireplace, whether the home is in the city or a more rural area and the square footage.
Types of Homes Available
Buying a home in Canada means an array of different types. Not every neighbourhood will feature all types though many will have a mix. A single-family residence is one of the most common types of homes. It can also be more expensive than some others—both in terms of money and time—as the homeowner is solely responsible for all maintenance and repairs. A condo is a popular choice for those who desire homeownership but who don't want to be responsible for the outside maintenance. Instead, each condo owner pays a separate fee for the repairs and maintenance needed for the common and outside areas.
Other housing options include townhomes in which two homes are attached so that they share a common wall and semi-detached which, in addition to sharing a wall, the home's residents might also share parking. A duplex or triplex is often the result of a home that was previously a single-family dwelling being reconfigured into separate living spaces.
Buy or Build
Buying a home that is already built offers advantages in that a homeowner can move in more quickly. Choosing to build a home means the home buyer can choose to include those features, colours and other amenities they like best. Having a home built often means that there is a significant wait between the closing of the property and the homeowner's move-in date.
Do a Credit Check
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage of a particular amount provides a home buyer with solid footing for choice properties. Prior to meeting with a mortgage broker or financial expert though it's a good idea to do a credit check. This alerts the homebuyer to any potential issues that might crop up when it comes time to apply for the loan.
Completing the five steps above gives consumers the information they need to help them find the ideal home. Knowing these items helps focus the search for the right home, saving time and money.