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What do you need to know before making a home purchase?

March 23, 2012

As we enter the spring market, consumers are exploring the housing market to see what properties are out there waiting to be bought. As you search for that dream home, there are many things to consider and factor in before making that big decision to purchase:

1) Location. Location . Location.

What does this mean? We hear this on a consistent basis, but we all can’t afford to live in anywhere we want, so here are some factors regarding location that you should consider when you are purchasing a property:

Schools: are they the schools that will specialize in your children interests?

Work: Is the home in close proximity to work? With gas prices these days the shorter the commute the more money in your pocket.

Public Transportation: For those who don’t drive or wish to minimize our carbon foot print, easy access to public transportation is always a plus.

Safety: No one wants to live in a neighbourhood that you don’t feel safe in.

Access to shopping and parks: What amenities are nearby? It is more convenient to have facilities such as grocery stores, shopping centres, etc. nearby.

2) Condition and economic life of the home you are buying.

The most disappointing part of owning a home is when after you purchase it you find it to be more of an expense than an asset. According to Zello Jovanovic a realtor with RE/MAX professionals, you should be prepared to spend at least 1%-2% of your home value every year to maintain your home. If you buy a home that is older and was not maintained very well to begin with you may be stuck with a large amount of expenses to upgrade the home.

3) Longevity

Make sure your home fits your needs not just for today but for the next 8-10 years. Most people don’t realize that buying a home is not like buying a pair of shoes; it has many additional costs that need to be kept in mind before the time of purchase.

A well qualified mortgage agent will help you calculate the various expenses (maintenance, utilities, mortgage payments, etc.) you will need to pay for yearly before you make such an important decision. You want to ensure that purchase of your new property and the money you need to carry it is in line with your family’s financial situation.

The proper mortgage strategy with the right mortgage product that has the best rate, terms and conditions that suits your needs (and not your bank’s) will ensure you enjoy your new home and that you keep more money in your pocket, not your bank’s