August 17, 2016

6 Things to consider before buying a new home

Autumn

Buying a new home is one of the most important decisions and largest investments you’ll make in your life. And it’s not uncommon for people to focus solely on the listing price. After all, we want a good deal right! However, it’s important to do some pre-planning before you jump into the excitement of house hunting. And the team at Fifth Avenue is here to help.

We suggest that you make a list of what’s really important to you and your family. Divide this list into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. Take the time to sit down with each member of your family to hear their thoughts.

Here are a few points you should consider.

The Area. Is this an area that you’d like to raise your kids in? What does your commute to work look like? Is there public transit close by? How close are schools, retailers, recreational facilities etc.? You basically want to know that the lifestyle you’re after for yourself and your family is easily achieved in the area you’re looking in.

The Community. Does the development have a good “feel”? Have you inquired about the landscaping plans and amenity areas? What are the long-term plans for the community such as roads, commercial expansion etc.? Are bylaws in place within the community that will restrict how you can live in your home (such as no pets etc.)?

The Home. Is the style of home in keeping with your esthetic? Take a close look at the quality of the home – is the construction solid and are the finishings of high quality? Are the appliances energy efficient to keep your monthly expenses down? Imagine your family’s daily routine and assess the layouts and sizes being offered. Remember, more square footage doesn’t always mean more living space.

The Financing. Do you know the amount you have for your down payment? What is the monthly mortgage payment you are comfortable with? Do you have a realistic picture of what your financial obligations will be once you own your home? If not, it might be a good idea to meet with a financial advisor.

The Builder. This is an important part of the home buying process. Have you researched the builders who have built the home(s) you’re interested in? Are they CHBA approved? Do they have a good reputation in the industry? How many homes have they built and what is their customer care like after you buy your home?

The Completion. Once you’ve found your new home, you will need to:

  • Finalize arrangements with your lender
  • Be available to choose finishings as your home nears completion (where applicable)
  • Arrange to do a walk-through of the home to ensure that the work being done is according to plan.
  • Receive a list of manufacturer’s warranties on components and products used in your home.
  • Before the end of your first year, the builder will touch up any small imperfections that have emerged due to the house settling. If you have any questions or concerns, a professional builder will provide effective after-sales service throughout this first year, so don’t be shy to inquire.

Thoroughly pre-planning before you search for a new home may seem stressful and daunting, but you’ll be grateful for covering your bases in the long run.