Is homeownership right for you?
The differences between renting and buying a home are vast. There's a long list of pros and cons for both options. Remember, there is no one best decision for everyone. Before moving forward, here are some questions to consider:
- Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
- How financially stable are you?
- Are you ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in homeownership, including mortgage payments, repairs, and maintenance?
Are you financially ready?
- Before you begin shopping for a home, it's important to know how much you can afford to spend. In addition to the purchase price, you need to consider the following: house inspection fees, legal fees, title insurance, land transfer tax, mortgage insurance, moving costs and setting up utilities.
- Meet with a lender or mortgage broker who will help you determine how much you qualify for and what kind of payments you will be comfortable with.
Which home is right for you?
Try to buy a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5-10 years, or find a home that can grow and change with your needs.
- What size? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Do you need space for a home office? How many cars do you have?
- Any special features? Swimming pool? Fireplace? In-law suite? Separate entrance?
- Determine your lifestyle: Are you planning a family? Will you kids be moving away for University or College?
- How important is the location to you? Are you willing to sacrifice size or some features to locate in a better neighbourhood?
- New or resale? With new, you get a warranty and no repairs but have to spend money on landscape, fence, etc.
- Detached, semi-detached, townhouse or condo?
Starting your search
- Check the newspapers and real estate ads
- Research "homes for sale" on the internet
- Drive or walk by "for sale" signs and take note of which houses you may want to see
- Visit new development sites to see if a new home is something you might consider
- Find a real estate agent you work well with. Buying a home can be enjoyable if you are prepared and informed