| Buying

Are you interested in buying a house in Toronto? Are the choices confusing you? Are you tired of viewing houses and still not finding your perfect haven? Worry not, you aren’t the only one having trouble choosing your house in a city that offers so many residential options.

A comprehensive house-hunting guide is what you need. Here are some of my tips to help you navigate your home-search with ease:

  • Jot down your priorities. That way you’ll be clear on exactly what you’re looking for, and what’s a definite no-no. If the criteria is set clearly it will help save time while looking for the right match
  • The second most important step is to decide on a housing-type. Are you looking for a condo, a townhouse or a single family home? Both offer different living conditions, and you must be sure of your needs. Which type of house would suit your preferences?
  • Based on your needs and finances, come up with a budget you will be able to spend on your new home. Do bear in mind, that home prices are just the primary expenditure; you also have to look at taxes, renovation costs, if needed, moving and other miscellaneous expenses
  • Get familiar with Toronto’s real estate. It’s a vast city, and you should be able to boil it down to a few neighborhoods where you would like to live. Think about it this way: Which neighborhoods attract you? Do you have school-aged children? If yes, where are the best schools located and are the properties there in your price range? How far will your daily office commute be? What is the cost of living in those communities? Asking and answering such practical questions will help you decide on the more suitable areas, while obviously eliminating others
  • Check out Realtor.ca – the mammoth directory of all houses on sale in Toronto. Do your preliminary research there first to start getting an idea of the value of properties
  • Hire an experienced real estate agent. They come with market experience, networking skills and negotiating prowess and should be able to educate you on everything from property values in different neighborhoods, to closing costs to the buying process
  • With your homework done, you are now in the house-viewing stage. Try to get as many details as possible before you go to see the house. Many times, you may come across information that will rule out the house or the area, and this will save your time. I recommend checking out the street on Google Maps – this will give you a lot of information without having to leave the house
  • Compare each house against your wish list and decide which things on your list are must have’s or would like’s. Analyze and compare the houses by writing down the pros and cons for each one. Get to know about the chosen house and community from its neighbors, your agent and other sources. And once you are fully satisfied, you can make the final call

House-hunting can be a tedious and demanding exercise. But if undertaken with the right preparation, it can turn your dream home into a reality sooner than you expected!