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Top five things to think about before you make a buy

Buying a house is generally an exciting adventure and could be painstaking for some when it looks like you are left with no funds after the buy. The thrill of finding a home that you and your family can enjoy, where you will raise your children, make friends – all the good things that home ownership entails. But there are several things that you should consider before setting down your hard earned money on a home purchase.

1. Does this home make sense? In layman’s term this simply means will the home make sense for you and your family in the long run? Are you a young family and hope to expand? Maybe a two bedroom home is not the right buy. Sure, with one child it may be very okay, but when baby number two comes around and the first child grows older you may be forced to move within a couple of years especially when third one is a year away. Ideally you should look for a home that will accommodate you for at least five years. This may mean forgoing some fancy upgrades, but ultimately the cosmetics of a home can be changed, whereas adding square footage is a whole different ball game.

2. Have I fell in love with the furnishings, not the home? This often happens with buyers. The reason show homes are so inviting is that the developers want you to fall in love with an ideal. However with all the fancy furniture gone, you may find the home you bought is not the home you need. You may have ignored all those stairs in that three level townhome because you loved that open concept living area. But if you noticed it when you visited, think about how it will affect your daily life. Do you have kids? Imagine carting baby buggies, strollers, and kiddies up and down those stairs. Suddenly, that home might not be such a great idea after all.

3. Do you see yourself in the neighbourhood? If there are tons of children in the neighbourhood, and you are a professional couple who crave quietude, then you might be in the wrong place. Conversely, if you have children, but there are no schools within walking distance then they may not have any friends to play with. Make sure you pick an area that fits your lifestyle, whether you’re looking in the city or the suburbs.

4. Don’t buy the best home in a not so great neighbourhood. Ideally, you want to buy in the best area you can, even if that means buying a home that may not have all the extras that you want. Your home is your investment, and ultimately the old saying “Location Location Location” will always hold strong. You can’t make more land, no matter how hard you try. However, you can invest in the home that you purchase through renovation. It doesn’t have to be all at once. But if you buy a home with “good bones” – i.e.: good sized rooms, a practical floor plan, and structurally sound – all within a desirable location – you will be making a sound purchase.

5. Can I really afford this? If you are a dual income couple and are planning on starting a family, you may have only one income for a while. Will the home put undo financial pressure on you? If your income was to go down, would you be able to afford the home? Just because you “can” afford to purchase a home, doesn’t mean you should. Sit down and think about your lifestyle. Do you like to travel extensively? If you do, make sure you budget that into the equation. Are you planning to send your children to private school? Factor in the annual tuition to your costs. Don’t forget to speak with your mortgage broker.

There it is, now you can go ahead and buy that dream house of yours

READ ALSO: Building or Buying a House: Which is better?

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