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Buying a house is arguably the biggest financial investment of your life. It’s important to do your research before purchasing a home. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 things you should know before buying a house. 

  • Get pre-approved. First things first: find a mortgage broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know the maximum budget you have to work with. Get your documents in order ahead of time to make the process easier. These include identification, proof of employment, and debt and asset information (such as bank statements, loans, and lines of credit).
  • Consider a home with investment potential. While you may need to pay more upfront, a home with a basement suite can provide supplementary rental income, or if the home is in a desirable location, listing it on Airbnb can help offset your mortgage payments.
  • Pick a REALTOR® wisely. Since your REALTOR® guides you through this important process, you’ll want to work with someone experienced—and someone you trust. 
  • Grow your down payment as much as you can. A larger down payment helps lower your mortgage payments, and putting down at least 20% can save you from paying mortgage default insurance. If you’re just starting to think about home ownership, or are still in the process of looking, continue to build up your down payment fund. 
  • Keep an eye on your commute. Location is an important factor, especially if you know you’ll be commuting. Check out the local transit options and don’t forget about the parking situation if you’re planning to drive. Working remotely? Consider whether this impacts where you want to live, as it can help widen your search. 
  • Consider buying with friends or family. Looking for a way to get into the market that’s more affordable? Multi-family homes or even living with friends, can be good options—just make sure you have a solid contract in place when sharing costs. 
  • Look to the future. Buying a home should be a long-term investment, so take value growth and potential interest rate changes into account when making your decision.  
  • Know the neighbourhood. Get familiar with the neighbourhood and check out amenities and facilities to get a sense of what daily living looks like in the area. As real estate professionals, we can provide invaluable, customized neighbourhood and address-specific reports, such as HoodQ, which include up-to-date information on schooling, transit, parks, safety and other important considerations. 
  • Beware the fixer uppers. It can be tempting to buy a fixer upper for a lower price, but there are few things to think about: make sure you have the time and financial resources to take on (potentially expensive) renovations. Your home can be harder to resell if you can’t complete the project. Also, remember to prepare for different selling scenarios if the market shifts. 
  • Google the address. A quick Google search can pull up news articles, previous listings, and you can also see Google Street View images of the home. 

Need help with knowing what to look for in a house? We can guide you on your home buying journey.