Central Saanich Today

House Hunting Tips

Buying a home? These tips can help make your house-hunting experience positive and rewarding.

1. Location counts. You've probably heard the old real estate mantra "location, location, location," but the point still bears repeating. Location is crucial.  How good are the local shopping centers, public transportation and other amenities? Will your new home be next to a vacant lot or a commercial property? Even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if it's in an undesirable location, and a home in a poor location may be difficult to re-sell in the future.

2. Make a list. Do you really know what you need and want in your home? You'll save yourself many hours of shopping (and potentially arguing with your spouse!) if you make a list ahead of time. Zero in on the features you must have, would like to have, definitely don't want and would prefer not to have. Your goal is to find the right home without falling in love with one that doesn't suit your needs. Tip: Start compiling your wish list by thinking about what you like and dislike about your current home.

3. Do your homework. Not long ago, consumers had very little access to information about recent home sales prices, market trends, homes on the market, neighborhood statistics and the home-buying process. Today, all this information and more is available on the Web. Go surfing. Get educated. Become empowered.

4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, ask a lender or mortgage broker to give you a full assessment and a letter stating how much you're qualified to borrow. The true amount may be much more or much less than you think.

5. Use a checklist. Touring multiple homes is a confusing experience for most people. Rather than relying on memory, make notes about the homes you visit. Turn your priorities into a personalized home-shopping checklist and use it to track the features of each home.

6. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. House-hunting can be tiring, especially if you're relocating to a distant community and want to see a dozen homes in one day. There's no sense in torturing your feet unnecessarily.

7. Be prepared to make an offer. House-hunting can also be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart you're not really emotionally or financially ready to move. If you're not ready, don't put yourself through the exercise. If you are ready, go through a blank purchase contract ahead of time so you'll know what decisions you'll face when you make an offer.

8. Relax. Granted, buying a home is a major life-altering event. But it's not worth making yourself insanely crazy or stressed. Save time at the end of your house-hunting expedition to unwind, calm your thoughts and  emotions and keep the whole experience in perspective.

770B Hillside Ave Victoria BC V8T 1Z1

Office: (250) 386-8875 Cell: (250) 213-3980

Susan Carley  Realtor ® www.susancarley.com 

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