Ready to Launch? Here’s 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Move
Tuesday Oct 09th, 2018
Whenever you’re in the market for a new home, there’s certain need-to-know agenda items that will put you in the best position possible when searching for your next dream property.
Whether you’re shopping for a new primary residence or a rental, asking yourself these 5 questions before making a move will give you some peace of mind that you’ve done your due-diligence and can check these off of your to-do list.
Question #1: Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage?
First things first, you’re going to want to determine just how much home you’re able to afford. There’s a range of free tools to get a general ballpark idea on your mortgage affordability, but I would still recommend making an appointment with your bank to initiate the mortgage approval process before you start shopping.
This will help you consider exactly what types of homes you should be looking at, if there’s room for a renovation budget, or if the budget should be reassessed to fit your income. You’ll also need to budget for unexpected fees such as: closing costs, land transfer fees, insurance premiums, home inspector costs and more.
Getting this part dealt with from the get-go means you can shop confidently knowing you’re on the right track.
Question #2: Do you want to look at resale homes or new builds?
Next, you’ll want to decide whether you’re interested in a new home or a resale. My recommendation would be to expose yourself to both as each have their varying benefits and sometimes you can surprise yourself at what you end up choosing.
One of the most obvious benefits of purchasing a resale home includes its move-in-ready condition and the immediate occupancy upon closing. On the flip side, if you’re interested in selling your primary residence, you don’t have to pay capital gains tax on the sale since it was a previous residence (except in special circumstances) which can mean a profitable sale.
Purchasing a new build, can occasionally mean that your years away from occupancy. However, you’re able to be much more involved in the design process and can custom-tailor features of the home to your liking.
New builds offer the latest and greatest when it comes to finishes, design trends and amenities. New homes require HST as included in the purchase price, however, anyone who purchases a new home from a builder in Ontario is eligible for the Ontario HST rebate, earning up to $30,000. The rebate will reduce the overall purchase price and positively impact mortgage affordability overall.
Question #3: Is this a temporary move or are you in it for the long-haul?
This is important because it completely alters your house option criteria.
If you’re wanting to make a temporary move, either for relocation purposes, investment reasons, or to get into the market for the first-time — whatever the reason, selecting a temporary home will require you to identify your goals for that property.
If you’re in it for the long-haul, you might want to ask yourself an entirely different set of questions that are focused more around your current and future lifestyle. Wanting to lay down roots versus choosing a property that will give you the freedom to backpack through Europe on a whim, is a lifestyle decision and your future goals will inform how you choose to move forward.
Question #4: What do you love about where you live now and what could you do without?
Identifying your lists of pro’s and con’s will get you that much closer to finding that perfect property that’s going to meet all your needs. If you know you want a change of scenery, you’ll be able to pick the neighbourhood that will best suit this.
What you love and what you could do without is a filtering process that will give you a better idea of your deal breakers and your must-haves. It will also give you an opportunity of what you might miss about your current living situation, all in an effort to get you that much closer to being fully satisfied with your new home.
As a general rule of thumb, the 80/20 rule is an effective rationalization: 80% of the home you love, 15% of the home you can change over time and 5% of the home you can’t change but can live with. The clearer you can get on your wants, the better your ability will be to move through the house shopping process successfully.
Question #5: Do you trust the realtor that you’re working with?
If you don’t trust the realtor that you’re using, they’re not doing their job right. At the end of the day, real estate is a relationship-based business. Working with a realtor that you can trust will make the process much easier for you.
Ask friends and family to put you in contact or feel free to reach out to me directly — if you have access to a trusted resource that comes backed with market research, familiarity with your neighbourhood and a determined attitude to deliver on your requests, you’re golden.
It’s no doubt that starting your home-buying journey is an exciting one and preparing yourself with these 5 questions before you launch will ensure you’re headed in the right direction. As always, I’m here to help as a trusted resource and help guide you home.