Choosing a Neighbourhood
Remember that you can renovate a house, but neighbourhoods take years to change — and there’s no guarantee they’ll change for the better! On the other hand, if you really love a certain part of town but it’s out of your price range you may want to consider buying a less-than-perfect home and doing some renovations. Improvements can become expensive if you’re not sure what you’re getting into – this is where a knowledgeable home inspector and real estate agent can help! When searching for a home to renovate, try to focus on the areas that will provide the greatest return on investment; These renovations have been found to have the greatest payback: kitchen 70%, bathroom 68%, interior painting 65%, exterior painting 62%.
When you find a locale you like, spend some time in that neighbourhood (walk around, shop, go for lunch, etc). It’s often a good idea to visit the neighbourhood during different times of the day. This will give you a good idea of how busy the area actually is. During your time have you noticed if the people are friendly? Are there stores and recreation facilities nearby that suit you and your family’s needs? If you have children, it’s also a good idea to contact the local school board to see if the school provides good education opportunities? If applicable, are there private or religious schools? All of these things can determine whether or not a specific neighbourhood is suitable for you.
Speak to a Professional
Speaking to a financial expert is the best way to start off on the right foot. Mortgage specialists or financial planners are excellent resources to give you accurate numbers on what you can comfortably afford without being “house poor”. Taking this initial step will benefit you and your family prior to searching for the perfect home. Often when people are unsure of what they can afford, they inevitably end up with feelings of “being let down” and “disappointed” when they find the homes they love are out of their price range.
This refers to documents from a financial institution indicating that you have the financing to purchase a home. Pre-qualification is free and most lenders are happy to sit down with prospective buyers and figure out how much they can afford. Having an accurate idea of price range will save time in the bidding process. If there are several people making offers on your dream home, being pre-qualified can make your offer more attractive since financing is not in question. It is important to note, however, that lending institutions will base their final decision about a mortgage on ability of the buyer to service the debt as well as the property. Most lenders state that the two components go hand in hand – the buyer with the ability to repay a mortgage and the property as security in the event of default on payment.
It is important to note that a pre-qualification is highly dependent on the accuracy of the information provided by the buyer. No credit report is pulled and lenders often do not look in depth at a person’s financial situation during this stage of qualifying.
By taking all these points into consideration, you can worry less about the process of buying and get busy finding your ideal home! For more information on the costs and considerations of buying a home, please contact The B&B Team, Woodstock-Ingersoll Real Estate Agents with The Realty Firm, Inc, Brokerage.