Buying Your First Home, But Where To Start?

Whether you are buying on your own or as a couple the very first decision you must make before you venture out house hunting is WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?  If you work downtown do you want to live closer to work or possibly seeing yourself living in the suburbs.  Living in the city will certainly bring a shorter commute, but you will have to pay more a house if you expect to live in Toronto.    Moving out to Etobicoke, Scarborough or even Pickering you will get more house for your money but are you willing to accept the time factor in commuting to your work place.

Once you have determined whether it’s  city living or being a suburbanite, you have to next see what neighbourhood best reflects your lifestyle.    Now don’t just consider your present short-term needs, but think big picture and map out what changes you expect over the next 5 years.

Our lives are never static so starting a family, job change or heading back to school are some things to be thoroughly thought through.

You have to see yourself living in the community.  When my wife and I knew we would be having a family and certainly a long driving commute was not something either one of us would be up for.  We found a great little neighbourhood called Birchcliff and we immediately visualized ourselves in it.  It matched our criteria:

  • Walking distance to a great school
  • Large backyard
  • Detached home with potential to expand
  • Parking
  • Access to public transit and short travel time to work
  • Above average yearly increases in a home’s property value

Price is always be a driving force when buyers are looking for a home, however you should look at everything in its totality.   From my experience when it comes time to selling, if you saw yourself in the neighbourhood then the next buyers will most likely share the same criteria.   A great home in a bad neighbourhood or a has a marginal school will realistically never get any better.  Do your homework before venturing out so that you can be laser focused on your house search.

When you find the house which is perfect you want to be sure that the commitment you made is one made with an unjandiced eye.