Things to consider while house hunting

homebuyingfamilyThings to consider while house hunting

It’s quite common to hear home owners say they knew within minutes of walking into a home if it was right for them. However, Ontario Realtors want to remind prospective home buyers that more than a feeling needs to be considered before making an offer to buy a home.

“While the first few minutes of a showing can be very telling, it’s very important to look beyond the features that match your criteria,” says Costa Poulopoulos, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “Location, number of bedrooms and washrooms, backyard size, kitchen style, etc. – these are some of the big ticket items on a home buyer’s checklist. There are a number of not-so-obvious features home buyers should be looking for to help them decide if a home is right for them.”

Here is a list of some of the less obvious things home buyers should consider when viewing a prospective home:

Immediate surroundings – Be sure to visit the home at various times of day to get a true sense of its surroundings. If you’re visiting a home on the weekend, you may not notice how much traffic runs through the neighbourhood on weekdays, or how noisy it can get due to the adjacent school.

Neighbours – Residents are the window into a neighbourhood. Talk to them – they’ll be able to fill you in on things that may have an impact on your decision to either buy, or walk away, from a home.

The view – If you’re considering a bungalow, but don’t have any plans to build a two-storey home, it’s wise to pay attention to any development happening in the neighbourhood. While you might not have plans to build, the bungalow next to you might one day become a large new home that may affect the light in your home or your view.

Remodelling challenges – Discuss your remodelling plans with the seller’s Realtor. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to rearrange the kitchen in the home you’re considering. A wall, sink or counter may be where they are because of structural reasons, and you don’t want to be disappointed to learn that only after buying the house.

The frills – Prepare a list of all the things that stand out as perks in the home you’re considering, and make note of how they might affect you financially. For instance, a big yard is lovely in the summer months, but maintaining it might cause a spike in your water bill.

The little things – Don’t be too quick to discount things that seem minor in comparison to your overall love of the home. For example, a detached garage may seem like a minor thing, but you may not think so in the winter months or when you have groceries to carry into your home.

“Try to be as candid as possible with your Realtor when drawing up your home wish list – if you’re both on the same page, you’ll be sure to find a home that meets most, if not all, of your needs and wants,” says Poulopoulos.

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This article is provided by local REALTORS® and the Ontario Real Estate Association for the benefit of consumers in the real estate market.