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The Buyer’s Handbook: The House Hunt

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Congratulations on receiving your mortgage pre-approval! Now it’s time to start scouting the homes on the market and find one that perfectly suits your budget and your needs.

What are the factors that you should consider in your home hunt?

1. Decide where you want to live.

There are several ways you can filter through locations:

  • By prioritizing lifestyle: some residential districts offer a hip, urban lifestyle whilst others are more peaceful and family oriented. Some are largely francophone whilst others are anglophone.

  • By prioritizing proximity of services: How long are you willing to drive to get to work? Do you need to have a day-care close by? Is it important to you to live near a park? Do you or your kids need to be located within walking distance to public transportation?

  • By prioritizing size and quality over location: some neighbourhoods are just more pricey than others, and a budget for a 3 1/2 in Westmount might get you a 5 1/2 a couple of streets over in St Henri. Your broker will be able to give you a good run through of the average prices per burrough and the comparables in your particular price bracket.

List your negotiable and non negotiable requirements.

Some factors to considers are:

  • Do you need parking?

  • Do you need a balcony?

  • How many bedrooms to you need?

  • How much storage space do you need?

  • Are you willing to invest in renovations?

  • Are you looking for sustainable housing?

  • Do you need an office space?

  • Do you require pet-friendly condo association rules?

Discuss these with your broker, so he or she can provide you with a detailed list of available units on the market that meet your particular needs.

Lastly, keep in mind the value of the home as an investment. Regardless of whether you’ll be living in the property or not, your purchase should make sense in terms of long term ROI.  Make sure the broker who assists you in your buying decision is knowledgeable about the market value, development, and standards of the area you plan to buy in.

Not only should they be able to tell you whether the asking price is a fair one, and how much you can negotiate on it, but they should also be able to pinpoint the factors that influence value and which ones will maintain value in the long term.

Some local variants to look out for are:

  • Type of property (duplex/triplex/house etc)

  • Surface space

  • Material used (brick walls/hardwood/etc)

  • Economic conditions in the area

  • Planned developments and projects in the area

  • Maintenance schedule and renovations

  • Condo fees relative to neighbouring projects

  • Access to facilities and services

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need help finding the right broker.

Otherwise continue reading Part 3: Sealing The Deal.

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