Finding your dream home

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You’ve saved up your down payment and are pre-approved for a mortgage, so now it’s time to start hunting for your new home!

Starting your home search does not need to be overwhelming. Follow these five steps to make finding your dream home easier.

Do an Online Search

Beginning your search online is a great way to get a sense of what is available on the market and prepare for your home search. When you are ready to visit properties, connect with a local realtor who can help you through the purchase process.

Attend Open Houses

Visiting open houses not only allows to you look at potential homes but it also helps you to better determine exactly what it is you are looking for.  

Focus on the Condition of the Home

It can be easy to focus on the cosmetic features, such as flooring or paint colour, but keep in mind that these things can all be changed once you move in. It is more important to focus on the condition of the structure of the home. Before you enter a home for the first time, first take a look around the outside of the house for any significant cracks in the foundation or the stucco. Look at the roof to see if the shingles are lifting – if they are, it means they will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Once inside, look for cracks in walls, ceilings and the foundation to make sure the home structure is solid.

In addition to looking at the structure of a home, spend time checking the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Take note of any evidence of water damage or leaks. Take time to try the lights and plugs to test the electrical and run the sinks and flush the toilets to check for drainage issues. Check the insulation; a well-insulated house will retain heat in the winter and cold in the summer, saving you money and keeping you more comfortable. This may seem excessive, but it is better to know about any problems you could be facing before putting in an offer than being blindsided by them after you move in to your new home.

Not sure on something? Get a home inspection

If you are seriously considering purchasing the home, paying a few hundred dollars for a home inspection can save you thousands if you may have missed something. A trained home inspector ensures the home is solid and up to code, and if they identify any issues they will often give you a rough estimate of the cost to repair the defects. A home with serious defects, such as major foundation issues or wiring that is not up to code can be costly to repair, and you may decide that the home is not worth the expense required.

Make an Offer

When you have found a home you like and are ready to make an offer you may or may not include conditions for the purchase. For instance, you may wish to make a home inspection a condition of your offer, or you may want possession of all of the appliances in the home. Your realtor will work with you to design a competitive offer that will help land you the home of your dreams.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage and lock down a rate