House Hunting Hints

You’ve established your budget. You’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. You’ve contacted a Realtor to assist you with the purchase of a home. Now the fun, and evaluation begins. You’ll probably be looking at a few homes before you decide on the perfect one for your family. Before you decide to purchase that home you’ve absolutely fallen in love with, be sure to be objective in your decision. On appearance alone, the fireplace, the new flooring, paint job and new carpeting create a warm and inviting feeling. Yet, is the home really that perfect? Take a deep breath. Take some time to think about the bigger picture of the home in terms of your needs. Carefully consider whether this home offers the features that will last beyond the first impression. Here’s are some essential factors to consider:

Location is a significant factor in your choice of home. An established community, with a good reputation, a low crime rate and well-maintained homes, maintains home values. No matter how diligent you are in the upkeep of your property, a run-down neighbourhood can drive your property value down.

Check with the local police department to find out if the home you are considering is in a safe neighbourhood. Police may be able to provide statistics regarding break-ins and other crimes.

It is important that the neighbourhood you choose to live in is well suited to you and your family. The quality of air, water and soil is a top concern as a polluted neighbourhood can be detrimental to both your health and property value. The home you are considering may be tidy and attractive inside and out, but how does it compare to the surrounding area? Explore the neighborhood, keeping an eye open for signs of neglect (overgrown lawns, houses in need of paint, trash and junked appliances littering yards). A garbage dump, industrious buildings disposing bad odours, and major freeways surrounding your neighborhood are unattractive and disruptive to a peaceful lifestyle.

Also consider availability and cost of access to public transportation, major roads and highways.

Also consider the condition of public areas such as streets, sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities.

Public services should also be established including street cleaning, snow removal, garbage collection, and emergency services.

You’ll also want efficient access to medical services including hospitals, doctors and dentists.

Be sure that schools, and related school services, are also within easy access.

Recreational, shopping and entertainment needs should also be considered.