YOUR COMPLETE TORONTO HOME BUYERS GUIDE
With the number of active listings in the city of Toronto at any given time, the challenge of buying a house comes down to much more than seeing and arranging a viewing of a house you like. The trick is to have a way to reduce the number of viewings that don’t meet your criteria, to include some that you would not have thought would match your criteria, and to give yourself the opportunity to consider a broad range of options.
In my experience, this is not something that most people can effectively do without the help of a professional. At any given time, I have a finger on what’s happening in the market, what’s available where and how the opportunities may align with your pricing parameters.
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MY TORONTO HOME BUYERS GUIDE INCLUDES INFORMATION ON:
1. UNDERSTANDING YOUR FINANCIAL PARAMETERS
The first and most practical consideration in buying a house is knowing what you can afford to spend. Given the size of the investment and the long-term commitment it represents, it’s very important to be realistic and not to create financial pressures that will keep you from enjoying life in your new home.
2. FINDING THE RIGHT NEIGHBOURHOOD
The neighbourhood that your new house is in will become the greater context for the life you live in it. This is particularly true when looking at local schools, but also when considering access to shopping, green space, and local amenities. What’s most important is different for everyone, but it pays to know what you’re looking for in a Toronto neighbourhood before you even consider the houses that may be available in it.
3. MAKING AN EFFECTIVE WISH-LIST
On one hand, it pays to start a home search with a good idea of what you’re looking for. On the other hand, I cannot count the number of times I’ve had clients completely change their minds about what they wanted when looking at a house that I did not think would meet their criteria. The lesson is that openness pays. You can’t know what you really want until you see what’s out there. The trick is to find the right balance between looking for what you want and exploring your options.
4. HOW TO LOOK AT A PROPERTY
There is a cliché about judging a car by kicking its tires. There’s very little you can tell from this simple action. I actually encourage my clients to “kick the tires” of the homes we look at, because it pays to explore on the basis of impressions. You just have to remember that there are good reasons to look under the hood as well. It pays to have professionals on hand to offer their opinions before you make a commitment.
5. EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR OFFERS
When it’s time to make an offer on a house that you want, it’s important to remember that the goal of negotiations is not to “win”. It’s to arrive at an agreement about the value both parties are willing to attach to the house. That being said, sometimes offers are competitive. You may not be the only person interested in the purchase. That’s when it’s good to know your limits, as well as some of the checks that can move the seller’s consideration in your favour. It’s not always about who offers the most; sometimes it’s about who gives the seller the most confidence that the deal is solid.
6. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU MOVE IN
Signing a purchase agreement is not quite the end of the buying process. In fact, the agreement will include a list of obligations and stipulations that you will now need to be on top of. Moving is never fun, but an orderly exit strategy will help make it a lot easier.