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5 Tips to Help You House Hunt Like a Pro

Wednesday Sep 16th, 2020


In today’s highly competitive real estate market, you need to approach the home buying process with a plan of attack. When you find a home that fits your criteria, you have to be quick on your feet and make swift decisions. Otherwise, you might compete against multiple offers – or worse, have your dream home slip through your fingers.

If you’re in the market for a new home, here how you can avoid disappointment by house hunting like a pro:

1. Know What You Want
The margin for indecision is very narrow in real estate. Before you start looking for a new home, you need to know what type of property matches your homeownership goals. Are you just starting out and need a small house, town home or condo to build equity? Are you bursting at the seams and need more space for your growing family? Are you recent empty nesters and looking to downsize or a senior that wants to live independently for as long as possible? Understanding your needs – both now and into the future – will bring much-needed focus to your search.

2. Know Your “Haves”
There are different types of “haves” in real estate: must-haves, nice-to-haves and must-not-haves. By making a list of these “haves” before you shop for a home, you’ll go into the hunt knowing what to look for and what to avoid. This process will also help you keep your homeownership goals at the forefront, so you are less likely to give up an important must-have, like a home office, for a nice-to-have walk-in wine cellar that looks impressive, but is not practical for your lifestyle.

3. Know Your Desired Lifestyle
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy hours of yard work every weekend, don’t be tempted by the home with elaborate gardens on a sprawling pie-shaped lot. Or, if your latest obsession is watching tiny home documentaries, but you have an elaborate shoe collection that you can’t part with, you can axe homes without storage space off your list. Remember: your home needs to fit your lifestyle and not the other way around.

4. Know Your Flexibility Points
Once you have your “haves” clearly defined, identify areas for flexibility. For example, you might be willing to pass up a gourmet kitchen for a shorter commute or choose a smaller home to be in a better school district. Knowing your flexibility points before house hunting will help you make quick decisions when the right home comes your way.

5. Know Your Preferred Neighbourhoods
Driving around the city aimlessly to view homes in neighbourhoods that might not fit your criteria is a waste of time and energy. Instead, create a ranked list of your most desired neighbourhoods that suit your need for accessibility, appearance, safety and amenities and hone-in on listings in those areas. You can even go as far as identifying specific streets that you envision yourself living on and have your realtor talk to homeowners to see if they are interested in selling.

Final Thoughts
Knowing what you want in a future home and sticking to a plan is the best way to make house hunting efficient, fun and fruitful. If you need help with determining your criteria for your next home, contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative and ASA at Keller Williams Realty Associates, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario, to house hunt like a pro.

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