Buying a house is one of the most important decision that one makes in their lifetime! It has to be taken very carefully and with a lot of planning. If you are buying with traditional financing or with Rent to Own, the process and the factors to be considered are very important.
Buying a house is not a single step but rather involves multiple steps taken in proper sequence to make the right decision.
If you are buying a house with traditional funding or through Dreamlife Rent to Own program, selection of the house is a responsibility that has to taken very seriously and involves a lot of decision making and planning. We always have talented professionals to guide you throughout this vital process.
Analyse your needs and wants before buying a house: First and foremost step is to analyse your needs and separate them from your wants. You may want to consider the present and the future plan for yourself in order for you to make the correct decision. You want to buy a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5 to 10 years, or find a home that can grow and change with your needs.
We have listed herein a few critical factors to consider when buying a house:
Buying a house that is the right size for you:
How many bedrooms do you need in the house?
How many bathrooms do you need?
Do you need space for your home office? If yes, how much?
What kind of parking facilities do you need? For how many cars?
Special features to consider when buying a house:
Do you want air conditioning? If so, what type?
Do you want storage or hobby space?
Is a fireplace or a swimming pool high on your list?
Do you have family members with special needs?
Do you want special features to save energy, enhance indoor air quality, and reduce environmental impact?
Lifestyles and stages and buying a house:
Do I need a home office?
Do I plan to have children?
Do I have teenagers who will be moving away soon?
Am I close to retirement?
Will I need a home that can accommodate different stages of life?
Do I have an older relative who might come to live with me?
What Location Should You Choose when buying a house?
As you know location is a critical factor. Choosing the perfect location is one of the most important consideration when buying a house. A home with everything you need but in the wrong location, is probably not the right home for you. Here are some things to consider about location.
Our real estate agents specialize in buying a house from this perspective and hence offer you the best advice from the standpoint of economic indicators,future progress and development of area.
Do you want to live in a city, a town or in the countryside?
How easy will it be to get to where you work? How much will the commuting cost?
Where will your children go to school? How will they get there?
Do you need a safe walking area or recreational facility, such as a park, nearby?
How close would you like to be to family and friends?
What is the neighbourhood like where you are buying the house?
Good neighbourhoods are located near shops, schools, recreation, work and other daily destinations and are important factors to be considered when buying a house or in rent to own. This helps reduce driving costs and lets residents enjoy the health benefits of walking and cycling. Land and services, like roads, are used efficiently. When buying a house, look for:
Are stores, schools, recreation facilities, restaurants, and health services within walking or cycling distance? Will your children need to take a bus to school? Can they walk to the park? Can you do most of your shopping without a car?
Are there nearby bus stops and cycling lanes? How long is the bus ride to work, or school? Can you safely bike?
House size and features for buying a home
Are the homes compact with shared walls to reduce heating costs?
Are homes reasonably sized with lots requiring less upkeep?
Are there different dwelling types (such as single-detached, semi-detached, townhouse and apartments) in the neighbourhood?
Are the lots modestly sized? Roadways narrow? Driveways/parking areas small? Do natural drain ways lead to streams or park lands? Is there native vegetation and streams with woodland edges?
“Look and feel”
Do the buildings have a friendly face to the street? Are the community centres, shops and meeting places welcoming?
Are there trees lining the street? Do you find the homes interesting to look at? Do the building sizes feel comfortable to you? Are the roads easy to walk along or cross?
Do the homes have “eyes on the street”? (In other words, are there people around who might watch out for you? Is there somewhere to go in an emergency?)
Is there adequate street lighting?
Are there safe places for children to play?
Are the streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians?
Is traffic slow moving and light?
Whey buying a house, do you want a New Home or a Previously-Owned Home?
A new home is one that has just been built — no one else has lived in it yet. You might buy a new home from a contractor who has built it, or you might hire a contractor to build it for you. A previously-owned home (often called a resale) has already been lived in. Here are some characteristics of each type of home.
Buying a house that is Brand New:
A new home has up-to-date design that might reflect the latest trends, materials and features.
You may be able to choose certain features such as style of siding, flooring, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures.
You may have to pay extra if you want to add certain features, such as a fireplace, trees and sod, or a paved driveway. Make sure you know exactly what’s included in the price of your home.
Taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) (or, in certain provinces, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)) apply to a new home. However, you may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST on homes that cost less than $450,000. For more information about the GST New Housing Rebate program, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
Buying a house that is new will have lower maintenance costs because everything is new, and many items are covered by a warranty. You should set aside money every year for future maintenance costs.
A warranty may be provided by the builder of the home. Be sure to check all the conditions of the warranty. It can be very important if a major system such as plumbing, or heating, breaks down.
New Home Warranties may be provided by provincial governments. There are also private new home warranty programs. In some provinces a warranty may be provided by the builder of the home. Check with your realtor or lawyer/ notary to find out what the new home warranty program in your province covers.
Check the internet for Home Warranty Programs in your province.
schools, shopping malls and other services, may not be completed for years.
Buying a home that is for resale:
When the home already exists, you can see what you are buying. Since the neighbourhood is established, you can see how easy it is to access services such as schools, shopping malls, libraries, etc.
Landscaping is usually done and fencing installed. Previously owned homes may have extras like fireplaces or finished basements or swimming pools.
You don’t have to pay the GST/HST unless the house has been renovated substantially, and then the taxes are applied as if it were a new house.
You may need to decorate, renovate or do major repairs such as replacing the roof, windows and doors.
The next major decision when buying a house is What Type of Home Should You Buy?
What types of homes will you be visiting with the idea of buying a house? Do you see yourself living in a detached single-family home? Or, perhaps a townhouse? Maybe, a duplex?
Buying a Single-family Detached
A single-family detached home is one dwelling unit. It stands alone, and sits on its own lot. This often gives the family a greater degree of privacy.
Buying a Single-family Semi-detached
A semi-detached home is a single-family home that is joined on one side to another home. It can offer many of the advantages of a single-family detached home. It is often less expensive to buy and maintain.
Buying a Duplex
A duplex is a building containing two single-family homes, located one above the other. Sometimes, the owner lives in one unit and rents the other.
Buying a Row House (Townhouse)
Row houses (also called townhouses) are several similar single-family homes, side-by-side, joined by common walls. They can be freehold or condominiums. They offer less privacy than a single-family detached home, although each has a separate outdoor space. These homes can cost less to buy and maintain, although some are large, luxury units.
Buying a Stacked Townhouse
Stacked townhouses are usually two-storey homes. Two two-story homes are stacked one on top of the other. The buildings are usually attached in groups of four or more. Each unit has direct access from the outside.
Buying a Link or Carriage Home
A link, or carriage home, is joined by a garage or carport. The garage or carport gives access to the front and back yards. Builders sometimes join basement walls so that link houses appear to be single-family homes on small lots. These houses can be less expensive than single-family detached homes.
Buying a Manufactured Home
A manufactured home is a factory-built, single-family home. It is transported to a chosen location and placed onto a foundation.
Buying Modular Home
A modular home is also a factory-built, single-family home. The home is typically shipped to a location in two or more sections (or modules).
Buying a Mobile Home
Mobile homes, like manufactured or modular homes, are built in factories and then taken to the place where they will be occupied. While these homes are usually placed in one location and left there permanently, they do retain the ability to be moved.
Buyig an Apartment
A self-contained unit in part of a building consisting of a room or set of rooms including kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Forms of Ownership when buying a house:
People who do not rent their home, own it. There are two forms of ownership.
Freehold means that one person (or two, such as joint ownership by spouses) owns the land and house outright. There is no space co-owned or co-managed with owners of other units.
Detached and semi-detached homes, duplexes and townhouses are usually owned freehold.
Buying a Condominium
Condominium ownership means after buying the house you own the unit you live in and share ownership rights for the common space of the building. Common space includes areas such as corridors, the grounds around the building, and facilities such as a swimming pool and recreation rooms. Condominium owners together control the common areas through an owners’ association. This type of property may not be the best choice in a Rent to Own program as the condo fees takes away a lot of your rent and leaves very little to be applied towards your down payment.
What Professionals would you need for buying a house?
Even if this isn’t your first homebuying experience, you’ll want to get help from a team of professionals. Having the help of professionals will give you experienced and knowledgeable people for reliable information and answers to your questions. We already have an excellent team of professionals that can assist you every step of the way to make this process of buying a house for you as easy, smooth and enjoyable as possible. These are the people who can help you:
Lenders or mortgage broker
Lawyer or notary
Builder or contractor
(Sincere thanks to CMHC website to help with some of the content of this article).
Thus, in buying a house, there are several factors that are important and needs careful analysis of your needs and wants and balance these with your budget and forecasted financial status. In the Rent to Own program, we do all these calculations for you and help you figure out all these numbers so that you can make the right decision.