Determining Your Needs

Do you live a maintenance-free lifestyle?

Is your lifestyle more geared to doing housing projects in the fixer-upper?

Your ideal home may not be ideal anymore if it’s downwind from a garbage dump, or if your home is right next to a highway. Think about the view. Will you like what you see every time you look out your windows? Selecting where you want to live is as important as deciding what type of dwelling you’d like to live in.

Consider how far your selected neighbourhood is from where you work, how far you’re willing to commute, and your lifestyle. You may also think about schools, medical facilities, parks, and public transportation. Take the neighbourhood tour at different times of the day and contact the local municipal board to find out about any future development plans.

Before you go house hunting, make a list of “can’t live without” features to help narrow down your search.

New VS Resale Homes

  1. When buying a new home, keep in mind that the representative you are dealing with at the new home site may not be a licenced real estate representative. The new home representative’s best interest may lie with the builder and not you. Your lawyer can also help you make sense of the lengthy contract.
  2. Your new home may be delayed by a few months to even a year, provided that the builder gives you notice. This could be troublesome if you have a house to sell as well.
  3. A lot of homeowners are now completely renovating their homes and updating the electrical, heating and roofing systems. You might be buying a house whose bricks are 50 years old, but everything inside may be brand new. New homes are not always trouble free and you may have to replace or fix some fixtures as the house settles.
  4. With resale homes, the neighbourhoods are well established with trees, parks, and privacy. If you choose to buy new, you may be living in a construction zone for awhile.
  5. Buying a new home can be exciting because you may get to pick out what cabinets or countertops you like. But don’t forget to ask about extra fees that may be added onto the price of the house such as landscaping, air conditioning and fencing.

Condominium VS Freehold

A freehold property is the highest form of property ownership. Freehold means that you own the dwelling and land and you may buy, sell, or renovate at your own discretion. Freehold properties are usually detached or semi-detached homes but they can also include townhomes. With freehold properties, you are responsible for all of the maintenance and upkeep of the house.

A condominium is a type of property ownership in which you only own your unit and you will share the cost of common areas such as a yard, lobby, recreation room, etc. with the rest of the unit owners. Condominiums can come in various styles of housing, not just apartments. When buying into a condominium complex, your home will usually cost less and you often won’t have to worry about snow shoveling or lawn mowing which make them great for people who like a maintenance-free lifestyle. Most condominiums will take care of this for a monthly fee. This fee goes into a reserve fund to be drawn upon for repairs, maintenance, and insurance for the property. While all condominiums have to carry building insurance, you still have to purchase home owner’s insurance for your unit. The building insurance covers the common areas of the building or complex. Before you purchase a condominium, do your research. Find out the value of the cash reserve and upcoming projects which may result in a special assessment. Compare maintenance fees to other complexes and find out what is included with each fee.