If you’re thinking about buying a new home in Toronto, there are a number of things you need to think about before you make an offer. Of course, you need to consider home prices and the costs of living in the city.
However, you also need to think ahead to plan for your future. Are you planning on adding new members to your family? What about pets?
These questions barely brush the surface when it comes to buying homes in Toronto. But don’t worry, we have more insight to offer. Keep reading for an in-depth guide on everything you need to consider when vetting your options for homes.
1. Your Budget
First, take a look at your financial picture. How much money can you afford to spend buying homes in Toronto?
Now, keep in mind that owning a home vs renting comes with additional costs. For example, buying and owning a home include:
- Realtor fees
- Closing costs
- Furnishing costs
- Property taxes
- Homeowners insurance
- HOA fees
- Utilities and services
- Home repairs and maintenance
- And more
When looking at your monthly cash flow, be sure to account for all of these costs. Don’t over-extend yourself and get trapped in a house you can’t comfortably afford.
2. Your Home Loan Eligibility
Once you’ve assessed your personal budget, you can apply with your bank or another lender for a home loan. At this point, you’re only seeking a pre-approval letter. This will give you an accurate depiction of your loan qualifications in terms of:
- Loan amounts
- Types of loans
- Interest rates
- Loan terms
We recommend getting pre-approved before house hunting for a couple of reasons. First, you will know exactly what price range you should be shopping under.
Secondly, knowing your loan eligibility will help you avoid making an offer on a home and being rejected by your lender. This scenario can be both disheartening and embarrassing.
Living in Toronto can be a wonderful choice for anyone looking for homes for familes. However, to find the best house for your family, you need to prioritize your needs. Primarily, we’re talking about buying homes in Toronto in the right neighborhoods.
Do you want to live in town or more remotely? Do you like the downtown scene or do you prefer a quiet neighborhood in the suburbs?
Remember, the choice you make will impact commute times, what schools your kids can attend, nearby amenities, and more. If you have children, you might want a home located near parks and playgrounds.
If you don’t have kids and are career-oriented, you might want something closer to the heart of town. Living downtown will also give your greater access to certain activities in Toronto, including its thriving nightlife. If this appeals to you, click here to discover more about why you should live downtown.
4. Home Square Footage and Features
Another thing to consider when buying homes in Toronto is square footage. Considering the size of your family, how much room do you need to be comfortable? How much space and privacy should you a lot for each member of your family?
These issues are particularly important for people who have children or are planning on having children/more children.
When kids are young, they can share rooms. However, as they get older, they’ll need their own space. Too little privacy and space can lead to conflict in the house.
Aside from square footage, you also need to think about the features you want in your next home. For example:
- How many rooms and full bathrooms do you want?
- Do you prefer a home with an attached garage?
- What about storage space?
Make a list of priorities to identify what features are most important to you and your family. You might get lucky and find a home with everything you need. Otherwise, you’ll need to determine the areas in which you are willing to compromise.
5. Lot Size and Property Features
Important features aren’t exclusive to the inside of your home. You might have specific needs or wants concerning your property and outdoor features.
For example, do you want an additional outdoor building like a shed or a workshop? Maybe you need a fenced-in backyard for current or future dogs? What about outdoor entertainment features like hot tubs, fire pits, and patios?
Of course, you can always add these types of things to your home after you move in. However, finding a home that already has these features would be an attractive selling point.
6. Neighborhood Quality, Safety, and Security
Sadly, safety and security are never things you can take for granted. Of course, some neighborhoods are safer than others. If you’re looking at buying homes in Toronto to raise your children, this should be a major priority.
Talk to your realtor and do some independent research to identify the safest neighborhoods in Toronto. Based on the results of your search, you can narrow down the areas in which you want to live.
However, it’s important to understand that neighborhoods of higher quality, and those that offer more safety and security, often come with higher-priced homes. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, it is a small price to pay for something of such significance.
7. New, Used, or Custom-Built
Finally, when buying homes in Toronto, you have three fundamental options – new, used, or custom-built. Each of these options for homes come with their own list of pros and cons.
For example, if you buy a used home, you know that other people lived there, used the bathroom, walked around barefoot, spilled things, made messes, etc. Yet, buying a used home will be the most affordable option.
Conversely, buying a brand-new home means no homeowner history. Furthermore, all of the home appliances will be brand new, there will be a new home warranty, and everything will be immaculately clean.
Along the same line, building a home gives you the same benefits plus the option of customizing the home to your standards. You can choose everything from where the home is located to how many power outlets you want in each room. However, new homes and custom-built homes will be more expensive.
Looking at Buying Homes in Toronto?
If you’ve been scanning the real estate market in Toronto lately, nows is the time to start being proactive. Reach out to a real estate agent to start hunting for the perfect home for you and your family. And remember the factors listed above when buying homes in Toronto to avoid making a poor decision.
For more real estate advice or consumer tips, stick around and look through some of our other articles. Our blog was created to help our readers learn more about the world around them.