Here we are into the first week of 2012. Let’s start by wishing you all the very best for the year ahead! In early January, many of us are planning and setting goals for everything we want to do and achieve in the year to come. While many people think of spring as the primetime home buying season, the Toronto real estate market will be very active through the winter months. It presents a terrific opportunity for both buyers and sellers to make that move happen. You could even be settled into your next home before warmer months arrive! If buying a house is on your “to do” list this year, now is also the time to begin preparing.
There are so many things to get in order– it can be confusing deciding where to begin! So, even if you plan to move later on in the spring, January is a good time to get ready. Here are some tips to help you get on track to reach your 2012 home buying resolution:
- Create your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” list: Easier said than done, right? But it’s next to impossible to find a first home with everything. You’ll need to think about your lifestyle needs and prioritize the non-negotiable home accommodations, such as a bedroom for each family member, over items you may want, but not need, such as a large master suite. Everyone’s list is different, but knowing your “must-haves” in advance will help you stay focused.
- Determine your budget: Be realistic about what is affordable. Toronto has a wide variety of home choices available. I can help you find properties in any price range to fit anyone’s budget. You’ll want to make contact with a lender or mortgage broker to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this prior to house hunting will let you know how much money you qualify for, and how much you can afford. You’ll also be able to figure out which mortgage type is best for you. Let me know if you’d like a referral to one of my trusted advisors.
- Identify the perfect “location, location, location”: Everyone has heard this phrase before, and while the surrounding neighborhood and home itself may improve over time, the physical location will remain the same. Determine in advance how close you would like to live to work, schools or extended family. A short commute to work, proximity to family or having easy access to highways and mass transit will often be items for your “must-haves” list.
- Selling Too?: People tend to be more focused on where they are going to be moving to, what their next home will be. In order to get there, you may need to sell your current home first. Your home is going to sell more at a higher price and with greater ease if it is looking its best. There are probably a few nagging maintenance items you’ve been putting off. Now is the time to get them all done! Ralph would be happy to walk through your home with you to give you a sense of what the little things are that will bring the most return to you.
More questions? I’m here to help! Let me help you to get your home buying plans off to a good start.
Ralph Evans is a Modern Professional Sales Representative with RE/MAX Professionals Inc., Brokerage.