Buying a home is a big endeavour so house hunters should spend some time considering their wants and needs before heading out on any tours. Being an organized buyer is important. This can mean you do not purchase a home on a whim or under pressure, leading to buyer’s remorse after the papers are signed. Not rushing in and taking your time are key parts in finding a property you love and feel happy living in.

Once the financing is secured and you have found a real estate agent there are some simple steps you can take in order to make the house search a rewarding experience. Do your due diligence and contemplate the must-haves and the can-do-withouts, so you know what you want when are ready to hit the road. If finding the perfect home in a nice neighbourhood is important, Niagara-on-the-Lake may be the place for you. But do be sure to follow these few simple steps.

Know Your Budget

It can be tempting to contact a realtor and begin looking at homes without having a concrete budget in place. This is never a good idea. Knowing what you can afford before you step foot in any potential homes is a major factor in the purchase of a new property. Talk to a lender in order to set your price range, and determine your down payment and the savings left over for surprise repairs down the road.

Size and Number of Rooms

Whether buying on your own or with a family figuring out the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require is something to be established in the early stages of the house hunt. It is not a good move to buy a too big property as it can be more costly to upkeep than is necessary. On the other hand opting for something too small can lead to another move not too far in the future. Really think about the amount of space and number of rooms needed long-term.

Urban or Suburban

This choice is a tough one for a lot of home buyers, especially families with young children or couples with plans for a family. For some walkability and living in the core of a town or city is a deciding factor while for others a large home and yard are most important. Keep in mind buying an urban home may be more expensive upfront as suburban homes tend to carry lower price tags however the commute can offset this cost.

Newer or Older

We all have different tastes and choosing to go with an older or newer home often comes down to just this. Some love the character of an old property while others prefer a more up-to-date new build. Think about which speaks to you and let the realtor know. If you like a more established neighbourhood with tree-lined streets a newly built home may not be for you. Price may also affect this choice depending on the area you are looking to buy in.

Wants Versus Needs

Get out your house hunting notebook and write down two lists. Under one put wants and under the other put needs. Though there may be a chance of accommodating both of the lists it is more likely you can fulfil your needs but not all of the wants. Bring this book along on all of the tours and refer to it if a home is calling your name. This makes things clearer and can help with making clear-cut decisions.

Patio or Yard

When purchasing a property you are not only buying the house but also the outdoor space that comes with it. If the yard is a deciding factor keep this in mind when looking at potential homes. Space for a trampoline or garden may mean a sizeable backyard area is ideal, but if the upkeep is not on your want list then a smaller yard or patio may be more to your liking. Older homes often have bigger yards.

Take Your Time

Rushing into purchasing a new home is never ideal as buyer’s remorse is more likely in such cases. This can be a problem in seller’s markets where buyers feel pressured to make a quick offer. This is not a good decision and even in these markets house hunters should take their time when buying. Never wave the inspection and do not jump too quickly on a property. Follow your list and try not to waver. Choose the house for you.