Similar to how you make a list before heading out the door to go grocery shopping, you should not start looking at houses until you have determined what you are specifically looking for. Focus your search by creating a list of features that your home must have as well as features that, though nice to have, are not deal breakers.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- How much can I afford to spend on a new home?
- How much renovating am I willing to do and what will it cost to do the needed upgrades?
- Where do I want to live? (Community, general area)
- Do I need schools nearby?
- How far am I willing to commute to work?
- Which amenities should be close by? (Grocery store, park, walk-in clinic)
- Do I want a brand new house or an older one?
- What style of house do I want? (Bungalow, split-level, two storey, duplex, townhouse, condominium)
- How many square feet do I require to live comfortably?
- What sort of lot do I like? (Small yard, large yard, fenced in, corner)
- How many bedrooms do I need? How many would I like to have?
- How many bathrooms do I need? How many would I like to have?
- What features are important in my new house? (Air conditioning, carpeting, hardwood floors, family room, basement, separate laundry room)
Take the time to sit down and really determine what your deal breakers are and what you are willing to overlook.