1.  Are You Ready? - This is a huge financial decision.  Your first step is meeting with your bank and/or financial advisor to discuss your affordability.  If you need to get a mortgage, it's time to find out what your budget is before you begin your search.

2.  Find the Perfect Agent - You'll be spending a lot of time with this person, so meet with a few agents to make sure it's the right fit.  Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions.

3.  Find the Right Neighbourhood - Take your time to drive around and explore different neighbourhoods.  What is most important to you?  Do you need great schools?  Is living near hiking trails a must?  Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, or would you prefer something a little more quiet?  Do you need to be close to work?  Once your have a great agent to work with, these are the kinds of initial discussions that need to be had so that you can narrow down your search and be efficient with your time.

4.  Condo or House? - Condo living has its perks!  If you're someone who travels a lot, having a condo can be great because you can lock your door and walk away without any worry.  Not only that, there's no lawn to take care of, no roof to ever replace and you'll have amenities like a gym, 24-hour concierge and security, just to name a few.  If a detached, semi-detached or townhome is more what you're looking for, think about the approximate age of the home you're considering.  The older the home, the more repairs will likely come up sooner than later.  Is it within your budget?  Perhaps an older home that is newly renovated is more in line with what works for you and your family.

5.  Make a Wishlist - Write out from the highest to lowest priority all of the things you would love to find in your new home.  Decide which of those items are non-negotiable and which ones you're willing to be flexible on.

6.  Go to Open Houses - Make a day of it! You don't need your agent to accompany you to open houses, so if you have the time on a weekend, take the opportunity to explore different neighbourhoods and view as many properties you can.

7.  Take Your Time with Private Showings - When you attend a viewing with your agent, make notes, ask questions and take the time to investigate the condition of the property.

8.  Look Beyond the Decor - When you start viewing properties, you will see pain colours and furniture that may want to make you run the other way!  Often ugly homes turn out to be the best deals.  Paint colour can be changed, carpets can be ripped out, ugly kitchen/bathroom cupboards can be painted or replaced. Don't let those things rob you of the opportunity to get a great deal.

9.  Stay in Tune With the Current Market - As you start viewing properties, the process may take longer than you anticipated.  In this time, the market may change.  When you have a great agent, they will keep you well-informed with how it is behaving.

10.  Be Realistic With Your Offer - When it comes time to bring an offer, discuss with your agent the best strategy.  It will invariably depend on how the market is behaving, how eager the seller is, and most of all how close you want to stay within your budget.  Until this property is yours, it is a business transaction; not a home, so keep a level head and try not to let your emotions get the better of you.  If this one doesn't work out, flip the page and go on to the next.



If you want to sell click here: Sell

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