When looking to purchase a property, most house hunters consider obvious factors like price, neighborhood, schools and location before deciding to buy or not to buy. But to ensure you make the right decision, buyers also need to broaden their scope. When it comes to buying a home be sure to do your homework, because sweating the small details can make all the difference! Swimming pool or no swimming pool? Gas insert or wood fireplace? Kitchen island or breakfast nook, home theater or wine bar in the basement, double garage or underground parking?
In short, considering the many options at hand, we recommend you follow a tried and true checklist to help guide you through the home buying journey. And to help make your life easier, here’s ours. A comprehensive checklist that details the small things you may overlook, important details that perhaps you have not yet thought of that could impact your decision to sign on the dotted line. Checklist lovers get your pencils!
For the kids
Do you have a children… or moving because that big day is coming soon? If so, you've probably considered how many bedrooms you’ll need, maybe a finished playroom in the basement, home theatre for the kids, etc. That in mind, you might still need to consider the following:
- Is the home suitable for children? Is the backyard safely fenced?
- Are there sidewalks in front of the house? Is there a park within walking distance?
- Is the playground a fun spot for both toddlers and all kids (regardless of mobility)?
- Is there a soccer pitch or baseball field nearby that you’ll be able to easily access in the summer?
- How about an outdoor ice rink in the winter?
- Does the schools in the neighborhood (elementary, secondary) offer special programs for kids (music, French classes, etc.)? Are the schools within walking distance?
For you and the whole family
- How far is the municipal arena or local gym?
- Does the City or community centre offer low-cost activities for the whole family?
- Does the library have a large selection of books and games for kids?
Do you use public transport to commute? Are your children old enough to use the public transportation system to visit friends on their own? When it comes to public transportation, here's a handy go-to checklist to consider before you buy.
- Will the public transit system in the area meet you and your family’s needs?
- How far can you travel by bus without having to transfer to another bus, metro station?
- Or perhaps you’re simply worried about the noisy hum of busses passing on your street?
- Will you have enough parking spaces for the whole family (private & public)? Are the parking pads safely lit? (Be aware, street parking is the norm in many neighborhoods across the City.)
Your environment & surroundings
You have the most beautiful house in the neighborhood. But if it’s near a local landfill you may not only increase health-related risks (not to mention quality of life particularly in summer); but your investment when it comes to resale value. Here are some important factors to consider when it comes to your environment, and the surroundings of your future home.
- Are there any commercial shops near your potential property? What are the days and hours of business and traffic patterns? Is it a high traffic (potentially noisy mode of business (bar, automotive garage, etc.)?
- Do the neighbors maintain their dwellings?" Is there garbage, debris or clutter visible around their home?
- In general, is the neighborhood loud? (Be curious, walk around the hood on a Saturday night. The vibe should give you a good idea!)
- Have you thought about checking the light? Specifically, how bright is the street and house when the sun comes out.
- Is your house getting enough daylight? (Does the sun rise in front, and set in back for ample sunlight (especially if you have a swimming pool)?
Your home inspector and real estate broker to the rescue
When it comes to purchasing a property, never hesitate to ask your trusted team of experts lots of questions, and before buying… make sure that you like the answers. Your building inspector and real estate broker are there to help guide you along the way. Happy house hunting!
- When it comes to home ownership, ensure you are well-informed by following a simply go-to checklist.
- Be aware of the many different variables before purchasing your dream home - transportation, environment and surroundings, to the family and child-related concerns should all play an important role in your decision-making process.
- Your building inspector and real estate broker are there to help guide you along the home ownership journey.