Way back in 2001 when my wife and I decided to start looking at buying a house, the internet was still in its infancy; there were no MLS or REALTOR.ca websites to browse through and google maps and online mortgage calculators were about as far-fetched possibilities as 3D-printers and electric cars. For those who could afford them, cell-phones were definitely not “Smart” and if you wanted to know what interest rates were being offered by the big banks you had to comb through the micro-print financial section of your local newspaper or call your local branch directly(!).
Fast forward to just over a decade later and you, the consumer, now have an arsenal of tools at your disposal to help you research, plan and execute your strategy of purchasing that first house or condo. When you see how far we’ve come since those dark days at the turn-of-the-century it’s pretty amazing to think that the technology at our fingertips allows us to do so many things, from virtual walkthroughs to mapping neighbourhood schools, parks and subway stations, and all just with a few clicks of the keyboard or swipes of the screen…
Yet despite having this wealth of information on hand, many first-time homebuyers find themselves overwhelmed by the vast choices, apparent complexities and uncertainties associated with entering the real estate market. And make no mistake, between annual neighbourhood rankings and walk-scores, bidding wars, bully offers and tightened mortgage lending rules, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of the options and dangers involved in making that life-changing purchase.
Over the next few posts, we here at Property Guide Toronto will assist you in establishing a game-plan for navigating the steps involved in achieving property ownership, and we’ll explain the benefits and reasons for following our program along the way. We’ll start by helping you narrow down and determine what kind of a home you want, focussing on both the importance of location as well as the physical attributes of the property itself, before then moving on to the financial side of the equation, calculating how much you can afford to both purchase and live in your home. Finally, we’ll finish up with a look at the help and advice that are available to you, from realtors to lawyers to home inspectors and mortgage consultants, and why you might ignore using them at your own risk and peril.
As always we invite all feedback, personal experiences and suggestions as it’s our ultimate goal to make this amazing yet somewhat daunting experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible.