House Hunting

Looking for a new place to live can be really exciting. House hunting is a lot of fun when you put the stress aside and enjoy the process, but you don’t want to forget about the important factors while you’re scrolling on property websites and booking viewings at places way out of your price range.

When you start house hunting, there are a few important things you need to take care of if you want the process to go smoothly. Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, here are some helpful tips.

Triple Check Your Budget

It’s easy to get carried away with beautiful kitchens and spacious backyards. These things are always nice to have, but not at the cost of exceeding what you can realistically afford. Overspending on your rent or mortgage can make your life miserable and you may find yourself having to cut back in other important areas.

Make sure you budget carefully and account for all the expenses related to renting or buying. For example, if you’re buying a home, you’ll also need to factor in expenses like regular maintenance, a home warranty and the interest on your loan.

Get to Know the Area

Where you choose to settle down is more important than you think. Your area of choice will determine your access to schools, work opportunities, gyms, parks, restaurants, and even supermarkets (we all have our preferences).

Spend some time researching the neighbourhood, or better yet, check it out yourself to see what’s around. If you have a friend or two in the area, you can ask them about what shops and amenities are nearby, what traffic is like in the mornings, whether or not they feel safe in the area, etc. All this information can help you decide if the neighbourhood is a good fit for you.

Know What You Want

Try to get clear on what you’re looking for before you even start looking. Make a list of the features you require out of a home, as well as a list of nice-to-haves. Think about your lifestyle and the size of your family to help determine this. Two bathrooms, a big backyard, and loads of storage space are some examples of what you might look for.

Of course, if you’re buying a home, you can increase the property’s value by upgrading or improving it and adding in the features you want, but if you’re renting, you’re stuck with what you get, so make sure you’re happy with it.

View it Twice

Finally, before settling on a place, make the effort to view it at least one more time. On the second viewing, try to be a little critical and look long and hard at things that might cause you trouble. Consider things like how much sunlight certain rooms get and whether the area is particularly noisy.

You can also take the opportunity to ask the estate agent whatever questions you might have about the house and get clear on things you’re not sure about.