Finances is one of the key factors when planning to buy a home and it can be hard to align the budget you have with your wants and needs. However, homebuyers should not settle for just any home because the price seems acceptable. You can still land an awesome home with a modest budget in the GTA, but it may take some time and making compromises. To land a great GTA home, you’ll just have to focus on what truly matters and turn a blind eye on the things that are less important.
WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD?
Once you have talked to lenders and know the amount you can afford, you will need to make additional calculations to see how much you should actually go for. Lenders will often offer a maximum amount you qualify for, but make sure not to stretch yourself too much and go for the amount that will still leave you with enough money to live comfortably. That way, you will still have enough at the end of the month to cover your other costs and some perks.
WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-HAVES?
You probably will have to compromise with yourself on what is essential and what you can and cannot live without. If you have always dreamed about having a big kitchen or a large balcony, you can still go for it, but in return you may have to give up on having a home office. You decide what your priorities are and you probably can balance your budget to cover some of the perks you always wanted in a home.
If you have kids, a one-bedroom obviously won’t work for you, and the size of the home would be vital in this case. This often means that you would have to go for locations where you can get enough space for a decent price as many families nowadays do. Still, this does not mean that just because a home has everything you want and need, you should go for a location that does not work for you at all. It is still important that you can get to work or get your kids to school or daycare or extracurricular activities in a reasonable time. Always look for the middle ground in these situations.
Reducing your list to the must-haves will make it easier to look for a home that suits for you and your family.
SEE WHAT YOUR REALTOR CAN DO FOR YOU
Once you know how much you can borrow, sit down with your real estate agent to discuss the price range you can target, as well as your must-haves and amenities. A great agent will make sure to present you with homes in your price range and they will also tell you what you can get in the market for the budget you have. A good thing working with an agent is that you will be able to find the right home faster than on your own given that many agents know where and how to look for homes that meet the criteria of different homebuyers, including yours.
FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE
Once you start touring homes with your real estate agent, you will come across a range of differently styled homes, and you probably won’t like them all. However, the key is to focus on the home features that matter, like the layout, the number of rooms, the floors, the entire structure etc., and ignore things like dated furniture, shrill colours or clutter. If the home is of the right size, in good condition and in a decent location, don't miss out on it just because of its aesthetics. Focus on the potential of a home and not on the cosmetic features which can be altered to suit your taste at any later time.
For those who already have a home here are some tips on easy and affordable home updates and if you have any questions, contact me here.