Where Should You Purchase?
Before you begin looking for your new home, it is important that you consider the needs of all the people it must shelter and what effect their daily activities will have on your desire for a certain size or location, both now and in the future. Thinking about some of the following factors will help you determine where and what you should purchase.
- Rural? Small town? Suburban? City?
- What facilities are available: shopping centres? places of worship? recreational facilities? hospitals? schools?
- Are property taxes comparable to those in other communities?
- Are there any future developments planned which you may not like?
- Are the sewage and water systems adequate?
- What is the availability and cost of utilities: electricity? gas? water?
- What public services are provided: police? fire protection? ambulance? garbage collection? mail delivery? snow removal?
- Is there nearby public transportation available?
- Do you mind a long commute to work or to visit friends?
- Can you afford to drive to and park at your workplace?
- Will another car be needed for your partner to drive to work, to shop, or take children to school or other activities?
- Are major roads easily accessible?
- Is public and private property maintained to your satisfaction?
- What is the composition of families living nearby: quiet, mature people? teenagers? potential playmates for children?
- Are their incomes and lifestyles compatible with yours?
- Have home values risen, fallen, or remained stable in the recent past?
- Are there any known projects on the horizon which could substantially change the quality of the lifestyle or the home prices in the area? Do you feel comfortable with the current zoning regulations? Will they protect home values yet still allow you to use a dwelling in the way you envision: outdoor basketball hoops and barbecues? storing your boat? a home-based business? keeping chickens/rabbits/horses? cutting trees? high fences? a basement suite? etc. When you walk up and down the streets of the neighbourhood, can you picture yourself living there for several years into the future? Do you understand the effect of the registered bylaws of a strata corporation? For example, do the bylaws restrict your right to rent the property or prohibit pets? Could the bylaws affect your quality of lifestyle and/or impact or protect the property’s value in the future?
- Are you interested in brand new only? an historic, character home? an already renovated resale? a solid, older home that just needs redecorating? or can you purchase a “fixerupper” and do major renovations yourself?
- What combination of space do you require? Think not only about bedrooms, bathrooms and garages, but also about areas for hobby activities and children’s play; and storage for clothes, skis, bicycles, wind surfers, tools, garden equipment, etc.
- Is a large, well-equipped kitchen important to you? How about a fireplace? A large entrance hall? A sun deck? A pool?
- Would you prefer a small lawn and low-maintenance garden, or do you enjoy cutting grass and making things grow?
- Do you need a dwelling with room to eventually accommodate more children? Elderly parents? Inlaws? Do you require wheelchair accessibility either for you or your visitors?
- Are there any restrictions which could prohibit pets or rentals?
- What schooling is available: primary? high school? adult evening programs? college?
- How close are the schools and how do the students get there?
- Are the schools crowded?
- Is the sports program satisfactory?
- Do the students have a high achievement record?
- If your family has special educational needs, are these available?