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Finding Your Ultimate Dream Home

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By Corey Sherwood

It's cliché to say that finding the right home for you is like dating, but it's true. You can't just go out on a limb and hope that it's a good relationship. You have to do your research and learn all you can before you take the leap. And it's a leap. Nothing is certain in real estate, and sometimes you don't know what you're getting into.

Indeed, finding your perfect home is a lot more difficult than you might think. There are so many factors to consider — where to live, what style of home to buy, and how best to finance it, are just the tip of the iceberg. Then there’s also choosing a neighborhood! (The best advice is to choose a place that’s close to your work, family, and favourite activities). But, of course, there’s a lot more to consider in a real estate market besides location. You also need to think about the budget, the type of home you want, and how much money you have for the down payment. 

To help make the house hunt a little easier, we’re sharing this guide to finding your ultimate dream home — the kind of place you've always wanted. Asking yourself the following questions is one way to narrow down your options.

What is my dream home?

The first step in buying a house should be thinking about what you want. Many people think of their dream home as their childhood home. However, if this isn't practical for your lifestyle (and it probably isn't), then you can think more broadly about what you want in a "dream" home. Picture yourself five years from now. Where are you? What do you do for a living? Answer these questions, and then see what the answers tell you about the kind of home you need.

How much do you want to spend?

What’s your monthly budget for your mortgage? How much of a down payment do you intend on making? Will this be your live-in home or an investment property? And how will it help make money for you?

Where do you want to live? 

A big city with lots of job opportunities? Or a smaller town that's more about slow living?

How big of a home do you need/want?

The type and size of the home that’s right for someone else may not be ideal for you. This will depend on what you can afford, how many people are in your family, and a variety of other factors. 

If you’re looking into buying a home in Ontario, speak with your real estate agent about how sizing can factor into the process. But don't worry if you don’t have enough room now! You have time to adjust and think things through before you buy.

How big is your family?

If you're married or in a relationship, how many people are living under one roof? Do you have children who will be growing up soon and needing space of their own?

What kind of home do you want?

Do you want a luxury home with plenty of room for children and pets to roam, or do you prefer the charm of a single-story home? Do you plan on having a garage, or will your car be safely secured in an attached parking lot somewhere? 

How do you want your home to feel?

Are you looking for an open-concept space or something more old school with separate rooms? Do you picture yourself entertaining guests in your new home, or do you prefer to live a more private life? 

What's your style?

Do you like modern design, or are you more into classics? Do you like to live in a home that's been remodeled or would you rather buy something new?

What details do you like in a home?

Is it the type of countertops in the kitchen that matter most to you? Do you prefer hardwood floors over carpet? Which kind of floor plan is your favorite and what specific details — like a fireplace, for instance — are mandatory for you to feel at home?

Important factors for your dream home

Remember, the home you find doesn’t have to be perfect. It's always possible to make changes as you go. You may decide that you want a bigger kitchen or an extra bedroom. There are ways to increase the value of your home without tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch. Home improvements can add hundreds of dollars to the worth of your house each month.

When deciding on a home, you have to take into account the factors that appeal to you most. Your perfect house will be somewhere where you can retreat from the world and relax after a long day of work or taking care of your family. 

Focus on the exterior of your home. If you like the interior, but the exterior is not in good condition then look for another place to live. Even if you’re planning a major renovation on the inside, it will cost less than completely rebuilding an older model home that is not energy efficient or has structural problems.

The journey to finding your dream home

If you're concerned you'll never find your dream home, don't stress. There's always help close by. 

Real estate agents specialize in finding homes for their clients, and Properly has an amazing team of agents ready to help. A real estate agent can do a lot of the work for you, and they should charge between five percent and ten percent of your total sale price. If you have a non-negotiable house hunting checklist, make sure to let your agent know. They’ll find the best options available for you that match your needs.

Properly is a Canadian tech-enabled real estate brokerage transforming the home buying and selling experience as the only service in Canada that helps homeowners to buy before they sell.

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