Here’s how to be fully prepared for the home-buying process

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By Bryan Tuckey

If you’re ready to buy a home, my advice would be to buy a new one. I can think of a slew of benefits but the best ones are that you can snag a great pre-construction price, you get to watch as your new home comes to life and you get to pick and personalize all of the features to really make it yours.

It can be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so I’ve come up with five things you should consider before buying a new home.

1) Before even looking at new homes, you have to consider your budget. Research the mortgage rules with a financial expert and find out what you can afford.

2) Research the type of home that fits into your budget and don’t rush. Take a thorough look at everything and ask lots of questions.

If you like the idea of saving for a few years while your new home is under construction, visit a few sales centres in your preferred neighbourhood to learn about pre-construction projects. You might just find your dream home. If you’re a first-time buyer and want to live in the city centre, a condo unit might appeal to you.

3) Consider the type of community you’d like to live in. If you’re thinking about a different neighbourhood than where you currently reside, it’s important to figure out the length of your commute to work. Until all communities offer the opportunity to live, work and play in the same vicinity, your new route and travel time should be part of your decision.

4) Once you’ve thought about a few potential communities, get to know the homebuilders in that area. Spend some time researching the companies and where they have built.

5) Consider the details. Think about what features are most important to you and once you’ve finalized the purchase agreement, you can personalize your new home by choosing the finishes that most suit your style. At the same time, it’s important to learn about your new home warranty and the after-sales service provided by your builder, which will be helpful once you move in.

Bryan Tuckey is the president and CEO of the Industry and Land Development Association.

First published in the Toronto Star on Sept. 1, 2012.

Related reading:

10 steps of the home buying process

Achieve the homeownership dream sooner