The first step to purchasing your dream home, is determining what “dream home” means to you. Is it a spacious suburban house with a big yard? Or a sleek downtown condo just steps away from the city’s cultural attractions? Maybe it’s a country house where your family will have room to roam. Once you know what your homebuying goals are, you can plan how to get there. Here’s a three-step guide to getting started.
Step 1: Identify your homeownership goals
Not everyone has the same homeownership goals. What are yours?
Are you looking to buy a starter home? Will you resell it, in order to upgrade to a bigger family home? Or will you hold onto it as investment property?
Are you looking for a family home? Is it for your family alone, or will members of your extended family also be residing with you?
Is your plan to pay off your mortgage aggressively, or to take advantage of longer repayment terms? If you plan to pay your mortgage down fast, are you planning to host tenants in an income-generating unit within your property?
All these factors will influence your homebuying goals and homebuying criteria, so be sure you and your spouse are on the same page before you start house hunting.
Step 2: Create your new-home criteria
Think about your big-picture homeownership goals, as well as family lifestyle, when itemizing the criteria that will drive your homebuying goals.
- Bedrooms: Will your children share a room or each get their own?
- The Kitchen: Do you need extra space for entertaining or for busy family meals? What about a breakfast nook where kids do homework while you cook?
- The Bathrooms: How many baths and half-bathrooms do you need to handle morning rush hour?
- Living/Dining: Do you have enough room? Would you prefer an open-concept space or separate rooms that can be closed off from one another?
- Extra space: Is there room to expand into as your children grow? Could you finish the attic or basement?
- Outdoor space: Does it suit your lifestyle? Can it be altered if this is not currently the case?
- If you want an income-generating apartment within your home, does the space currently exist? Will it be easy to carve out, if not? What about zoning approval?
- And of course, location, location, location: come up with search boundaries that work with your desired proximity to work, schools and local conveniences.
Step 3: Access the tools that can help you reach your home buying goals
Once you know what kind of home you’re searching for, use Genworth Canada’s online tools to crunch the numbers and make a plan for getting there.
Use the What Can I Afford calculator to determine how much of a mortgage you can carry. Use this info to fine-tune the geographic boundaries of your house search, or to reconsider some of your new-home criteria.
Keep on top of your homeownership and homebuying goals and plans by creating a profile with Genworth’s My Home Planner.
Finally learn about the Genworth Canada financial products available to you. Compare mortgage options to find the one that will turn your homebuying goals into your homeownership reality.
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