Home ownership is not an easy topic for many first time home buyers. According to a recent RE/MAX survey, many 18- to 24-year-olds in Ontario agree that they have limited knowledge of the housing market. Yet the reality is that a home is probably the most important purchase you will make in your life, so whether you are hoping to purchase this year or within the next couple of years, now is a good time to gain more information. Here are three things you will want to be aware of if you are considering home ownership.
Good neighbourhoods come with good returns. It’s important to check out a neighbourhood
yourself – go take a walk, chat with local residents and business owners. Where are the schools located and how are they? What is the overall vibe? Is the area convenient for public transit and commercial zones?Are there any notable developments in the works? Visiting your municipal office can offer you a lot of valuable information on developments nearby – whether they are desirable or undesirable. Even checking out a crime map to see if the area is safe can be a good step to take. Buying in an up and coming area is also actually a great move — look for planned public transit, contraction zones, upcoming employment opportunities, rising rents and decreasing days on market. If you’re planning on moving into the West end of Toronto — Bloor West Village, High Park/The Junction, Swansea, Roncesvalles — give us a call! We not only work here, but we live here so we know the area like the back of our hand!
Start off by subscribing to your local real estate board’s monthly market reports, which may include details such as average selling price by neighbourhood and housing type, days on market, etc. Keeping an eye on stats is important. You’ll also want to check what comparable homes have sold for in the immediate area — real estate is local and the story can differ dramatically from one area to the next. The Sidorova Inwood Team can provide you these numbers as we keep a close eye on the market!
Everyone is willing to share their experience. Advice from a trusted person who has bought a home should be welcomed, but should also be vetted. The best thing is to put your trust in the pros – a real estate agent will wade through all the data and paperwork, but also inform you of other factors, such as liveability, which impacts the price you pay for the home, how you live in it and its resale value. Even if you’re not quite ready to make your move, scheduling a meeting with a real estate agent and financial advisor to review your current state of affairs and how ownership fits into the puzzle is a smart move!