Are you ready to sell your condo and purchase your first house? If so, congratulations are in order! From more space to greater privacy to the right to remodel to your heart’s content, there are many benefits associated with owning a single-family home. While the transition is bound to be exciting, you should also be aware that it will take some getting used to. A house requires a bit of extra care, and planning to provide it can make settling into your new home a lot easier.
If you’re planning to move from a condo to a house in the near future, here are five things you should know…
1) You should budget for repairs
If you’ve been living in a condo, you’ve probably gotten used to having many (if not all) all of your major home repairs taken care of. It’s easy to forget that once you purchase a house, you’ll be responsible for every issue that arises—from clogged pipes to a leaky roof. The best way to deal with potential future problems is to be prepared. Set aside some money in your budget for any repairs that might pop up. If you’re like most homeowners, saving somewhere in the ballpark of two or three per cent of your purchase price per year should be sufficient.
2) Landscaping takes time
Living in a condo means having the building that you live in maintained for you by management. It’s almost magical. The grass gets cut, the leaves get raked, and (in many cases) new flowers and shrubs get planted once the weather warms up. Needless to say, you’ll be responsible for all of your own landscaping once you buy a house—and it can be time-consuming. The good news is, once you’re aware of how long these tasks take (and how often they’ll need to be performed), you can factor them into your regular schedule.
3) Winterizing is key
Some winter issues (such as heavy snowfall) can only be taken care of once they’ve arisen. With others, being proactive is key. The coldest season can be hard on buildings in Toronto, and houses are no exception. In other words: be ready to winterize your property. Depending on how prepared your home is now, you might want to consider installing weatherstripping and adding insulation around your pipes (among the other steps you may need to take). Don’t forget to disconnect and drain your outdoor hoses!
4) Maintaining major systems is crucial
When you move into your own house, be sure to maintain all of its major systems. Pay attention to your furnace—your ducts should be cleaned and your filters should be replaced regularly. Plumbing is also important. Check the pipes under your sinks periodically for leaks, and take note of any issues that pop up in case you have to discuss them with a plumber later on. You should also keep an eye on the condition of your roof when you’re cleaning out your gutters (since replacing it can cost thousands of dollars).
5) Be aware of potential liability issues
When you own property, you have a certain responsibility toward those who set foot on or inside of it. Hazards can lead to injuries—and in some circumstances, you could be found negligent. In a house, it’s not just the conditions within your home that you need to be aware of. It’s also the exterior of your property. Think slip-and-falls caused by icy conditions and accidents that occur due to hazardous renovations. Fortunately, you can avoid these issues by knowing the law and your responsibilities.
Are you preparing to sell your condo and buy a house? Check out our latest listings to see some of the great homes available in High Park-Bloor West—or get in touch to learn what you can expect during the process.