Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. These are 5 valuable home buying tips I learned in the process of purchasing our new home.
If you follow me on Instagram, or on my newsletter list (and if you’re not join here), you’ll know we recently purchased a new home! This is our second home purchase, but a bigger one at at that since the first one was a condominium.
We’ve been living in our downtown apartment here in Toronto for the last 5 years. But with the pandemic, our lifestyles change greatly. Our condo became where we lived and worked and spent all our time. And quite simply, me and my husband were living on top of each other.
We decided it was time for us to look for a home with a little more room. One where we both could have our own offices, as well as space to relax in and possibly grow into.
We began home buying search about 2-3 months ago. In the process we probably saw over two dozen homes and did a lot of research into figuring out what we wanted.
In the end, we found a townhouse located just on the edge of downtown, still close to all the restaurants and shops we loved, in a friendly walkable neighbourhood with plenty of room to grow into.
Even though it wasn’t our first time buying a home, we learned a lot about the process of home shopping and what to look for when purchasing a new home. So I thought I’d share the some of the home buying lessons I’ve learned that people don’t usually talk about.
5 Home Buying Tips that I’ve Learned
1. Buying a home is an emotional rollercoaster
When you begin viewing homes, you’ll start to imaging living your life there. How you’d set up the living room, arrange the closet, plant the garden, and where you’ll go for lunch or coffee in the neighbourhood. And this is a very emotional thing.
You’ll do this with almost every home you see (at least the ones you like). And repeatedly forming an emotional bond with each home can become very draining. Especially if you’re in a hot housing market like Toronto’s right now and getting constantly outbid.
You’ll need to prepare yourself for home buying emotionally. This is easier said than done, but try not to get too emotional or attached. Try to keep grounded and remember if the home you’re viewing actually checks off all the boxes on your list and if it’s really right for you.
This is one home buying tip that I wish someone told me about. It’s easy to get exhausted from shopping from homes, but don’t give up. Try to pace yourself not to see too many homes in one go. And if you need a break, feel free to go at your own pace.
2. You might not actually know what you want
When we first started looking for a new home, we were looking to move out of downtown. We thought we were tired of living in the city and wanted a calmer neighbourhood.
However when we started looking at houses in different areas, we found that we couldn’t image ourselves living there. We miss the restaurants, the shops, and the accessibility to work and amenities that we were used to.
Sometimes you might think you want something, but as you start home hunting, you may realize that it’s not for you. That is completely okay! It takes time and patience to discover what you really want.
3. Be honest with your realtor
If you like something tell them, and if you don’t like something ALSO tell them! Just be brutally honest with your realtor because if they don’t get your candid feedback they can’t help you find the place that you love.
Our realtor was a long time friend of my husband’s, so it was much easier for us to be honest with her. It can feel uncomfortable to voice all your personal opinions to someone especially if you’re not familiar with them.
But it’s so important for you to disclose your wants, needs, and opinions, so your realtor is in there in the best position to help and provide sound advice.
4. Don’t be fooled by staging or aesthetics
Some homes are staged so well that you feel like you’re ready to move in and make it yours. Other may not look as good, but need a fresh coat of paint or some minor renovations.
When viewing homes, look at the home for what it is not how it’s decorated (or lack of decor). This is such an important home buying tip to keep in mind!
When we in the process of buying our condo the last time around, my husband wanted another unit in the building. It was staged beautifully and had painted walls and looked ready to move into. The unit we ended up getting had a better layout, however it wasn’t staged at all which made it harder to imagine ourselves in.
In that moment, the other unit looked more appealing, but in the end we both agreed the one we went for was the right decision. The layout was better, it had better natural lighting, and more closet space, but it was hard to see that because empty and not staged at all.
It can be harder to image yourself in a place that isn’t as visually appealing, but try to strip away all the decor and fluff to see if the home you’re looking at is actually the best choice for you.
5. You’ll need to see a lot of homes
To get a feel of finding what you want, you’ll need to view a fair amount of homes. There’s no magic number to this. But you’ll need to see enough home to feel confident and comfortable in your decision.
We probably saw around a dozen homes before we began to get a feel for what we wanted. And then we continued seeing even more places to until we found something we could imagine ourselves in.
This number may be more or less for you. But I can tell you that you’ll know when you know!
I hope you found these home buying tips helpful. If you’re looking to buy a new home I wish you good luck on your search! And if you’re in the GTA area and looking for a realtor, I’d highly recommend the ours!
Check out more home & lifestyle posts:
- Closet Cleanout Tips: 5 Things to Throw Out Right Now
- 5 Ways to Make Your Home More Cozy
- How to Make A Gallery Wall
- Decor Ideas for Getting Your Home Ready For Fall
- 5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Greener
- How to Choose Wall Art for Your Home