How to Avoid Buying The Wrong House

April 18, 2011

Buy House in TorontoBuying a house is one of the most exciting and significant purchases of your life. It is easy to get carried away and fall in love with a house that may not be the best choice for you.

The best way to protect yourself, is to hire a real estate agent before looking at any properties. Find an agent who understands your needs and is familiar with the type of property and location that you are looking for. An agent can guide you through the process of finding a home, placing an offer and signing the contract. They can recommend a home inspector and a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions.

Always give yourself plenty of time to find the right house and never rush into a purchase. If you do not feel comfortable with your agent, or they are pushing you to purchase a home that does not appeal to you, be honest about your concerns, or seek another agent.

Do some work on your own. Study the neighbourhood you want to live in. Research it online to find out pertinent information, for example: find out what the crime rate is like in that part of the city.

If you find a property that interests you, talk to the neighbours. Once you purchase a house, you cannot move it to a different location if the neighbours prove to be all night partiers.

Drive from the location to your workplace during rush hour, to see how long your commute will be. If you take transit, check with the Toronto Transit Commission or other transit system to determine how often buses or streetcars run.

If there are any vacant lots nearby, check with municipal offices to determine if there are plans filed for building.  You do not want to live in a construction zone or have your perfect view blocked by a high rise apartment building.

Save enough for a down payment before you start looking. Get a pre-approved mortgage before you shop. Many people have been heartbroken by falling in love with a property and then find that they cannot get approval for the mortgage.

Never purchase a property without a home inspection conducted by a qualified home inspector. A house may look impressive to you, but may have many structural, electrical, mechanical or other hidden problems that will cost thousands of dollars to repair. A home inspector will check all of the above, plus look for water damage, termites and other problems. If there are only a few problems, you may be able to ask the seller to fix them or lower the price, before signing the final offer.

Ask if there is a survey on the property. Many disputes between neighbours have involved fence issues and property lines.

Title insurance is necessary to protect you against unpaid bills such as water or taxes. Your lawyer will advise you with respect to any legal questions you may have.

Consult with your realtor and provide them with a list of must haves. Visit If you see any homes that interest you, your realtor can obtain more information. Have all the facts before you visit the home. You will find the right house.


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