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How to Choose the Right Home for Your Future

House with forest view

Unlike most purchases, a home is a serious decision that involves your lifestyle, your future plans, and a range of unique circumstances. If you’re in a rush to purchase, you may not be able to be selective enough to get everything you desire in a home. However, you may miss out on a great deal if you pass up an offer.

So, when you’re ready to buy a house, how do you make this decision? A living space needs to be suited to you, and make your life more comfortable, simple, and enjoyable (and hopefully grows equity over time!). Each home buyer needs to search specifically for a home that will offer them what they want.

There is no clear answer to how to choose the right home, as each person has different desires, needs, priorities, and preferences. But we’re here to help. We’ll try to help you walk through the process and make sure you’re considering all of the things that matter the most to you.

5 ways to choose the best home for you

These 5 main considerations will help you narrow down what you’re looking for, so when you finally decide to start visiting open houses, you’ll have a better idea of which ones will suit you, and which ones won’t.

1. Look for your lifestyle

When it comes to buying residential homes, there is a lot to consider. Whether it’s a condo, a semi-detached, or a mansion, it will likely be the largest purchase you make. While you can always sell and upgrade in the future while gaining equity along the way, you want to try to choose something that will last for years.

Whether you plan on this being your final home or not, you’ll likely be staying there longer than a two to three years. Choose something that will work for you, considering distance to work, amenities, and community resources. Depending on how important local parks, recreation, and entertainment are to you, you will want to be more centrally located towards these.

2. Location! Location! Location! It’s key!

Where your home is will determine much of your everyday life and routine. Where you go, how convenient that is, and how frequently you participate in activities is dependant on your commute to work, relatives, friends, the grocery store, parks, trails, the mall, the baseball diamond, the hockey rink, the gym, the market, the convenience store, and everywhere in between.

The location of your future home is very important to determining where you want to live, as this has a major impact on how you will spend your time. In turn, this will directly affect your health and happiness.

3. What unique features and fixtures draw your attention?
Wine cellar

The features in your area are important, but so too are the features that your home offers you. While features often involve a decision based on money, it should also be heavily rooted in the things you enjoy doing in life. Make sure to think about whether a yard is important to you, especially if you have pets or children. Having an indoor or outdoor garage, a long driveway for guests, styled landscaping, or a pool are all features that enhance your lifestyle, whether it’s for comfort, accessibility, or enjoyment.

You’ll also want to consider the features inside the home, including kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, sinks and faucets, and other things that you would have to pay significant amounts of money to replace. There are also non-fixture features that may draw your attention, like a wine cellar or a chandelier, that keep your interest in a home. Thing about how important these things are to you before you start visiting homes, so you don’t get bogged down loving a home because of something trivial, that really isn’t that important to you.

4. Try to look for sale and resale value

As one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make, your home is a big investment. Because of this, it can be a tough decision. Ideally, your home will increase in value during the time you own it so that you get more back when selling it. When making decisions about the house, you’ll want to think about your intentions with the house in the future, considering 5, 10, and even 25 years down the road.

If you intend on reselling to gain value, you’ll want to make decisions based more on increasing market value than your lifestyle. If you plan on purchasing a living space, you may want to balance lifestyle decisions with how easy it will be to sell your home and how much you will be able to get for it. This will include thinking about what styles and features are trending in the market, and changes to the region that will influence the value of your home, such as new industry, construction, innovation, and infrastructure.

Kitchener-Waterloo, for example, is consistently growing their technology sector, fueling innovation and bringing more infrastructure to the area. As demand to live here grows, so does the value of commercial and residential properties. This, and added city developments such as the LRT, make the area a great place to buy and sell for the foreseeable future.

If reselling isn’t a high priority for you because you’re looking for your endgame house, you’ll want to think about the value you’re getting out of your sale. When you start talking numbers, you want to make sure you’re not wildly overpaying for your home, or even worse, think you’re getting a great deal when in reality, what you bought isn’t what you thought it would be.

5. Is this a place you can grow into?
Family in a bedroom

And finally, you need to have a long-term plan in place to avoid buying homes repeatedly, incurring more and more expenses each time you move. Will this house still work for you in 20 years? Are you looking to start or grow your family and might need more bedrooms in the future? Is your career ever-changing and may have you moving to a new location soon, or are you pretty sure you’ll be staying in this area?

These questions will help you think about the house you need today, and the house you’ll need down the road. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, so the more you think about your 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year plans, the better you’ll fit right in to your new dream home from the moment you move in.

Making the choice is never easy

Overall, you’ll want to make sure that the home you buy suits your lifestyle. This will include choosing the style, type, and layout of the home that matches your personality and daily routines, and know it’s something you can afford. More than just the home, the property will also be important. A yard, garage, driveway, deck, and pool are all added features that need to be considered when purchasing.

Be sure to think about whether the area you live is best suited for a family or a bachelor. Pick your neighbourhood based on what you want most out of the home, including schools, parks, trails, amenities, public services, and entertainment. If you need advice about this, a local real estate agent is your best bet at getting the latest insight into your prospective neighbourhoods.

By seriously weighing what is most important for home ownership, you will be able to choose which features you need and which you can sacrifice. Ultimately, you’ll end up with the best value and find a home you love.


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