You did it! You have enough money to buy a new home for your little family. You are ready and enthusiastic but how will you choose the best one?
Becoming landlords is a major step in a couple’s life so you should make no mistake when you decide this.
Here are a few tips that should make it easier and more fun to pick a home.
Step one: evaluate your needs
It is time to proceed to a little interview with your man! In fact, you should ask yourself a few questions too!
- Work: obviously, you must keep in mind the proximity of your workplace, and that of your partner. Do you have a relatively stable job? Do you intend to change soon? If so, does your industry allow you to be mobile? If you answer no to that last question, you just made the region where you can live much smaller.
- Your schedule: if your work hours allow you to get to work by public transport, you can choose a residence in the city or in the suburbs and near a train or a metro station.
- Children: If you have pre-schoolers, you must make sure that there is a good daycare nearby. In the city or in the suburbs it is usually easy but not in some remote areas. And, of course, make sure that there are good schools around.
- Transport: According to CAA, the use of a compact car costs $9,500 per year. This amount could repay a mortgage of $136,175 (amortized over 25 years)…Remember that!
City, suburbs or countryside?
Everything is a matter of taste, even if you must take the previous questions into account… None of the three is less family-friendly but all three have different advantages. In the city, shops and services are nearby but it is true only in a few suburbs and very rarely in the countryside.
The countryside allows you to buy a much bigger land and a cheaper house which is not necessarily true in the suburbs while the city is much more expensive.
The suburb can offer an interesting compromise between city and countryside because some lands have a very respectable size and an access to shops, grocery stores, pharmacies and commuter trains.
To find out more about the proximity of services in the regions that interest you, consult Centris, which traces a detailed picture of the communities in all areas of Quebec: a directory of child care, schools, health services and accessibility to public transport. You can even find information about the population by age and average family income.
Finally, some real estate agents recommend buying a modest property in the best neighbourhood you can afford rather than buying an expensive home in a modest neighbourhood…
Step two: market expectations and your finances
To find out about the real estate market forecasts, consult the Market Analysis Department of the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), it is the best way to stay informed.