For many Canadians, house hunting is a rather enjoyable activity initially. You can lose yourself imagining what life may be like if you lived in each home you visit. However, house hunting can also become exhausting and tedious. If you are under pressure to find a new home to live in within a certain date, you may also feel pressure to find the right home quickly. Whether you find house hunting enjoyable, stressful or tedious, there are a few things that you can look for while house hunting to ensure that you make the right buying decision.

The Location

One of the most important features of any home is the physical location of the home. The home’s location will affect the length of your commute to work each day, the schools your kids go to, the accessibility of stores and other retail centers and more. The fact is that you can find the most amazing home at the best price, but you may not enjoy living in the home if it is located in an inconvenient or undesirable location. When looking at the location of a home, also consider the neighbors near the home. If a property is vacant or located near raw land, consider researching the property’s zoning and talk to the property owner about plans to develop the property or change use of the property. You don’t want to move into a quiet home in a rural area only to find out afterward that the neighboring property will be developing a retail center or gas station next door.

The Homeowners’ Association

You should also research the homeowner’s association for the property. Some homeowners’ associations are relatively weak and ineffective at enforcing rules in places for the properties in the neighborhood. Others may be overbearing and create unnecessary hardship on homeowners by enforcing the rules too strictly. If possible, when you visit a property, talk to a neighbor or passerby about the homeowners’ association. If this is not possible, consider obtaining a copy of the homeowners’ association rules from the seller and driving through the neighborhood to see how closely followed the rules area by others in the neighborhood. These rules are often in place to provide homeowners with a more enjoyable living experience and to protect property values, but you want to ensure that the rules will not place a burden on you. For example, a rule may state that homeowners cannot park a boat on their driveway, and you may have plans to store your boat on the driveway of a home you purchase.

The Home

A final consideration is the home itself. A home should be functional for your current needs, and if you plan to stay in the home for several years, it should accommodate known future needs. For example, if you have plans to have children in a few years, you may consider buying a home that has bedrooms for your children.

With current mortgage rates low, now is an ideal time for many people to buy their first home or to upgrade to a new home. However, you do want to ensure that you buy the right home for your needs. As you hunt for a new house, consider taking note of these important aspects of the properties you look at. If you are a first time home buyer, we recommend visiting for everything you need to know about buying your first home.

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