10. How long do you think you will live there (people move on average every 4-7 years)? Or, if you are an investor, when do you hope to cash out if ever? What is your exit strategy?
9. Location –- Is your purchase close to shopping, traffic, airport? What area/neighbourhood is the property in? Is it close to schools and parks or close to downtown?
8. Is the property restricted by certain rules? Be aware that in a strata or a heritage home, certain rules and restrictions can possibly hamper resale.
7. Market conditions — You don’t buy the market but you want to know what conditions you are working in. (Is it a buyers, sellers or balanced market? Are you in a seasonal market?)
6. Is the property close to transit? Bridges? What about paying tolls?
5. What is the property condition inside and out? An inspector is cheap insurance. Typically, older buildings will require more work, so be aware of that. There may be a chance for sweat equity…
4. Think about resale: Is the property easy to get into but hard to get out of?! What is the type of ownership — strata, freehold, or co-op? Co-ops tend to trade at a lower price because they require 35% financing up front. This may or may not be an advantage to a buyer.
3. Neighbours — Talk to the neighbours before you buy. What is the neighbourhood like? Are there mostly older people, families, or professionals? Keep this in mind, especially in a strata where you live right on the other side of the wall from your neighbours! Does your neighbour have a dog that howls at the moon?
2. Think about the future. Is there a possible transit connection (bridge or train) being built soon? Is there a development going in around the corner, or a half-way house, old folks home, or super complex and how does that relate to you?
1. Mortgage qualification – Most importantly, you need to know your budget. What type of mortgage do you want or need? Best rates are not everything: flexibility or readvanceable principle may be more valuable! Be sure to talk to a professional mortgage broker about your options.