Finding a great community to live in is a very exciting process, but it’s also a long-term decision and should be made with care. To help homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, we’ve put together a slideshow of questions to consider when home-hunting. If possible we highly recommend that you tour the community and the surrounding area to get a feel for where you might live before you buy.
Ready to explore?
If you’re new to Empire, please feel free to explore our list of communities. You can also visit our homepage to access all of our active communities, or you can contact us and connect with one of our representatives, who will be more than happy to assess your needs and point you in the right direction.
Good luck and happy home hunting!
There’s no point shopping for homes you cannot afford. Our sales consultant can recommend a mortgage specialist to advise you on just how much home you can afford. Price is not the only consideration, however. Tax rates, homeowner fees and utility costs are also a huge factor. By shopping and living within your means you can help avoid frustration and financial stress.
What comes next?
Although we cannot predict everything, one of the most important considerations when looking for a new home is what you have planned. If you have one child and are planning a second, then a one-bedroom condo may not be a great fit. Conversely, if you’re about to become an empty nester, moving to a smaller home might make sense. You may want to think about long-term houseguests, too. For example, if your in-laws are going to stay with you for weeks at a time, you’ll probably find that spare bedroom useful.
How’s the commute?
While it may not bother you, most people find commuting to work stressful and expensive. By living closer to work and reducing your fuel costs you may be able to afford a bigger home.
Schools and daycare?
If you have or are planning to have a family or already do, then the quality and availability of schools and daycare providers in the community you’re considering has to be top-of-mind. Arranging a tour of the local schools also makes sense. If appropriate, take the time to research and visit local daycare providers to determine their rates, availability and policies. This type of homework could end up saving you a ton of hassle down the road.
What about services?
Even a household of one needs certain services to get by, so consider the surrounding area. How close are the grocery, pharmacy, hardware and convenience stores? Are there nice restaurants and cafés nearby? What about walk-in clinics, dentists, hairdressers, pet stores, places of worship? How far away is the mall and other shopping? No neighbourhood is perfect, of course, but the better serviced your community is, the more convenient life will be for you.
What about having fun?
Recreation is an important part of our lives, so consider the options you’ll have in your new community. How close are local parks, playgrounds, gyms and community centers? And what facilities and programs do they offer? If you’re a jogger or a cyclist, what areas will you enjoy exploring? What about movie theatres? Facilities like gyms, party rooms and rooftop terraces can bring you a lot of joy, if you make the most of them.
How much maintenance?
No matter where you buy, your home will require regular upkeep to maintain. A good rule of thumb is to be realistic about how you much maintenance work you’re really prepared to do when selecting the size of your new home.