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Beginning a new home search is an exciting adventure — but we know that it can also feel overwhelming at times. It’s fun to explore new listings, review floor plans and bookmark upcoming open houses in your desired area, but after a few months of repeating the process (and perhaps a lost bidding war or two), you may find yourself feeling burnt out. The good news is that simple but smart prep work will go a long way in helping to focus your home search and make your home hunt as smooth as possible. To help shed some light on how you can plan your home search like a pro, we’ve enlisted the help of Empire Sales Manager, Sarah Calder; read on for three of our best tips.

1. Identify Your Motivation to Move

Moving out for the first time? In need of more space for a growing family? Want more private green space, or greater proximity to conveniences? The first step of planning your home search begins with identifying your motivation to move. “Knowing what you want will help you narrow down communities and properties quickly and easily, so be sure to be as open and thorough as possible when identifying your motivation to move. Consider factors like location, home type, schools, your timeline for moving and what conveniences you want to be close to,” says Sarah.

2. Determine Your ‘Must-Haves’ vs. ‘Nice-to-Haves’

Is a two-car garage a convenience or a necessity? Are marble countertops in the kitchen a make-or-break deal? “Before you begin your home search, list out all the features of a home you’d like, then categorize them into must-have and nice-to-have features,” says Sarah. “This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.”

3. Prepare to Document Each Floor Plan & Visit

You’ve got a clearer vision of what your new home will be, but once you start reviewing floor plans or touring move-in ready homes, each individual house will start to blend together. “Come prepared with a notepad so that you can remember what you liked, what caught your eye, and what wasn’t to your taste,” says Sarah. “When touring models or move-in ready homes, be sure to also take pictures. And don’t limit yourself to the home only — drive around the area and community to see what you like about the amenities, neighbourhood, local conveniences, and so on.”

Get Started on Your Home Search Prep

Download and print the guide below to help you get started on your home journey.

About Sarah Calder

Sarah Calder first applied to Empire after driving though our Wyndfield community in Brantford, Ontario and falling in love with the neighbourhood feel. 16 years later, Sarah is now a Sales Manager and still enjoys helping to create engaging communities for homeowners.


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Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Hi! We are your New Home Specialists. Ask us about updates on our release, model home openings, special incentives and other Empire communities information.

T 647-372-0619