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From your first glance at the photo you’ve known this is it! Now you’ve taken the big step and walked through the front door, and it just gets better. Could this be the one that has captured your heart? Now, all you can do is envision yourself there. Time spent sipping your coffee while relaxing on your deck and dinner parties with friends gathering around that incredible kitchen island….now, let’s back up before we get to this incredible moment…

Two out of three Canadian families own a home, which is one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world. While being a great personal investment, when it’s also your primary resident, you’re also talking about finding “home”.

You typically started out doing your research for properties either beginning on the internet, driving around looking for open houses on the weekend, checking out local hoods and perhaps talking to several real estate agents.

Did you know that many properties for sale are never advertised or even have public open houses?

When looking for a property in Toronto, you’re going to first want to define your financial possibilities through a formal pre-approval with your mortgage lender. You don’t want any surprises down the road. Nothing is more disheartening than finding out at the last minute that you’ve been wasting your time looking at properties that are not in your price range! Next, you’re going to want to zero in on the locations that suit your price range, your style, and possible family requirements.

Are you attracted to the older styled properties that you find in The Bloor West Village, High Park, Roncesvalles Village, or Swansea? Perhaps you’d prefer a newer property, but still want a mature neighbourhood.

The best way to find that right property is to create a working relationship with a Realtor who acts as your Buyer Representative and legally represents your best interest.

In addition to deciding on which neighbourhoods you’d consider, you should think about what you need in a property versus what you’d like to have. Indecisiveness can create enormous spans of wasted time.
A small investment of time and effort in the beginning of your search can really pay off. Take the time to think seriously about what sort of home you want before you start looking. It will help you avoid confusion and distractions, but at the same time try to keep an open mind. Sometimes exploring different types of properties or up and coming areas could expand your search. It’s about knowing, what you’re looking for and focusing your energy in the right direction.

Ask yourself:
•What part of Toronto could I see myself living in …and why?
•Am I drawn to an older home with charm and character or do I prefer new and modern with sleek lines?
•Is there a specific style or type that I’m looking for? Would I consider a detached, semi-detached, townhome or condominium?
•Are schools a factor in my choice of area?
•Do I want an area that is part of a trendy neighbourhood with cafes and markets or a quiet, leafy enclave with homes that charm you with their character?
•Are pets a consideration? Do I need a park close by for running?
•Does the size of yard make a difference in my decision?
•How much work am I willing to do? Am I the type to be involved with walls going down, or does that scare me and painting is all I can handle?
•Do my hobbies or lifestyle dictate my location?
•How important is the size and if it has special features? This might change when moving up and your family has grown in size or down sizing.

Working with a good Realtor will save you time and money. They will know what’s important when buying or selling and all the intricacies of the process from the beginning when you’re first looking at properties to finding a home, to negotiating a price to closing details.

Having done all of your homework, when you do find the right property you will feel "confident" in making your decisions.
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