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Are you a first-time home buyer? Congratulations! Buying your first home can be an exciting experience! Before “What kind of home are you looking for?”. You might be looking for a detached house, a unit in a townhouse complex or a condo. There are many different factors to consider when making your decision, so here are some things to think about when deciding on how to dive into homeownership.
Location, location, location
When it comes to buying a home, it’s all about location. Is a property’s walkability score important to you? If so, you might want to consider purchasing a home in Downtown St. Catharines or close to the quaint main streets in the villages that make up Pelham. Maybe you would rather live in a mature neighbourhood with lots of trees and large lots. If this is the case, check out homes in North End St. Catharines, Walker’s Creek or Stamford in Niagara Falls.
Know the Features and Drawbacks
Detached homes are generally larger than a townhouse or a condo, so if size is an important factor for you, this should help you understand the type of homes you should be looking at. There are also additional features and fees that can be associated with condo and townhouse purchases that may not appeal to first time home buyers. For example, owner associations can impose restrictions, such as parking and exterior renovations need to be approved by the a board and you may have maintenance fees or HOA fees on top of your mortgage payments.
Maintaining your new home
When you make the decision to purchase a home, you’ll need to deal with the upkeep of the property. So, make sure you are ready for the responsibilities that come with homeownership. If you have the confidence and skills to deal with repairs, you should be able to handle a detached house. If maintenance is really your strong point, you may want to consider a condo. Condo and townhouses have association fees to cover maintenance and repairs — but if you don’t want to handle those repairs yourself, it might be worth it.
Create a list of your “needs” and “wants” and see how they line up with the specs of the different property types. Does it have that big kitchen that’s perfect for dinner parties that you have been dreaming of? What about great walking and biking trails for the outdoors enthusiast?
Buying your first home shouldn’t be a stressful experience! And remember, this is your starter home, not your forever home. This is the first step in becoming a homeowner, so instead of worrying about what you think you’ll need or want in 10 years, think of what you need and want right now. Work with your Realtor to establish a list of needs, wants and must-haves and determine reasonable expectations for your first home.