Whether you’re moving into your first home or your fifth, it can be daunting trying to find the best place to live. But you can make the experience smoother and less stressful by doing your research and knowing which questions to ask.
Here are some key questions renters and buyers alike can benefit from asking:
- How long will I live here? Maybe you’re moving because you got a promotion, or are planning on starting or growing your family in the near future. Make a list of the features you’ll need now and down the road for as long as you plan to be there.
- What kind of neighbourhood do I want? Things to consider include commute times, languages spoken and the age of kids and people in the area. You can find this kind of information and more about your prospective neighbourhood on the Statistics Canada website.
- Are there any renovation restrictions? If you’re in a condo, you might be limited to what kinds of upgrades you can make to your flooring or balcony. And even in a house, things like conservation rules or other municipal by-laws can restrict any makeover plans you might have.
- How affordable is it? Of course it’s important to make sure the monthly rent or mortgage payments are within your budget, but do some digging beyond these numbers to get a better picture of your future financial situation. How much would it cost to raise a family? Or send your kids to college or university? You can look at Statistics Canada survey data to find these kinds of useful insights.
- Which way does the property face? It might seem insignificant now, but the direction of sunlight can really affect your day-to-day lifestyle. If you like gardening, a south-facing garden may be important for you. Meanwhile, if you enjoy basking in the early morning and early evening sun, an east- or west-facing home may be best for you.