Guide for a First Time Home Buyer

19.07.2013

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Buying your first home in Kitsilano!

Buying a home is something everyone strives to achieve at some point in their life, and is very exciting for a First Time Home Buyer! There are many benefits to owning your own home, including pride of home ownership, monetary appreciation, equity (through paying off your mortgage rather than paying rent) and the freedom to design and live in it as you like (within strata rules).

It’s not a safe assumption that your property will increase in value while you own it – many factors come into play here including the type of market you bought in, the type of market your sell in, any further construction or development in the area, the upgrades you make on the home (renovations), the maintenance of the building and more.

For any questions on the buying process, mortgages or real estate in Kitsilano, please give us a call.

What to Look for in Your New Home

Before you start looking for a new home, think about your current lifestyle, your future lifestyle and typical features in homes within your price range. Consider which of the following categories these features fall into:

  • must-have / deal breakers
  • nice but not necessary
  • unnecessary

This list will continue to develop as you see homes in person and get a sense of different areas, finishings (like hardwood vs laminate floors) and once you have a good idea of your budget.

Also things to consider would be a new building (like Pinnacle Living on Broadway) vs and old building (every building near Kits Beach), or the area (like Arbutus Walk vs. North of 4th near Kits Beach).

Talk to us, your realtors, about this list of needs and wants. We’ll better be able to show you properties you’ll seriously consider rather than waste your time and tempt you with properties that just won’t work.

Some of the things to consider in a home include:

Home Features:

  • Number of bedrooms?
  • Number of bathrooms? Do you need a tub?
  • Will space for an office be sufficient, or do you want a dedicated room?
  • Do you need Air Conditioning? Is a fireplace necessary?
  • Do you need a separate storage locker or will in suite closets be big enough?
  • Do you need outdoor space? Covered? For a BBQ? Big enough for a table? Grassy or with a garden?
  • What direction do you want to face – North for the Mountains? South for the Sun? East for the morning sun or west for the evening sun?
  • Are you willing to remodel (at some point)? Do you want it new and modern? Do you want “character”?
  • Would you rather bigger bedrooms and a smaller living space, or a big living space and smaller bedrooms?
  • How many parking stalls do you need?
  • Do you want a gas stove?
  • Do you want the bedrooms beside each other, or at opposite ends of the apartment? How many levels do you want in the home?
  • Is in suite laundry necessary?
  • Do you need building amenities, like a pool or gym?
  • Do you need something wheelchair/stroller accessible?
  • Do you want a townhome with a private entrance?

Location:

  • Do you need to be within a few blocks of a Skytrain or Canada Line station? or a School?
  • What school will your children attend?
  • Are you okay with facing a busy road?
  • Are you okay with the demographics of the neighbourhood?
  • Are there parks nearby?
  • Will anything be built in the next few years to block your view? Or take away from the enjoyment of the area?
  • Do you know much about the neighbourhood?

When you’re viewing properties, ask questions! Spend time inside. Ask to see it at night if that’s when you’ll be living in the space most often. Ask what the neighbours are like. You’ll be spending at least a few years in your new home so you should be very comfortable.

Ask us for our professional Real Estate opinion, including information on the building, area, how much it may cost for certain renovations and what the entire home buying process entails.

Check out all One Bedroom Kitsilano Condos and Two Bedroom Kitsilano Condos. Or if you’re just getting your search started, sign up to our custom property search system, that will email you with new properties that hit the market that match your criteria.

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