November 3, 2020 • Buying
Great Expectations: What to do before, during and after your first viewing
By Kate Barker
It’s finally time to buy a house! This is a big purchase with a lot of factors to consider. Buying a home is new and exciting and stressful all at the same time, and it ends with a very large and expensive purchase that you’ll be paying off for years to come. It’s important to make the right choice. So what can you expect before, during and after that first home viewing?
A mortgage pre-approval will make sure you know your budget and you’re shopping within it. There’s no point falling in love with that $2.5 million mansion if you can only afford $800,000. Knowing your means will allow you to shop within them.
Do Some Research
What do you want in a home? A large kitchen? Luxury bathrooms? Mountain views? A yard? A no-hassle condo? Figure out what you want, what you don’t want and what you’d consider. That way, your realtor can tailor your viewings to homes that meet your needs.
Your realtor will provide you with information about the home prior to the viewing. Read the information and be prepared with questions. When you’re in the home: take notes! Do you love that ensuite bathroom? Take a note. Is that closet way too small for all your outdoor gear, note that. You might be viewing several homes in one day and you want to make sure you’re choosing the right one.
Ask a lot of questions. When was it built? Was it a reputable builder? How long has the owner had it? Why are they selling it now? What’s the neighbourhood like? Has there been any fire/flood/teenage party damage? Are there any red flags here? Why is this bathroom neon pink? Ask away! If there are any specific features or details you notice, ask! You don’t want to be caught in the unknown. Don’t forget to take notes about your questions and answers.
After the viewing, when you’ve had time to let the excitement pass, take some time to review all those notes you took. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your realtor if you have any further questions, or if you think of something new. This is a time to reflect and ask yourself the hard questions: do you actually want to spend all your hard-earned money to live in this place. Be realistic and be honest with yourself.
Sleep On It
Don’t rush into making a decision because you feel pressured. Take a moment to review and make up your mind. Then sleep on it and see how you feel the next day. If you’re still in love, it might be the home for you. If you’re having second thoughts, listen to those feelings and review your notes again. There are likely other homes in the market if this one doesn’t meet your needs.
Remember: you don’t have to buy the first house you see! It’s often beneficial to view several houses and compare. There might be features you didn’t think you needed, but you now realize you want in your life.