Ownership? – the very first thing you should be thinking about is whether home ownership is the best available option. Owning a home comes with a certain set or responsibilities – amongst other it includes moving the lawn, purchasing furniture (don’t trick yourself – while older furniture might have cut it in your rental place, a new home incentivizes a new, fresh design), repairing and maintenance costs, paying property tax and mortgage payments.

Financing your purchase – be aware of the big numbers that come with the purchase, including down payment and closing costs. Again, don’t trick yourself if you were renting a house before – if you can afford 2000$ / month, it doesn’t mean that you can cover a similar mortgage, as the base mortgage is just the beginning of the total housing costs. A general rule of thumb is to add 50 percent on top of this amount to get a realistic assumption.

Pre-approvement for financing – get pre-approved for financing prior starting your search. This will tell you your affordable price range and make things easier when you’ll find a home you like. Be aware that this only sizes up your financing power and won’t get your approved for mortgage.

Home types – think in advance about the type, size and architectural style of your next home. Toronto is known about the wide variety of homes it offers, so take a look around and get the picture as clear as possible.

Research pays off – with the entire Internet at your hands, it’s very easy to start your own research and find out about the various styles of homes, locations and market values. The clearer your idea about your next home is, the easier it is to work with your realtorand the better the end results. Use MLS listings for potential houses and search engines for neighbourhoods. A good tip for quickly finding out the visual appearance of certain locations is to search for geotagged photos on photo sharing services such as Flickr.

Location – understand the location you’re planning to buy in. Amongst other factors, a low crime rate, good schools, convenient access, protected boundaries and the proximity of amenities are the ones to look out for. Talk to your neighbours and make sure you take a walk at both day and nighttime and see for yourself. Watch for heavy traffic, loudness levels (nearby factories, airport, ball parks etc.) and other unpleasant signs that might be the potential downers.

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Pick the best home in the neighbourhood – it’s well known that homes in a cul de sac have a much greater resale value than homes located on busy streets. If you can, pick the best available – look for extra features, age, size and curb appeal.

Professional assistance – many people decide to go about buying the home without an agent. Don’t do it. Work with a realtor that understands your needs, and talk to him about the results of your research. He or she might be able to recommend solutions that will save you a lot of money and trouble in the end.