23 Dec

Love Where You Live.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Canadians genuinely celebrate livability within their neighborhood when it comes to choosing a property to buy and live in. These are the qualities that give each homeowner the true satisfaction of his/her home. They are generally determined by a delicate balance of available green spaces, arts and culture, public institutions and local small businesses, as well as housing options.

The 2020 RE/MAX Livability Report further explores these qualities to determine the most important livability factors for Canadians today.

It turns out, livability is so important to Canadians that 8 in 10 (82 percent) would sacrifice at least one desirable attribute to live in a neighborhood that most meets their livability “must-haves”. This report also revealed that 9 out of 10 Canadians (90 percent) love where they live!

Livability is all about living life at the local level. Not surprisingly, the most important criteria for respondents when it comes to these factors is affordability, at the top 61%. While this is nearly double the value of other criteria, Canadians also consider walkability (37%) and proximity to work (34%), as well as proximity to transit, access to green spaces or dog parks, and low-density neighborhoods (all at 30%) to be important livability criteria factors.

Affordability has become a major factor in recent years due to rising house prices and increased financial awareness across the country, due to situations such as COVID-19 requiring a hard look at our personal finances. This report also looked at other personal factors beyond affordability, such as city lovers, suburban families, retirees and luxury seekers to determine the top neighborhoods in the country.

Top neighborhoods based on livability criteria


If you are someone who has affordability as one of your top livability criteria, hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto are no longer at the top of your list. In fact, if you have been priced out of the city and are looking for an affordable compromise, some of the top neighborhoods include: Boyle Street in Edmonton, Beltline in Calgary and Dartmouth Commons in Halifax, as well as Orleans Chatelaine Village (Ottawa), Clairville (Toronto) and Austin Heights (Vancouver). Some other areas in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ontario are also suitable for individuals wanting an affordable compromise.


For those Canadians still focused on luxury with proximity to restaurants and bars as well as access to green spaces, Vancouver and Toronto still rank high. Top neighborhoods in Toronto include West Don Lands and City Place with the top spots in Vancouver being the West End and the Downtown area. Other considerations include Downtown Halifax, Downtown East Village in Calgary and Downtown Edmonton.


So you love the city and you have no kids, so you are free to do what you like! If you fall into this category, the major livability factor is proximity to work, transit, restaurants and entertainment, as well as vibrancy and high-density neighborhoods. For these buyers, the top neighborhoods in Canada include: Beltline in Calgary, Downtown Edmonton and Centretown in Ottawa as well as Ryerson (Toronto), Barrington South (Halifax) and Downtown Vancouver.


If you have kids but aren’t quite ready to let go of the city, your top livability factors for 2020 included walkability, access to green spaces as well as proximity to good schools and public transit. The top neighborhoods for these factors included: McCauley in Edmonton, Downtown West End in Calgary and Dartmouth Commons in Halifax. Other neighborhoods for consideration are Lowertown (Ottawa), Corktown (Toronto) and Uptown New Westminster (Vancouver).


For those of you who prefer a more suburban lifestyle, Winnipeg and Edmonton both rank high for low-density neighborhoods, proximity to transit, access to green spaces and affordability. The top neighborhoods included: Bellevue in Edmonton, Greenview in Calgary and Thornhill Park in Halifax. Additional neighborhoods suitable for suburban family living are Orleans Chatelaine Village (Ottawa), Clairville (Toronto) and Mayfair/Pacific Reach (Vancouver).


Lastly, when it comes to retirees, Edmonton and Halifax are considered the best options due to their vibrancy, green spaces and walking paths, proximity to health care or pharmacies and quietness. Some neighborhoods among the top for retirees include: Mill Woods Park in Edmonton, Melville Cove in Halifax and Belcarra in Vancouver. Additional mentions for retirees include Bridle Path (Toronto), Parkland (Calgary) and Beaverbrook (Ontario).

Top neighborhoods in Canada’s major cities

This report also broke down the top neighborhoods in Canada’s major cities. The results were:

Victoria: Downtown, North Park and Burnside are among the top neighborhoods due to their abundant green spaces and dog parks, as well as shopping, locally owned restaurants and good schools.

Vancouver: Downtown, Strathcona and Fairview are all notable for their proximity to public transit, green spaces and social spots such as bars, restaurants and shopping. The added outdoor activities available in Vancouver also factors into the livability of these top neighborhoods.

Edmonton: Downtown, Cromdale and McCauley are among the top neighborhoods in Edmonton thanks to their green spaces and dog parks, walkability and proximity to bike lanes, transit, shopping and shorter work commutes.

Calgary: Beltline, Downtown East Village and the Downtown West End are among the top neighborhoods and offer good walkability and bike lanes and access to green spaces and dog parks.

Saskatoon: Central Business District, Kelsey-Woodlawn and Caswell Hill are among the top neighborhoods due to their green spaces, parks, walkability and proximity to retail.

Winnipeg: River Heights, Norwood Flats and Osborne Village are the top three neighborhoods for Winnipeg, boasting proximity to green spaces, parks, transit and retail as well as affordability.

Toronto: Corktown, Kensington Market West and Don Lands are among the top liveable neighborhoods when considering factors such as vibrancy, proximity and green spaces. When it comes to affordability, the top Toronto neighborhoods are Trinity Bellwoods, East York and The Junction.

Halifax: Dartmouth Commons, Kempt Road and Penhorn are among the top neighborhoods for livability, as well as North End Halifax, Downtown Dartmouth and Clayton Park. Each of these options have high walkability and proximity to work and retail.

Saint John (New Brunswick): Millidgeville, East Saint John and Uptown are the most livable and most affordable neighborhoods.

St. John’s (Newfoundland): Churchill Square, Airport Heights and Clovelly Trails are among the top for livability with Galway, Rivers Edge and Grand Meadows in Paradise having the best affordability. All have access to green spaces and close proximity to retail.

Charlottetown: Parkdale, Sherwood and Spring Park are among the most livable neighborhoods in Charlottetown with improvements expected in the next three to five years for accessibility to walking paths and added bike lanes.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team

17 Dec

What is Title Insurance and Other Questions Answered!.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

What is Title Insurance and Other Questions Answered!.

Title insurance can easily seem like another unnecessary add-on to the already complicated and costly process of buying a house, but nothing could be further from the truth. It can help speed up the process of closing on your new home, while protecting you and your heirs against a variety of unforeseen and expensive risks. It offers cost-effective, long-term, powerful protection, but there’s a great deal to know about it.

Your notary or lawyer is a fantastic resource to learn about this vital protection for you as a homeowner—we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions they receive:

what is title insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects against losses from defects in your title—the legal ownership of your property. These defects can include issues with the property survey, the registration of your land title and problems you didn’t know you inherited from a previous owner, like back taxes or improper renovations. Title defects are unpredictable and expensive, but title insurance lets homeowners protect themselves.

Did you know: title insurance is also important in condos?

are title insurance and home insurance the same thing?

It’s common to confuse home insurance with title insurance, or to assume because you have home insurance, you’re fully protected. But they cover completely separate risks, and even their premiums work differently.

Home insurance deals with your home’s physical structure, and the items inside it. Title insurance deals with your legal ownership of the property, even if it’s an empty lot. Home insurance covers potential future physical damage to the home, or losses to replace stolen insured items. Title insurance covers (apart from future fraud) losses from issues that already existed, but that you didn’t know about.

Here’s a classic example of the difference:

  • Are you out money because your shed flooded or got broken into? You may be covered by home insurance.
  • Are you out money because the shed turned out to be on your neighbour’s land (a mistake by the surveyor) and you had to move it? That may be a title insurance claim.

Get a full breakdown of home insurance vs title insurance here.

what does title insurance cover?

Most title insurance policies covers losses from problems that already exist but that you don’t know about.

  • If the survey for your property wasn’t done correctly, you won’t know until you’re forced to move the shed you unwittingly built on your neighbour’s land.
  • If the previous owner of your home did renovations without a permit, you won’t know until the city forces you to bring your home up to code.
  • If the previous owner left taxes on the property unpaid, or there were taxes that weren’t addressed or correctly levied on the property when the deal closed, you won’t know until the government comes looking for those back taxes.

Title insurance may cover your losses in each of these scenarios, and many more. Another notable point of coverage is title fraud—a thief using your identity to borrow money against your home, or even sell it out from under you.

See the damage title fraud can do, and how to protect against it

what doesn’t title insurance cover?

It’s important to remember title insurance coverage often depends on whether or not an issue was known about when you bought the policy. While you can always get owner’s title insurance at any time, it’s best to get your policy as you’re buying the house. That way, any issues you learn about afterward can fall under its umbrella—coverage almost never applies to title defects you knew about before getting the policy. There are some instances where title insurance can still protect you from a known title defect, but it’s important to ask your lawyer or notary.

Title insurance covers the legal existence of your property, not the property itself. The losses it covers will often originate from something physical—moving a shed, bringing your home up to code—but the coverage comes from the title defect that led you to be responsible for the cost, not the issue that incurred the cost.

Here’s a quick example: A couple finds a leak in their roof and has to pay to have it repaired, as well as fixing the water damage the leak caused before it was discovered. Does title insurance apply?

  • It can, if the previous owner had done work involving that roof without a permit. The covered risk is from the previous owner’s lack of a permit, not the possibility the roof might leak.
  • If the previous work had a permit, or if the old owner never did work on the roof, title insurance unfortunately can’t cover the losses from repairing it.

The most common coverage confusion we see comes from this perceived grey area between home and title insurance. Just because the builder or previous owner did a shoddy job doesn’t always mean title insurance can cover the losses. When the government makes you bring a previous owner’s build up to code, always verify if the work was properly permitted—if it wasn’t, your next call should be to your title insurer to make a claim.

If your neighbor makes a claim against you, for instance alleging your new garage extension encroaches on their property, the issue title insurance checks for is the property survey, not the garage itself.

See more examples of confusion over coverage here.

is title insurance part of western protocol?

Western Conveyancing Protocol (also called WCP or the Protocol) is a system the law societies in the Western provinces created to help close real estate deals faster. A Protocol closing lets the deal “close” on the closing date, even though the land title registration hasn’t happened yet. The seller can get their money and the buyer can move in without waiting weeks for the title registry.

Title insurance is separate from WCP. It offers all of the same benefits—fast closing, registration gap coverage—with much more protection for the buyer. More notaries and lawyers are relying on title insurance to cover the gaps in WCP coverage and make sure you’re properly protected, especially in hotter markets like Vancouver or Calgary.

Learn more about how title insurance is helping buyers in the new Calgary market.

what is duty to defend?

In title insurance, duty to defend is the requirement that the insurer cover not just their insured’s losses, but any legal fees associated with the case. In Canada, the standard is that duty to defend applies if there is a possibility of a claim succeeding.

This clause shows up in all FCT title insurance policies and means the policy also covers legal fees involved in defending your title. There is no dollar limit to this coverage, and it does not reduce the insurance coverage going forward.

B.C.’s duty to defend standards are notably higher than Ontario’s, allowing outside evidence to play a part in determining whether the duty applies. In Alberta, a blanket duty to defend applies until the cause of an incident—and through that, the type of coverage invoked—is determined.

Title fraud is a great example of where the duty to defend clause shines in protecting policy holders. Beyond the damage to your credit score and ability to leverage equity in your home, title fraud is notoriously expensive to resolve legally. It’s not uncommon for legal fees in the tens of thousands to restore ownership of a title—sometimes more, in cases where the victim’s home has been sold and the (innocent) buyer is intent on protecting their purchase.

Duty to defend kicks in when you incur legal fees as part of resolving an issue where the risk is covered under the policy. In short: if the policy covers you in a particular situation, it also covers the legal fees involved with resolving it.

Learn more about the duty to defend included in every FCT title insurance policy here.

is title insurance mandatory?

Yes and no. There are two types of title insurance policies: one that protects the lender and one that protects the property owner—you. The law doesn’t make either mandatory, but most lenders will require you to buy the lender policy as part of securing your mortgage from them. The owner policy is optional, so it’s important to make sure your notary or lawyer includes an owner’s policy as well when you close on your home.

One more huge point in favour of an owner policy is that it lasts as long as your title does. If you refinance your mortgage with a different lender, they’ll get you to buy a new lender policy, but you’ll never need to buy a new owner policy on the same property—you’re still covered. Always make sure when you’re discussing with your notary or lawyer that you’re talking about an owner’s title insurance policy, and never be afraid to ask questions about it coverage.

Here’s how to check if you have a homeowner title insurance policy.

Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team

15 Dec

Millennials vs Gen X’ers.

First Time Homebuyer

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Are millennials better or worse off than Gen-Xers at the same age?

Millennials are now the largest generation of people in Canada. They’re the most educated and diverse generation, but they face unique challenges…

  1. Millennials had higher after-tax household incomes than young Gen-Xers. Median after-tax household income between 25 and 34 years old
    • Millennials in 2016 $66,500
    • Young Gen-Xers in 1999 $51,000
  2. Millennials had higher assets and net worth than young Gen-Xers, but they also carried more debt.
    • Homeownership, living in Toronto or Vancouver, and having a higher education were three factors associated with higher net worth.
  3. Millennials are relatively more indebted… Debt-to-after-tax income ratio
    • 216% Millennials in 2016
    • 125% Young Gen-Xers in 1999
  4. Though millennials are entering the housing market at similar rates as previous younger generations, they are taking on larger mortgages.
  • Though their median net worth is higher, there are greater differences in economic well-being among millennials. Millennials in the top 10% held 55% of all total net worth accumulated by their generation.

Notes: Unless otherwise notes, millennials represent those between 25 and 34 years old in 2016, and young Gen X-ers indicate those between 25 and 34 years old in 1999.

Results are presented in 2016 current dollars and adjusted for inflation to allow a comparison over time. Statistics provided refer to the age and generation of the major income earner in the household or family.


Assets are what you own:

  • Cash
  • The value of your residence
  • Artwork
  • Automobile
  • Checking account
  • Collectibles
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Investment accounts
  • Retirement account
  • Savings account

Liabilities are what you owe:

  • Unsecured debts
  • Car loan
  • Mortgage
  • Student loans
  • Accounts payable
  • Income taxes payable
  • Bills payable
  • Bank account overdrafts
  • Accrued expenses
  • Short-term loans

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

14 Dec

Your quick guide to your best short-term financing options.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Short-term financing – credit or loans that are designed to be paid off in a short period of time – can be a useful financial tool in a variety of different situations, such as:

  • Bridge financing

If you’re planning on moving and have found a new home before selling your existing one, you may need a short-term loan to make a down payment on the new place.

  • Seizing an investment opportunity

If an opportunity arises, a quick injection of cash will enable you to take advantage of it.

  • Consolidating debt

If you have multiple different loans, you can consolidate them into one single loan if you find one with a lower interest rate.

  • Covering unexpected expenses

Accessing some short-term cash will let you cover unplanned expenses, such as paying off medical bills or helping out an adult child during a period of unemployment.

But what are the different types of short-term financing options? And how do you know which are right for your situation?

Short-term financing options

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit secured against your home, typically allowing you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s value.


  • Interest rates are typically low.
  • You have flexibility over when you pay it off.
  • You can access portions of the approved sum at different times.
  • You therefore only pay off and pay interest on the amount you access.


  • Retirees can find it hard to qualify, particularly if they don’t have a regular income or a strong credit score.

Private Loan or Mortgage

These are loans which typically have a period of one year.


  • They’re usually fairly easy to qualify for if your home has enough equity.


  • Set-up fees and interest rates are typically high.

Short-Term Installment Loan

These are loans in which set amounts are repaid at regular intervals for the term of the loan.


  • You pay it off in installments rather than all at once.


  • Unlike a credit card or line of credit, you can’t access portions of the approved sum at different times.
  • They can include hidden prepayment fees.

Payday Loan

A payday loan is a short-term loan characterized by very high interest.


  • Usually easy to qualify for.
  • You can often access them even if you have a bad credit score.


  • Interest rates are extremely high – often exceeding 300% over a year.

Convertible Mortgage

These are short-term mortgages, typically six months, with a fixed interest rate.


  • They can be switched to a long-term mortgage if you choose.


  • They usually have a higher interest rate than adjustable rate loans.

Cross Collateralization

This is when the collateral of one loan, such as a car, is used to secure another loan you have with the same lender.


  • Interest rates can be lower.


  • The lender may keep you from selling the asset being used as collateral, even if you have paid it off.

A New Short-Term Financing Option

CHIP Open is a new, short-term financing product offered by HomeEquity Bank. It’s a reverse mortgage which allows you to access up to 55% of the value of your home in tax-free cash. However, unlike a traditional reverse mortgage, there are no prepayment fees, meaning you can pay off the full amount whenever you like.


  • Easier to qualify for than other short-term products since its not based on income or credit rating.
  • No monthly repayments.
  • Interest rate and fees are highly competitive in the short-term lending space.
  • If you decide you need a longer-term solution, you can switch to the CHIP Reverse Mortgage at a lower interest rate.


  • Only available for Canadians 55+.
  • You must own your home.
  • Interest rates are higher than the regular CHIP Reverse Mortgage, allowing us to completely waive any prepayment penalties.

If you’d like to find out more about how CHIP Open can help you with your short-term financing needs, contact a DLC Mortgage Professional today!

Published by Home Equity Bank!

13 Dec

Renewing Your Mortgage.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Did you know? Close to 70 percent of mortgages never make it to the end of their term! This means that, for a variety of reasons, homeowners are ending their mortgages early. However, that still leaves a solid 30 percent of home buyers who keep their mortgage until the term is up and it is time to renew!

If you are not planning to move in the near future and are happy with your current mortgage, you are likely one of the 30 percent who will renew once the term ends. So what does this process look like?

When it comes time to renew your mortgage, most lenders will send you a renewal letter when there is around 3 months remaining on your term. While nearly 60 percent of borrowers simply sign and send back their renewal without ever shopping around for a more favorable interest rate, this is actually the best time to check out your options.

Most standard terms are 5-year terms and, with that much time having passed since signing, the market rates could be very different once the term is up! Despite this, lenders tend to provide higher rates on renewals versus new clients as they are hoping that the ease of renewal will prevent you from seeking out new rates. However, shopping around for a better rate is not as difficult as it sounds – especially with the help of a mortgage broker – and it could end up saving you a couple hundred dollars a month (depending on your situation)! Ideally, you should be keeping track of your own mortgage term end date as shopping for a new rate between four and six months before your expiry will ensure you are able to find the most affordable option for you.

After shopping around, you may find that your bank is actually offering a great rate – in which case you can simply submit the renewal! But if you are able to seek out a lower rate, we promise you will thank yourself for putting in the effort to find out! As another point of interest, renewal time is also a great time to make an extra payment on your mortgage, if you are able!

Beyond renewing your mortgage, home owners also have the option to transfer or switch the mortgage. This can be done any time during the term of the mortgage but may have penalties associated with breaking the mortgage before the term is up. Transferring to another lender is generally done to get a better rate, but you will need to go through the entire mortgage process again – including the ‘stress test’ – which makes shopping around at renewal time an even smarter option.

If your mortgage is coming up for renewal and you want to find out what lower rates may await you, contact your local mortgage professional! They can help you find the best option for where you are at in your life now and help you to ensure future financial success.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

10 Dec

Tis the Season of Staying Motivated.


Posted by: Tyler Cowle

The winter holiday season is often said to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, it is also one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. There are increased demands at work or in your business. The holidays tend to be socially demanding too. With all this going on at work and in your personal life, it can be very emotionally draining. This time of year is often centered on celebration, family, and friends. The fact is some people find themselves mired in family conflict or feeling lonely, heightening their levels of emotional stress.

Unfortunately, the pressure during these months can cause us to get distracted from some of our most important goals. No matter what your goals may be, many people find it difficult to stay motivated.


Here are six tips I use help me stay motivated during the holidays:

  1. Write your goals down. Carve out 30 minutes of your time to sit down without any distractions (turn your phone on airplane mode if you have to) and write down each goal you have on one side of a cue card. You should keep it to three goals or else your mind gets overwhelmed.
  2. Know why. Review each goal and write down why you want to achieve it. On the back or your cue card, write down how it will make you feel once you accomplish your goal, and also add any new opportunities that might arise through the process of achieving what you set out to do.
  3. Goal planning. The reason we normally forget about our goals during the holidays is that there is so much going on and there are so many distractions. Make sure to look at your goals and review them each morning when you wake up. Pro tip: keep them on your bedside table and read them when you first wake up (before checking your phone)!
  4. Break them down. Instead of just focusing on the end goal, break the steps toward the goal down into manageable tasks that you can complete within 10 minutes or less. If you are able to break each goal up into that time frame then you will be able to move forward with your goals each and every day with no excuses!
  5. Involve family and friends. It will be much easier to achieve your goals if your family and friends are on board and cheering you on. However, they cannot support you if you don’t tell them. Share your goals along with the reasons behind them so you can have people keep you on track.
  6. Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays. Whether your goals are work-, life- or health-related, focusing and moving forward on your goals doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy yourself! If you have a health goal, still allow yourself to enjoy that pie (in moderation, of course). If the goal is more career-centred, take time away from your laptop to enjoy social events and holiday parties. You will feel more refreshed and inspired when you take time away.

Above all, give yourself some grace during the holidays, remembering that the reason you want to work hard for this life is to experience more of it! Don’t be too rigid making it all about productivity; celebrate the small steps and reward yourself often! You will see the results which will motivate you to do more and make you feel confident as you enter the New Year.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

6 Dec

Budgeting for the Holidays.

Mortgage Tips

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Be mindful with money this season! Along with holiday joy come holiday bills, to avoid a sleigh-size tab, plan ahead to save money and maximize the payoff.

ORDER ONLINE Avoid getting stuck in the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers by ordering gifts online from your laptop or phone. The time you save can be put towards spending more time with friends and family.

 BE THRIFTY Start early and keep an eye out for special sales. Many retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to help you get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. Get inspired with coupons and get into the routine of flipping through flyers delivered to your home and online

TRUST YOUR BUDGET It keeps you on track during the rest of the year, so why not lean on it now? Starting the season with a plan and a maximum spending limit will help alleviate stress while shopping. There are plenty of free budget-tracking apps that connect right to your bank accounts and can be pulled out of your pocket for reference at any time – especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed at the mall.

GET CRAFTY Everyone appreciates the handmade touch in a gift, and DIY-ing this holiday can help you save money. There are wonderful options that can be found online, even for beginners. Examples include homemade wreaths, body scrubs, and fun photo scrapbooks that can be done alone or in a group, and you’ll end up with a gift that money can’t buy. If you’re not sure where to find these clever and cost-effective ideas, Pinterest is a great place to start.

GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME Instead of buying gifts, spend quality time with your friends and family while you give back to others. Sharing the experience and splitting the cost of hosting a dinner for a family in need will offset the cost of spending money on each person and double the amount of joy spread during the holidays. It feels good to pay in kind.


Think ahead: Start thinking about your ingredients early and keep an eye out for sales on nonperishable goods. By beating the holiday rush, you can afford more goodies for less.

BE RESOURCEFUL Hosting a large gathering? Ask each of your guests to bring a dish. This cost effective tip will act as conversation starter too.

EARN REWARDS A number of retailers offer cards where you can earn points toward future purchases, including entertainment.

CHOOSE WISELY Your time matters, so spend more of it with your guests and less of it in the kitchen. Pick a short and easy recipe that won’t cost a lot to make. Prepare as much as you can the morning or day before for a smoother hosting experience.

Published by the DLC Marketing Team!

1 Dec

Let’s Get House Hunting.

Home Buyer

Posted by: Tyler Cowle

Have you ever checked out an open house in the neighborhood, which you had no intention of buying? Or checking out listings online for your dream home? Of course you have! We’ve all looked at houses for fun, even just to examine the possibilities! In reality though, it can actually be quite stressful when you start legitimately house hunting for a place for yourself.

To help minimize the stress, it is important to get past the excitement and narrow down what it is you really need in a home. One way to do this is to consider the long-term; what will you need in a house five or ten years down the road?

Some things to consider when you’re finally ready to pursue a new home, should include:

  • What type of home you are looking for (single-family dwelling, condo, townhouse). This can be determined by your budget, as well as your needs.
  • The size of property. Be honest about how much maintenance you’re willing to do.
  • The location and neighbourhood. Is your commute reasonable? Is the neighbourhood safe? Is it the right level of bustling or peaceful that you’re looking for?
  • Any special features you might need, such as accessibility upgrades.

Another point of consideration if you are looking for a condo or apartment, is the view. It is important to remember that it is not protected; there is nothing to stop another building from going up and obstructing this. It is not a bad idea to ask your realtor if they know about any current or future developments in the area, or even check out future plans at your local city hall. You’ll also want to make sure you examine all the financial and technical minutes for the condominium corporation to avoid and issues or special assessments in the future.

In a hot housing market, there is a temptation to act quickly and make an offer after one visit. But if you can, take a second look a few days later before making any offer. You would be surprised how much detail you miss in the first showing! You may be living in this home for decades, so an extra 30 minutes to take a second look won’t hurt.

If you do find a home that you really love, we have put together a house hunting checklist to help you evaluate the home! This list includes a few of the major items that you should consider when looking for your dream home and is designed to help you determine what areas may require attention, and whether or not it really fits your needs! Want another copy? Ask your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional to send you a print ready version for your next showing or open house!

Published by the DLC Marketing Team