The first thing we recommend when searching for your perfect home, is finding a real estate agent who understands your needs and knows the area. A good agent can help you find a home, provide you with information about the community, make an offer on your behalf, and negotiate the best deal. When working with an agent, don’t be afraid to ask questions! They are your best friend in the process and have extensive knowledge of the market.
Finding a property
When looking for property, it is important to understand the type of home that suits you and your needs. Make a list of the features you most want in a home and suss out which are necessities and which are extras. Identify a couple of neighbourhoods in Squamish you’d like to live in based on factors like commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Explore these areas at different times of day to ensure that they are ideal for you, while scoping out the closest grocery store and park to walk the dog. Then take a peek at our listings page to get a feel for the homes available in your price range, and in your chosen neighbourhoods.
You can use these results to prioritize your wants and needs, allowing you to add in and/or weed out properties. Remember, it’s key to think long-term. Your future plans will likely influence the type of home you’ll buy. If you’re looking for a starter home, you may need to adjust your expectations. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in one place for years to come, be sure your priority list reflects your anticipated needs.
Finally, be realistic. Of course it’s okay to be picky about your future home and neighbourhood, but try not to be close-minded, unrealistic, or swayed by minor imperfections. On the other hand, don’t be so influenced by a “wow” feature that you turn a blind eye to other important issues that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Buying a house based on emotions may lead to problems down the road. If you fall in love with a property, you might end up making some questionable financial decisions. Keep your priority list on hand to assess each property, keeping in mind that there’s no such thing as the perfect home!
Buying a condo
If you are looking for a condo, there are a few additional things to consider. First, take a look at the contingency fund to make sure it’s of healthy size and is able to cover future building maintenance and repairs. An insufficient contingency fund could result in repair assessments at condo owners’ expense, which are often sizable. Also ask for a copy of the strata meeting minutes. These will reveal potential building issues and cost liabilities for owners. Lastly, make sure you’re aware of the property bylaws. These include important information about property usage and rules about things like pet ownership, smoking, barbecues, and more that prospective purchasers should be aware of.
Check out Part 4: The Buying Process.
For more information on finding your first property, get in touch with one of our agents.