Practical Advice for House-Hunters!

Practical Advice for House-Hunters!


Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer transitioning out of the rental market and into your own place, or you’re a downsizer looking to simplify your life and upgrade your living space, one thing is certain: there are more properties to look at than there is time in the day. For this reason, it’s important that — rather than touring every available home in a fifty-mile radius — you make preemptive decisions about what you need, want, and can afford!

As you begin searching for a place to call home, follow this advice to save time, avoid overwhelm, and guarantee your house-hunting success! And to discover NewRock-built homes near you, check out our Communities Page.

How Much?

Deciding how much you’re willing to spend is one of the most important — and, believe it or not, most often overlooked — aspects of the house-hunting process. Before you begin touring homes (or even the Internet), ask yourself:

  • What is my household’s monthly income?
  • What is the total cost of my non-housing-related monthly expenses?
  • Have I saved up enough for a down payment? If not, what are my options?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a rough idea of what you’re willing to spend. Calculate your maximum budget, write that number down, and stick to it. 

And remember: assuming that you don’t over-spend or buy a house in need of expensive repairs, purchasing a home is a great financial decision. If at any time during the house-hunting process you begin to feel stressed or discouraged, keep in mind the fact that you’re setting yourself up for a bright financial future.

What Kind?

Twenty years ago this wouldn’t have been a concern. In the two-dimensional housing markets of the past, the only question to answer was, ‘bungalow or two-storey?’

A lot has changed since then. Housing costs have risen and lifestyles have changed, and homebuilders such as ourselves have crafted new community-styles tailored to modern concerns and desires. From cost-effective multi-story communities to developments of bungalow condos — designed to allow downsizers to travel worry-free year-round — there is a community-type out there for everyone!

Before beginning your search, consider the sort of community you want to be a part of. And if living maintenance-free or maximizing for cost-effectiveness is important to you, browse our website and discover a few of the community-styles that have risen in popularity among Canadians from all walks of life.

Where To?

There’s wisdom in the old adage, ‘location, location, location’. The where of house-hunting is as important as the what. Even if you’re considering multiple regions in your city, narrow it down to a handful of specific neighbourhoods.

Let’s imagine, for example, that you’re fond of the southeast and the northwest parts of town. Rather than attempting to tour every home in each region, research the specific neighbourhoods within each that would work best for you. If you have or plan to have children, only tour homes within neighbourhoods that have or are close to schools. If you enjoy walking to get lunch, catch a movie, or buy your groceries, find neighbourhoods that are conveniently near to the amenities you need.

What to Include?

No matter your age or lifestyle, there are certain things that you can’t do without. If your family is growing, you may need — at a minimum — three bedrooms and three bathrooms. If you’re nearing retirement, it may be important to you that your next home allows for main-floor living. Whatever they are, having a pre-defined sense of your must-haves is sure to simplify the house-hunting process.

In the same way that you sat down to define your budget, set aside some time to take stock of the things you can’t live without. Then, when deciding on which properties to tour, cross-reference your list of must-haves with the features included in each home.

And if you’re considering pre-buying, be sure to speak with your builder about changes you can make to the floorplan of the home or the features included within it.

With a little planning, patience, and self-discipline, house-hunting can be both exciting and rewarding! We hope it is for you.

To hear what Mike and Dianne — two homeowners at the now sold-out Southlands Gate in Medicine Hat — had to say about their house-hunting journey, check out the video below. To discover exceptional homes being built near you, browse our Communities Page!