Expert Real Estate

Advice & Know-How

Arthur Armstrong


Royal Pacific Realty 3107 Kingsway Vancouver BC V5R 5J9

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Go for the long haul

When looking for a home, search for one that you could see yourself living in for several years -- at least five to seven years is ideal. Buying and moving to a new home takes a lot of time and effort, and can add up significantly in closing and moving costs, etc. Staying in place longer will help you avoid those added expenses. Plus, the extra time spent in your home will help pay down your mortgage and hopefully gain some appreciation.

Leave room to grow

Aim for a home that can adapt to your needs as your life changes, say, if you have a new baby, or your Son or Daughter returns from University. If you can't afford a place that's large enough to meet your anticipated future needs now, look for one that will allow you to build on later on.

Be flexible

Consider a place with rooms that can serve multiple functions, so the home remains highly functional for you through the years. For example, an open-floor-plan-style home is very adaptable. A kitchen that overlooks a family room is helpful when children are young.

Go for your type

Think about what style of home fits you best, house, condo or townhouse, they're not one size fits all. For example, a single-family home which sits on its own lot and must be maintained by the homeowner may be great for a person seeking privacy, but not so wonderful for somebody who doesn't want to worry about mowing the lawn, fixing the plumbing, etc. Meanwhile, a condo might be perfect for somebody who wants a "lock 'n' leave" lifestyle, but not for somebody who doesn't like sharing a wall with his neighbours.

Check the surroundings

When you purchase a home, you not only get a house, you also buy into a neighbourhood. Think about whether that neighbourhood will suit you. Sure, you might love the house itself, but what about the neighbours next door or the school across the street. How far is it to shops and services? Also, do you like the feel of the neighbourhood and does it offer everything you need? It's best to find a place in a community that you'll enjoy.

Buy what you can afford

It's easy to shoot for the sky and overspend when buying a home you understandably want the best your money can buy. Examine your finances, keeping in mind current and future expenses, and don't exceed your means. It's smarter to buy a home you can easily afford than one you have to stretch to get into. Stay down to earth, and you'll be better prepared should unexpected financial commitments and problems arise later down the road.

Think "home" first

When purchasing a home, don't imagine the dollar signs you'll see the day you sell it. A home is just that primarily a "home," and not an investment. So, buy a place that'd be great to live in first and think about its resale value second. Predicting real estate cycles and home appreciation is tough enough for the experts and much more for the average home buyer.

Look at both old and new

It's nice to move into a place that's brand-new. But, new isn't always better. Consider both old and new. While you might not like a previous homeowner's decorating decisions, you might like the owner-installed upgrades like a finished basement and a backyard deck.


Location, location

You've heard this tip before, but a home's location does matter. A house that's located on a busy, noisy street may be less enjoyable to you as a homeowner than one situated on a quiet, secluded cul-de-sac. Plus, a home on a cul-de-sac is likely to be worth more than a poorly located one when it comes time to resell. So consider a home's location before you're smitten by a spectacular interior.

When it comes time to sell

While you want to think of your place as a home first and not an investment, it doesn't make sense to purchase a poor investment. You should put at least some thought into how easy or difficult it will be to resell the home one day. If a home is so unlike other nearby homes in terms of size, style, price, you might want to skip it and look elsewhere it could become a burden should you want to someday move on.

10 Tips To Find The Perfect Home

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