house hunters

Husband and I have finally taken the plunge and we are officially house hunting.
It’s really exciting and scary at the same time. At this point, we’re taking it slow and compiling a list of likes and dislikes in the houses we see.
On our wish list:
— 3 bedrooms (or more if it’s within the budget)
— decent yard space
— a spacious kitchen/space to entertain
— significant storage/closets
That said, what if a house isn’t the way to go at this point? Husband is still unsure about the work situation for next September, and it would be great to keep saving money. What do you think about condos? I’ve talked to friends who have been met with huge unexpected fees, and I’ve also chatted with others who praise the benefits of home ownership without the hassles of maintenance.
Calling all experienced house hunters out there — what are the first features and flaws you look for when viewing a potential new home?
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4 responses

  1. We bought a condo three years ago and really like it. We would have preferred a house, but a condo fit our budget at the time. It was really important for us to have our own washer and dryer (and a dishwasher), and to have a space where we were allowed a dog, so it was a good decision. We did experience the "huge unexpected fees" you mentioned, but we still don't regret the purchase. Paying a mortgage is MUCH better than paying rent, and it's a good stepping stone towards buying our first house (hopefully in a year or two). Good luck with the hunt!

  2. Not a big fan of condos…besides the big fees (which can grow), there are RULES. Be sure to read them carefully. Some associations dictate such things as the kind of curtains you can have, what you hang on your front door, how many cars you can park,etc. etc. And if there are 30 condos its like you have 30 landlords. They all have ideas about how things are run and association meetings can become veritable brawls. We had really loose rules at our condo in Springvale and low fees, but there were always issues.

  3. Very exciting guys!! We were looking on mls for a long time before we actually took the plunge, so we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted in our price range. After living in an apartment together for 5 years, we are SO happy to have a stand alone home where you don't have to worry about rules or neighbours. It is actually fun to do yard work and home upgrades (when it is planned vs. the unexpected problems that could potentially pop up in an older homeI have some real estate agent friends if you need some help :)Good luck with the search!

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