With the competitive real estate market in Toronto, finding the house, you love, and one you can afford is a challenge – though not impossible. Regardless of your stage of life, you have to find a house in the right location and at the right price. So, you can’t agree to rent space blindly.
As you look for your best fit, keep in mind the following:
- The most important factors in your life
As mentioned above, your budget should be on top of your search list. For the space that fits your budget, you should consider all your other expenses, monthly and yearly expenses, overall costs and the items you may have to scrape off your spending list. Your expenses are as important as small business deduction CRA is for an accountant.
But, the price isn’t everything; Look at other things such as parking, south-facing windows, and proximity to work/ school/ or the train/bus station.
- Be ready for showing
Even though you fill in your apartment or condo specifications when looking for a house, your presence is necessary when looking for the perfect space. You should, therefore, show up at showings with the right paperwork. You should also consider going to showings with your chequebook and contact information of your employer just in case you find your dream house. Delays will cost you that house. Your real estate agent can only do so much.
During showings, you must check out the details of the house. You must get nosy. Look at the storage space in the closets, the kitchen space, under the skin for mold, and window/ door frames. You should also flush the toilet, run the shower, test the AC/ thermostat, open and close windows and try the lights.
- Focus on specific/ few neighborhoods
Instead of looking for an apartment throughout Toronto, narrow down your list to a few neighborhoods. While at it, keep your budget and safety in mind. When choosing a neighborhood, you should also keep in mind proximity to amenities like schools, hospitals grocery stores, bars, and gyms.
- Question any laid-back landlord
A landlord whose property is well managed will ask for your proof of employment, a reference or even your credit cheque if they value their property. If they don’t ask for these details, then, the house may be poorly maintained, and you may have a few sketchy neighbors.
- Pre-measure furniture
Eyes deceive us often, especially when already are in love with space. Since you won’t have the time to go back to your current home to check the exact size of furniture, having the measurements upfront ensures that you take the space or continue your search. You should also check to ensure that furniture will fit in the elevator and through the door.
- Check out reviews
Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to go through a bad experience that someone else went through. It is important to consider getting reviews from many people, and unless there are too many complaints, you can avoid that space.
- Set realistic expectations
- Walk around
- Check the bed-bugs registry
- Know your rights