9 Months Out
Prioritise what you most want in your new home. What’s most important in your new home? Proximity to work? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? You’ll make a much better decision on what home to buy if you focus on your priorities. If it’s a joint decision, now is the time to work out any differences to avoid frustration and wasted time. Perhaps most important: Know what trade-offs you’re willing to make.
Research neighbourhoods and start visiting open houses. But now’s when the fun begins, too. Use property listing sites, such as realtor.com, to find out about neighbourhoods, public transport, and cost of living.
Start visiting open houses to get an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighbourhoods appeal the most. Seeing potential homes will also keep you motivated to continue reducing your debts and saving for your down payment.
Budget for miscellaneous home buying expenses. Buying a home has some miscellaneous upfront costs. A home inspection, title search, property survey, and home insurance are examples. Costs vary by locale, but expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. If you don’t have the cash, start saving now.
Start a home maintenance account. Speaking of saving, start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies. It’s bad enough to have to call a plumber. It’s worse if you’re paying credit card interest on that plumbing bill.