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Finding the right location for your home

If you are thinking of purchasing your home, one of the main things to decide is the location that is most suitable to the needs of your family. While your first instinct may be to go after a dream spot or neighbourhood that you’ve always wanted to live in, there are several important factors that you should consider. We have compiled some tips below to help with the decision-making, including knowing your mortgage qualification amount.

Mortgage Qualification

One of the very first things to consider is the mortgage amount that you’d qualify to receive. It is wise to investigate this early in the process, so that you don’t have unrealistic expectations or set your sights on properties that would be outside of your budget. At TTMF we apply specific criteria to determine the mortgage amount that will allow you to comfortably meet your mortgage commitment, while still attending to your living expenses. One such criterion, for example, is that your mortgage installment should not exceed 33 1/3% of your gross income. Additionally, the shorter the period to retirement, the shorter will be your repayment term and ultimately, the higher will be the installment. In summary, the amount you qualify for is based on your age, income and existing debt. So, assess these characteristics ahead of time so you will know the price range you can afford. For more details on finding out your qualification amount, click here.

Starting the Search

Once you’ve determined your price range, there are several resources you can use to locate properties that are in line with your qualification amount.

  • Make an application to the HDC
  • Peruse the Classified Ads
  • Search Real Estate Agents’ websites

Another helpful approach, if an area at first seems very pricey, then search for properties that require fixing up.

Property Characteristics

After you’ve worked out your budget you will need to evaluate other criteria to help guide your choices. For instance:

  • Safety – investigate whether you are comfortable and confident that the neighbourhood is safe for you and your family
  • Work Commute – identify the amount of time you would likely spend commuting each day
  • Schools – if you have, or plan to have, children, keep in mind the nearby schools and their accessibility
  • Proximity to Relatives – many people like to be close to family and friends so this can be another point to consider

Know your limitations and preferences

Armed with all this information, list the characteristics that are most important to you in a housing location that is within your budget. Go one step further, and divide your housing preferences into 2 categories: ‘Definite’ and ‘Flexible’. This will help you identify the things that you cannot live without, and which things you can have more leeway with. Then put this list to use when visiting prospective housing sites to help you clearly determine if it’s a possible match for your wants and needs.