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Housing Options

     The type of home you buy will depend on you lifestyle and budget. The first thing you must decided is whether you are going to by a new home, a resale home, a custom built home or a condominium. Each housing option has its own benefits and drawbacks; what is important is that you carefully weigh each option to ensure that you are meeting your lifestyle needs.

New Home: There are many reasons you may choose to buy a new home; many new home interiors are not finished until an individual has purchased the property. As such, you will be able to design the interior according to your preference. Optional design items include flooring, fixtures, paint colour, trim, finishes and cabinets. New homes meet the most current government standards and as such will not require an inspector. By locating the home yourself, you may also eliminate the need for a real estate agent.
Many home building companies offer incentives to those who purchase a home before its built, including thousands of dollars worth of free upgrades and a choice of layout.

     Because new homes are usually built outside of city limits, they may be more cost effective than those homes within the city. Also, many new homes come with six month or one year warranties.

     The downfalls of a new home are that, the neighborhood may not be complete and as such will lack landscaping. Amenities may not be accessible and because there may be ongoing construction, it will be quite noisy. However, if you buy a new home in a completed neighborhood, the aforementioned downfalls will not apply.

Resale Homes: Resale homes, by far the most purchased, have many advantages. They are generally located in completed neighborhoods, have landscaped lots and possibly additions such as finished basements. The disadvantages to purchasing a resale home are that, you will have to hire a home inspector, you may want to redecorate, maintenance fees will be far greater than those of a new home and there is no warranty. When looking at resale homes make sure to pay attention to and record the following conditions. Identifying problems in the home could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Air Quality: Look for ventilation, sources of fresh air and any possible factors that may effect air circulation. The smell of house should give you a good indication of the air quality.

Basement: Look for cracks in the walls, water damage on the ceilings and mold in the corners.

Exterior of the Home: the condition of the brick, siding, stairs, roof and any additional attachments, such as decks and entrances.

Energy Efficiency: What type of insulation is used, how the house is heated, and the condition of the seals around the windows.

Structural Issues: Look for uneven floors, sloped ceilings, doors and windows that won't open or close properly, as well as lifting tiles.

Water Pressure: You may want to flush the toilets and turn on every tap in the home to ensure that it is receiving a proper amount of water pressure.

Condominiums: Rather than being a style of home, condominiums are rather a form of ownership. High-rises, low-rises, and garden homes, can all be considered condominiums. Condominiums can cost quite a bit less than single, detached home, though you must keep in mind that you will be charged a monthly fee for property maintenance, security and recreation facilities. Many homebuilders are also in the business of building condominiums and as such you may be able to choose your own lay out, interior design as well as location within the structure. The amount you pay for condominium fees depends on the size of your unit, the age of structure, the price you paid for the unit as well as the condition of the structure and its location. The same rules that apply to buying a home also apply to purchasing a condo, with the main difference being the condo fees and the estoppel certificate: a certificate that explains the condominium's legal and financial status. This form will be required when applying for a mortgage and will cost anywhere from $30 to $70 dollars.

Custom Built Homes: If the financial resources are available to you, a custom built home may provide you will all the features you are looking for. Custom-built homes are an excellent way to express your creativity and add any non-conventional extras. When looking for custom homebuilders make sure to find one that will work with your needs and wants. If you have already purchased your land, verify that the builder will be able to connect all the required plumbing and electrical systems and that all zoning requirements are met. Contact your local housing authority for the above-mentioned specifications.

Land: Purchasing land can be a very exciting experience. It provides you with the freedom to choose where you live, how much space you have and your surrounding environment. You can get a mortgage in order to buy property. The same rules and regulations apply to buying land as to buying a home, though you will not need a home inspector, you will need a property inspector. The most important aspect of buying land is that it must be zoned for a residential establishment (this will be specified by the vendor). Most real estate agencies have realtors that specialize in property sale; they will be your best resource when considering a land purchase.