Thinking About Buying? 6 First Steps

Thinking About Buying? 6 First Steps

  • Giulia Gallina
  • 04/19/23

There are few enterprises more exhilarating in life than purchasing a home. Whether you’re a seasoned investor with multiple residences throughout the world or you’re procuring your first piece of Yonge and Eglinton real estate, the wisest way to jumpstart the process is to accrue the knowledge you need to make a sound decision.

And yet, given the fact that the internet is the wild, wild west when it comes to gathering astute and accurate information, who can you trust with data on such a substantial endeavor as purchasing real estate? 

A consummate real estate agent, of course. If you’re buying in Toronto, there is one with a proven track record in the local market. Third-generation real estate professional Giulia Gallina is here with the truth. Read on for her top six tips on how to buy real estate without a snag or a hitch.

Working with a veteran, local real estate agent is vital

It may be tempting to shop for and attempt to purchase a home on your own, but there’s far more to the process than securing a mortgage loan (or paying in cash, if such a scenario applies to you) and receiving the keys. 

From the appropriate purchase offer to negotiations, a quality real estate agent has the knowledge and expertise to advise on every facet of the transaction. If you’re planning to purchase luxury real estate, the need for a superb agent quadruples. Not only because it’s a substantial financial undertaking but also because luxury real estate agents often possess pocket listings that aren’t accessible to the general public. Interview two to three (or more, if necessary) before selecting an agent. 

Tour neighborhoods widely

You may have your heart set on a particular district in the city or town, whether it’s the posh Upper West Side of New York or the ever-lovely Lawrence Park Toronto. And yet, it’s one thing to be completely won over by a neighborhood after spending time in its shopping district or dining at one of its most outstanding restaurants. It’s another thing entirely to inhabit a place on a daily basis. Or if you’re purchasing a vacation home to spend your holiday within its parameters. Not only will the neighborhood's overall vibe shape your contentment and quality of life, but it’ll also play a critical role in the estate’s resale value.

To this end, and if it aligns with your schedule, spend ample time within the ‘burgs you have been eyeing. Aim to visit it at different times of the day to assess its energy, traffic, and noise level. Dine where locals in the region eat and peruse the neighborhood’s boutiques. Likewise, spend time in its parks, and assess its schools. Research indicates that residences located in high-ranking school districts have the capacity to sell for more, should you choose to list your home at some point down the line.

Additionally, the more neighborhoods you visit, the more perspective you’ll gain. You also might be surprised to find that a neighborhood (or even a whole city) that has never crossed your mind exceeds your expectations.

Explore real estate in person

It’s true: More and more homebuyers, particularly millennials, are purchasing estates sight unseen. But you don’t need to join the trend if touring a residence in person is a viable option for you, whether that means taking public transit or a flight. 

Certainly, 3D home tours and excellent photographs can showcase a home’s most attractive facets, but we all know that photographs can be incredibly deceiving. Viewing a home in real life will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate both its beauty and its potential faults to ensure you’re making a smart, informed decision.

Insist on a home inspection

During the hyper-intense real estate craze of 2021, many homebuyers waived contingencies like home inspections with the hope of beating out their competition during bidding wars. As any solid real estate agent worth their salt would argue, however, home inspections are absolutely critical. Performed by a licensed home inspector, these investigations will uncover whether the home you’ve fallen in love with requires urgent repairs or will need an upgrade (or more) within the next months or years. This will place you in a prime position to ask for a lower price or a repair credit during negotiations. If significant repairs are necessary, it could grant you the ability to walk away from the deal with your earnest money in hand.

Evaluate your “musts” and desires

No matter if you’re purchasing a second home as an investment property or the dream home in which you will raise your family, all of us have a set of deal breakers and wants that are as subjective and personal as our lifestyles and favorite hobbies. Your job as a homebuyer is to ascertain what you must have in a home to ensure your and your family’s lasting satisfaction, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that will comfortably accommodate each family member to a floor plan and kitchen that will foster conversation and connection. There also might be several aspects to a home that might turn you off, now and in the years to come. If you love nothing more than the airy, spacious feel facilitated by vaulted ceilings, be sure to emphasize it to your realtor so that you don’t experience even the tiniest shred of buyer’s remorse.

Heed your real estate agent’s recommendations

A real estate agent isn’t just essential for guaranteeing you put in a fair purchase offer (and at the right time). They’re also veritable gold mines for recommendations. Whether you’re moving to a new city and need referrals to everything from a dentist to a dry cleaner or have chosen a red brick Georgian estate with a formidable yard that requires a professional landscaper, solid realtors know their communities inside and out and can consistently point you in the right direction towards other professionals.

If you’re in the market for buying a home in Toronto, Giulia Gallina would be delighted to consult with you. With over 15 years of experience in Canada’s largest and most coveted city and with specialties in Leaside condos for sale and Lawrence Park real estate, she can point you to the properties that will bring you enduring happiness. Reach out to her today to get the conversation started!

Work With Giulia

With an extensive knowledge of various neighborhoods, I love removing any stress from a home purchase or sale and finding my clients the right property. My involvement in several older home renovations means I bring a wealth of knowledge, including construction and interior design, to clients looking to renovate after purchase.