House hunting in Ottawa can be exciting and even fun, but you still need to have a proper strategy in place. That’s why the four tips below can give you an added edge. There are two things you should never do, and two things you must do. It’s that simple.
- DON’T take in too much at once.
House hunting is waaaay different than shopping for anything else in life. For one, there are only a certain number of homes (generally about 4 to 6) at most that one can properly assess during one outing.
Seeing more than six homes may completely stress you out and wear you out. In fact, seeing too much in one day will make it much harder to narrow down your criteria and may muddle it to the point you may not know even what you are looking for.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, go back to the drawing board. Focus on the three buckets I like to talk about: Location, features and budget. Occasionally your agent will want to educate you on the current market, but that is the only reason to see homes in areas you’d never live in. Otherwise, this can add to the confusion and make the process much harder!
- DO get some evidence and reminders on each home.
Even if you limit the number of homes you see in one day, you’re still going to get confused and mix things up. Even those of you with photographic memories who tend to remember everything!!
That’s why we recommend taking photos of each home with your phone and make notes on paper or an app that can help you recall what you liked and didn’t like about a particular home.
You don’t have to get a shot of every angle, but a good front and back picture, with a few detailed photos of the interior can help you remember features, amenities, and floor plans that will influence your decision.
Write down specific and descriptive notes about each home and its surrounding factors, like schools, shopping, metro access, nearby parks and other amenities. Do this when you’re inside the home or immediately afterward so you don’t leave something off.
Both the photos and the notes will come in handy when you’re comparing your options later that day or the next day (depending on how fast you need to put in an offer).
- DON’T take advice from everyone in your life.
When it comes to making one of the biggest purchases of your life, everybody in your life should NOT cast their vote or give their opinion.
Put your blinders on and “you do YOU.” Limit any feedback you receive to people whose opinions you value and think will contribute a positive impact on your decision.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to buying a home. Your financial situation, criteria, and long- and short-term goals might be completely different than someone offering you advice.
Say thanks but no thanks to friends and family with little home-buying experience or those who want to offer their opinion but you know will provide no real benefit to your decision-making.
You are the one who will need to make the final decision, but it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with a few trusted friends or family members who can offer constructive feedback. And, please, limit your time with those who will confuse you and complicate your house hunting.
- DO take a second look.
When it comes to making one of the biggest purchases of your life, this home deserves more than just one look-see. You’ll be amazed at what you missed or glossed over the first time around.
Depending on the current market and how fast things are moving, try to go back to a home if you’re interested in making an offer.
It’s hard to take everything in at once, so when you have a good feeling (or doubts) about a certain property, don’t hesitate to schedule a revisit to validate any feelings you may have. Take these four little-known house hunting tips to heart and you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else out there!
Want to get started with a personalized road map to buying a home? Start by booking a no-obligation, free initial chat. Can’t wait to meet you.
I'm Liisa and I love helping people moving to Ottawa make their home purchase and transition smooth and seamless. I also love helping sellers get the most for their Ottawa home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
613-898-1184 (call or text)