What to look for in a starter home when checking out homes for sale in Surrey

Ready to start checking out homes for sale in Surrey? Here’s how you know you’ve found a good starter home — or if you should keep looking.

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Are you tired of renting?

Once you’ve found a little career stability, apartment living starts to get old quickly. The money you are putting into rent could easily be paying a mortgage instead, and that would mean you are investing that money instead of just contributing to your landlord’s investments.

Buying a house can be a challenge, though, especially when you are simultaneously looking for the right house in the right location that represents a strong investment.

And that isn’t all you have to consider – as a first-time home buyer, there are a few things you should be looking for when sifting through the homes for sale in Surrey to find a great starter home.

What should you look for in a starter home?

Resale potential

There are a lot of benefits to buying a fixer-upper. You can usually spend a little less on purchasing a home when you plan to put a little more into updating it and fixing it up, and that can end up increasing your resale value.

Ideally, you want to buy a starter home that has potential to increase your investment when you sell it in the future. Of course, you need to make sure you know what you are doing, too. Knowing how much needs to be fixed, and knowing that you are capable of doing the repairs and updates, is a start.

If you aren’t sure how much you are going to be able to put into the home, then buying one that is more or less move-in ready, but which could benefit from some simple remodelling touches and updates, is a good idea. You’ll still be able to invest a little to add to your resale value, but you won’t end up going over your head to get there.

But don’t just buy for that resale value

The big thing to remember when buying a home in Surrey, especially in today’s real estate market, is to buy a home for more than just its resale potential. Your first home needs to be somewhere that actually works for you, so make sure it is in a convenient location — one that you like living in — and make sure it has the specific features you will enjoy living with for the foreseeable future.

Today’s real estate market is almost as fickle as Canada’s economy, so make sure you are happy living in your home until the market makes it practical to resell. That means choosing more than just a temporary home that you can resell when you find one you like better.

Things to look out for

Of course, there are a few things to watch out for as someone who is new to home buying — and home ownership. First of all: property tax. You don’t just want to buy your home based on its aesthetics. Part of the practicality of a home is its affordability, so ensure you plan for the monthly payments you will have to make in addition to your mortgage.

That also means looking into the utilities — does your home use oil, natural gas, electric heat? Is it in a neighbourhood that is going to drive your homeowners’ insurance through the roof? Doing a quick number crunch on your projected bills can help you determine if this is the right house for you.

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