Deciding to move to a new home is an exciting thing. There are many reasons people move: they’ve outgrown their current home, they’re ready to buy their own home instead of renting, the kids are all grown and it’s time to downsize. Whatever your reason for moving, once you know it’s happening the first thing you need to do is pick a house.

But, how do you find the perfect house for you? While it’s important to consider what the house looks like, there are other things you’ll want to consider. For instance, how much can you afford or where the house is located. In this two-part series, we will go over some of the things you’ll want to think about when choosing your next home, and they aren’t all to do with how many bedrooms or bathrooms the building has.

How Much You Can Afford

One of the first things you need to consider is how much you intend to spend on a house. Now that there are new rules determining how much a person needs to make in order to obtain different mortgage amounts, it’s especially important to look at how much you can afford because the amount may have changed.

The reason it’s important to look at how much you can afford is that it will play a role in different aspects of your house-hunting adventure. The homes in different areas cost different amounts. For instance, it is often easier to find more affordable and spacious homes in the Peninsula or in Sooke than it is in Oak Bay. So depending on which community you choose to live in, you may have to settle for a smaller house or yard than you initially thought you wanted.

School Catchment Area

boy outside of a school

If your children are already grown and flown this next one doesn’t apply to you. However, if your children are still in elementary, middle or high school you might want to consider looking at school catchment areas. Your children do not have to attend the school in the catchment area you move to, but it is easier for you to get your children into those schools. Also, since they are in the neighbourhood, it is easier for your children to get to those schools.

This is one of the areas where how much you can afford plays a role in. If there is a school that you really want your children to go to, whether it’s the same school they currently attend or one that you think has a better program, then you may want to invest in a home that is in the school’s catchment area, even if it means you have to sacrifice something else.

Your Commute to Work

biking to work from new home

Finally, you’ll want to look at how long your commute is. You’ll be making the trip day in and day out so you want to make sure it’s something you can live with. If the thought of sitting on the Pat Bay Hwy during rush hour or being stuck in the Colwood Crawl makes you cringe, it might be worth looking at homes that allow you to avoid that.

Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing something you want in your new home so you can purchase one that’s closer to where you work. That way you’ll have a shorter commute, which gives you more time to enjoy your new home rather than your car.

Even if you don’t have a vehicle, perhaps especially if you don’t have a vehicle, you will want to pay attention to where you live in relation to where you work. If you are planning on cycling, you’ll want to consider if you’re moving into a bicycle-friendly neighbourhood. For instance, is it close to the Goose or roads with separate bike lanes?

If you bus to work, will you still be able to get there on time from your new home? Or perhaps you want to consider finding a home that is close enough for you to walk to and from work.

These are just a few of the things you’ll want to consider when moving to a new home. Stay tuned to our blog next week for a few more things to consider when you are purchasing or renting your next home. And no matter where you end up, call us and ask for a quote to see how we can help you move.