The Most Important Question of All When You’re Buying a Home

We all get swept up in the waves of impulse from time to time.

Ever seen a bright red car from the street and imagined yourself behind the wheel?

Well, the same emotion takes hold of us when we’re shopping for a new home. Buying a home is a step that will put a roof over your head, it’s your new basecamp, the place from which your life’s important upcoming decisions will be made.

It’s a big step. And it’s a lot harder to get it right than it is to get it wrong.


Picturing Yourself in the Drivers Seat

The best realtors and mortgage brokers do a good job of tempering our excitement while we’re shopping. They encourage us to think about the elements of the new home we can change compared with those we can’t.

  1. Is it easy to picture yourself preparing dinner in the kitchen?
  2. Can you imagine yourself getting a good night’s sleep in the master bedroom?
  3. Is the living room quiet enough?


These are questions we ask of ourselves to get a read on our perspective inside the house.

Well, what about outside?

This is the point where you must ask the most important question of all:

Where are you?


Suburban Style

Everyone has different tastes. Buying a home in the suburbs or in a rural setting means taking advantage of less traffic, fewer lights and a slower pace of action on your street.

Every major western Canadian city has suburban options to suit these tastes.

  1. Vancouver has Burnaby, Coquitlam; even Squamish
  2. Edmonton has Sherwood Park, Beaumont or Strathcona County
  3. Calgary has Cochrane, Okotoks or the quickly-developing Chestermere


The trade-off? Proximity to work or entertainment.


Urban Flair

If the bedroom community lifestyle isn’t for you, chances are you don’t just tolerate the bright lights of the city, you embrace them. Restaurants, theatres, streets packed with action – living in the city speaks to you in a way the quiet streets of the suburbs just can’t.

The city of Edmonton’s Arena District is a shining example of downtown desires. Vancouver and Calgary have possessed downtown living options for years.

Or maybe you just want a short commute to work. It all comes back to your values.


The Balance

Location is the ultimate key when buying a new home. It’s not always about your immediate future though. Will your family grow in the next five years? Will your tastes change? These are important questions to ask, but ultimately these questions are secondary because they aren’t absolute.

Location is absolute.

It’s a tradeoff. Proximity vs. seclusion. Convenience vs. taste.

When it comes to location, you can’t pick up and leave at the drop of a hat.

So while you’re shopping for your next home and you’re picturing yourself watching a movie in the living room or enjoying the home’s interior, take a moment to picture yourself enjoying the exterior as well.