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Before you start looking

January 12, 2020

Do some groundwork before you start house hunting. Discuss with everyone in your household what they want in the new home and surroundings. Make a list of what's important and divide it into must-haves and would-like-to-haves. Also, think about what you absolutely don't want to live with. Here are some of the things you should consider:


  • distance to work/shops
  • traffic
  • public transportation
  • schools and child care
  • places of worship
  • hospitals
  • libraries
  • green spaces
  • recreational facilities

Your home

  • style
  • size
  • number of bedrooms
  • home office space, etc.
  • layout – open or divided spaces; formal or informal; privacy needs; flexibility for changing use of space in the future
  • mobility restrictions; health considerations; indoor air quality
  • energy and water efficiency
  • outdoor spaces
  • pre-wiring for automation, security systems, communication, entertainment, business
  • special features – the things you have always dreamed of having


  • your deposit
  • the monthly loan repayments you are comfortable with
  • other financial obligations and needs 
At this point, find out who the HIA member builders are in your community, check ads in your newspaper to get a sense of what builders are offering and talk with family, friends or co-workers who have recently had a new home built for them. Ask your bank for loan pre-approval so you know the price range you should be looking at. Attend a home show (e.g. to see the latest in features and finishes, and to meet a range of builders.