One of the first things you will have to decide when you start house-hunting is whether you want to buy a brand-new home, built by a builder, or a resale home, sold by the current owner. New means that no one has ever lived in it before, and you get to pick all of your finishes (based on your budget); resale means that any kinks have likely been worked out, and you can set a closing date that will be more set in stone.
If you’re buying resale, you will want to get a home inspection to make sure you know what is going on in the house; you will want to talk to the neighbours, so that you know what is going on in the neighbourhood; and you will want to put everything in writing.
If you’re buying new, find out the builder’s reputation; get the contract reviewed by your lawyer; understand what extra charges you will be responsible for on the closing date; understand what is standard and what requires an upgrade; and, most importantly, find out if you would be allowed to transfer the contract to someone else if you find that you can’t buy after all once it gets to your closing date, as that could be years away.
Buying a house is exciting, whether you are buying brand-new or resale. Asking yourself a few questions will make the decision a little easier.