Before starting the home buying journey, initial research helps create an educated home buyer easing the transition through each home buying stage.

Below, you will find a short list of key steps and checklist items that we have assembled in addition to an evergrowing FAQ list that helps power Agent ReVA’s knowledge base.


Please check back on this page soon. We will have this populated with many useful frequently asked questions soon!

Key Steps

Learn about the market
  • Refer to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) website for current findings indicating the health of the market
  • Speak to various industry professionals to gather different opinions on the state of the market
  • Property managers can assist you in putting together a buy vs. rent scenario as they deal with property investors and understand which makes more sense in the current market
  • Mortgage brokers can provide insight into the interest rate trends
  • The local economic development office will have future plans for any major developments in the area you are studying
  • Check with local city hall and other government offices on future plans for infrastructure spending in the area you are studying
  • Check to see if there are any new major employers moving to the area or any existing ones have any major expansion plans
  • Check with the building department to see if there is a large amount of building permits being issued indicating a rise in housing inventory in the near future
  • If the area you are studying is undergoing a transition phase, is there city money backing it’s progress?
  • How does the area fare compare to it’s surrounding areas in terms of economic development?
Understand your specific needs
  • How much can I afford to spend on my new house?
  • How much renovating and remodeling am I willing to do?
  • Can you compromise on location?
  • Is the quality and proximity of schools a factor?
  • Is being close to public transportation important?
  • How far am I willing to commute to work?
  • Which amenities should be close by? (grocery store, recreational facilities)
  • Do I want a brand new house, or an older one?
  • What style of house do I prefer?
  • How many bedrooms do I need?
Articulate why you want to buy
  • What is my top financial priority?
  • How do home & rent prices compare?
  • How long do I plan to live here?
  • Am I comfortable with the risks of owning a home?
  • How would renting vs. owning affect my lifestyle?
  • Can you afford the costs of homeownership?
  • Am I making good progress on my savings?
  • Is my job secure?
  • Am I mentally ready to be a homeowner?
Understand how much you need to save
  • Make sure you will have a reliable source of income that you feel reasonably certain will continue
  • Closing costs typically include not only the transaction costs but also homeowners’ insurance, mortgage insurance, your share of that year’s property taxes, and more. The total is usually around 2%-3% of the home price
  • If you are planning on purchasing a condo that is fairly old, consider the fact that a you may be hit with a condo reserve fund contribution requirement down the road
  • If you are purchasing a house, consider that the structure integrity of the house may require ongoing improvements over time which will add up
  • Take into account the payment of property taxes associated with a home purchase
  • Add the ongoing monthly payment of utilities associated with owning a home
  • Home insurance payments will be another expense
  • Legal fees for closing lawyer are typically between 1,200 – 2,500
  • Prepaid property tax adjustments may need to be paid
  • Land transfer tax depending on the province you are purchasing


Top ten things you should know about the real estate market in your area
  • What are the current price trends in the area?
  • Check if the average home price is more than in other neighbouring towns
  • Are favourable infrastructure improvements to the area you’re studying (ie. subway, shopping mall)?
  • Compare the average sale prices in your area from year to year to see if there is price appreciation
  • Go into the MLS and find out the total number of listings taken each year, and then compare that to the total sales to see if the market is absorbing properties
  • Analyze your area in terms of the economic fundamentals (ie. health of job market)
  • How long is the market taking to “absorb” the housing inventory over time? For example, are there a lot of properties for sale that exceed the number of sales creating a buyers market
  • Is there a population growth rate in the area?
  • New jobs bring new homeowners. Is there a net job creation trend in the area?
  • Are single family homes selling faster than condos, or are condos dominating in your marketplace?
Top ten questions you should answer to help you define your needs
  • Are you looking for a detached, semi-detached or a condo apartment?
  • Is a large lot with your house important?
  • Are outdoor amenities important like a swimming pool?
  • What home amenities matter to you (ie. fireplace, media room)?
  • Do you mind sharing common amenities found within a condo apartment?
  • Do you enjoy completing your own maintenance chores around the house or is this something you prefer a central condo management company to look after?
  • Are you currently comfortable with the space you have in your current home or do you feel you have outgrown the space?
  • Is proximity to public transportation a key criteria for you?
  • How much parking will you require?
Are you ready to start the buying process, ten questions to ask yourself?
  • Can you comfortably manage to make your mortgage payments?
  • Do you have enough money set aside to make a down payment?
  • Have you built a good credit history?
  • Have you set aside an emergency fund in case your house requires maintenance?
  • Are in a stable job?
  • Can you stay put for three to five years?
  • Does a home-improvement hobby sound exciting?
  • Can you scrape together enough cash? You’ll need cash for numerous closing costs and for a down payment
  • Can you compromise on your first home? It may not feature everything you’d dreamed of
  • Are you ready to become your own landlord and look after maintenance tasks around the house?
Ten steps to financial readiness to buy a house
  • Have a strong credit score
  • Have a surplus budget for unforeseen expenses associated with owning a home
  • Fulfilling the income eligibility for mortgage qualification
  • Financial ability to cover monthly mortgage payments in addition to other personal loans
  • The ability to bear future expenses and financial responsibilities, such as children’s education
  • Ensure you have worked for at least 3 months at your present job to aid your mortgage qualification chances
  • Apply for a mortgage with your spouse if you are both employed to improve your mortgage qualification chances
  • If you are self-employed then a larger down payment may be required by the bank for mortgage qualification
  • If your total debt payment obligations exceed what your income can bear then adding a mortgage to the balance may prove too difficult to manage
  • If you have other mortgages under your name then you may be too highly leveraged to qualify for another home loan


What is green insulation?

Green insulation uses recycled material for insulation. Some examples of green insulation are: 1) Cotton insulation which can use recycled denim 2) Cellulose insulation made from recycled newspaper.

What are some of the biodegradable materials that we can use in home construction?

Following are some popular biodegradable materials that we can use:
1) Biodegradable paint: This paint uses a milk-based recipe. Milk protein, lime, and mineral pigments are used to create an organic paint mixture.
2) Recycled fiberglass insulation: You can use recycled jeans and newspapers for making recycled fiberglass.
3) Hemp: Hemp is used from building foundations. It can again be used for insulation purposes.

Can you explain the concept of a 'Zero Energy Home?'
  • Zero energy buildings are constructed to operate independently without relying on the electric grid. They provide their power through renewable energy. Zero refers to both energy consumption and carbon emission.
What are the steps in buying a house?
  • 1) Once you decide to become a homeowner, you need to first look for a realtor with a good professional reputation.
    2) Next, you need to get your mortgage pre-approval from your lender of choice.
    3) The next step is to zero in on a house that meets your needs perfectly.
    4) Once you do that, you need to have a clear idea about the various costs involved with financing your purchase.
    5) Once the financing has been arranged, you need to make an offer for purchase.
    6) The final steps would get adequate insurance and take care of various closing costs.
What is geothermal heating?

Geothermal heating involves pumping water/antifreeze mixture through pipes buried underground and then sent to a heat pump. It takes this energy to heat or cool our house. You will get far more energy from the pump than you pour into it. The only disadvantage is that you have to dig up ground space to lay energy collecting piping.

Which stormwater drainage pipes am I responsible for?

All drainage issues till the “Legal Point of Discharge” are the responsibility of the owner. The property owner is responsible for the drainage infrastructure till the “Legal point of discharge.”

Why should I buy, instead of rent?

A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly cheque, and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your income taxes. This will save you a lot each year because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage.

What is single-family residence?

Single Family residence or single family detached is a home built for a single family and which stands on its lot.

What is a Planned Unit development?

Planned Unit Development or PUD is a development where the homeowners have an interest in common amenities and are typically a part of the homeowners association. A PUD is not subject to conventional zoning norms.

What is a multi-family residence?

Apartments or duplexes are some examples of multi-family residences. More than one family resides in one building.

How do cool roofs for homes work?

Following are the properties of cool roofs which render them ideal for homes:
1) Cool roofs reflect solar rays more than normal material.
2) Thermal emittance is also lower.
3)They prevent warm or cool air inside from escaping.

What is Electrochromic Smart Glass? What are the benefits of installing this glass in my new home?

Smart glass can change transparency levels depending on the amount of sunlight. So, for instance, a smart glass that will block sunlight during noon will be completely transparent by evening when the sun has set. This enables us to reduce HVAC costs. Smart glass uses a tiny burst of electricity to charge ions on the glass surface.

What are the advantages of using environment-friendly paint?

1) Chemical paints contain chemicals such as benzene and toluene which may be harmful to your health.
2)VOC’s are not present in the environmentally friendly paint. VOC’s tend to evaporate and are harmful to your health.
3) Using nontoxic paints can save you a trip to the hospital and will prove to be cheaper in the longer run.

What are some of the inexpensive Landscaping Ideas to beautify my yard?

1) Make Geometric Patterns With Pavers and Ground Cover
2) Ask Friends for Cuttings
3) Add Planters

What are some of the home security tips that I can implement in my new house?

1) Don’t provide places where thieves can hide
2) Don’t keep stuff in your yard
3) Install a home alarm system
4) Protect windows by installing grills
5) Lock doors and windows
6) Change locks if you are buying a preowned house.

What are some tips and tricks to save money while decorating my new home?
1) Buy adaptable pieces 2) Buy in multiples to get discounts 3) Check out all the online retailers and the great deals that they offer 4) Avoid buying in peak season.
Is a bathroom considered a full bath if it only has a shower and No tub?

No. Sink, toilet, and shower are considered 3/4 bath while sink, toilet, and tub without a shower are considered 3/4 nth.

What do you mean by the real estate term 'primary residence'?

Primary residence is the place where one stays most of the time. They typically qualify for the lowest mortgage rates.

What do you mean by a 'Condominium conversion'?

The changing of the ownership of the building to a Condominium form of ownership is called Condominium Conversion.

What is a Condominium hotel?

It is a condominium project that has rental or registration desks, short-term occupancy, food, and telephone services and is used as a commercial hotel even though the units are individually owned.

What do you mean by Eminent domain?

The right of the government to take private property for public use after paying a fair market value is called Eminent Domain.

How would you define Encroachment?

When somebody intrudes illegally on someone’s property, it is called Encroachment.

What do you mean by the contractual term 'ingress' or 'egress'?

Ingress or Egress is defined as the right to enter or leave designated premises.

What do you mean by the real estate term 'overhang'?

The overhang is that part of the roof which extends beyond the outside wall of the house.

What do you mean by the real estate term 'time and materials contract'?

Time and materials contract is a contract that specifies the price to be paid for different elements of work such as price per hour of labour, overheads, and profits. It may have a maximum price or may state “price not to exceed.”

What do you mean by the real estate term 'turnkey'?

Turnkey is a term used when the subcontractor provides all the materials and labour for the job.

How do you define the real estate term 'zoning'?

Zoning is a government specification that limits the use of buildings. For instance, a residence meant for single family use cannot be used for industrial purpose. Zoning also restricts the place where you can put up a building.

How do I select the right architect for my house?

Below are some of the factors that you can consider for zeroing in on the right architect:
1) History and past work
2) References
3) Capability to execute similar projects
4) Design Approach

Give me some background information about the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation of CMHC is the primary organization in Canada responsible for the improvement of housing conditions. It also offers a variety of loan products.

How do I compare solar quotes?

Comparing different solar quotes can be a difficult task. The reason is that all solar installers do not use the same assumptions and standards for offering options to customers. Choose the best option according to your budget, requirement and overall value offered by the solar provider.

Should I ask for a solar monitoring system for my solar panels?

To monitor how much solar energy your panel is producing, one has to ask the installer for solar monitoring system option.If the lease includes this cost, then one does not have to pay for it.

What should I do if the stormwater drainage pipes on my property are blocked?

Stormwater drainage pipes on private property are the responsibility of the owner. In case you suspect a blockage, you can choose to get in touch with a licensed plumber to rectify the same.

Who can I call if I have an issue with sewer pipes on my property?

Private property owners are responsible for cleaning and repairing all private sewer drains.

Where do I connect stormwater from my property if there is no council drainage system?

Some of the older residential areas are not connected to the public stormwater drainage system directly. In such a case, properties will drain to soakage pits or private drainage lines. Property owners maintain these. If the problem persists, install a drainage system to serve your property. Property owners construct and design the drainage. The council is responsible for maintenance.

Does my solar system need to be faced directly south to be fully-functioning?

No, the solar system does not need to be faced directly south to be fully functional. It is ideal to install the system on the south facing roof, but eastern or western facing systems are not bad either. The efficiency is a little low but does not make much of a difference. But, south-east to south west is advisable.

I am planning on installing solar panels in my new home. How much maintenance is required?

Solar panels do not have any moving parts or components and get cleaned up with rainfall. However, if there is a long period without rainfall, it is a good idea to wipe your solar panels clean.

Do I need to install solar batteries on my solar power system?

Not all solar power systems require a battery to operate. Solar power systems which include solar batteries (solar plus storage) are very popular but can be expensive at the same time. All you need is a connection to the grid, and you are good to go. More electricity can be drawn from the grid if required. All you need is a connection to the grid.

What warranty and after sales service is provided by a solar system provider?

Most solar panels have a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year output warranty. Solar systems are excellent quality products, and the components are purchased from internationally renowned players. Product details mention warranty and sales service details. After the product is installed, the product specification sheets and warranty details are provided. Customers receive general details on the operation of the solar system, shutdown process, safety process, trouble shooting, maintenance checklist and technical assistance.

How can I be sure the solar system size that I have ordered for my home?

Every company offers a free aerial measurement of the roof space to offer an accurate visual assessment of the space. This ensures that the system will accurately fit on the roof. Customers can visualize where their system will be placed before they get onto the roof.

Can you install solar panels anywhere in your house?

Panels can be installed where the sun shines. The power output depends on the direction the panels face with relation to the sun. A southern direction is best in the northern hemisphere. The degree of latitude you live in, the angle about the horizon both need to be considered. Make sure that the solar panels are dirt free and free from shading from trees or any other obstructions. Even little bit of shading from roof antennas and exhaust fans can make the panels not function at their peak.

Should I consider Feng Shui while building my new house?

Feng Shui is of vital importance to health and luck. The site of the house, the orientation, the external environment, the internal environment area are of vital importance. The direction of the house and its shape are also to be considered.

How do I ensure that there is no water ponding on my land?

A natural slope in your yard is useful so that water flows out. A drainage pit nearby helps. If there is storm water drain, then it is the best possible solution. Soil selection is also important. Soil with good permeability is helpful in avoiding water ponding.

What are some items I should consider before meeting a home inspector?

Your dream home is ready and is available for inspection. Following are the items that you need to consider before meeting a home inspector:

1) You can start with checking whether the house grounds have been graded properly.
2) Standing water is always a concern.
3) The windows and doors should be good condition. Door and windows need to be flush with the frames.
4) The visible foundation should be plumb with no evidence of any cracks.
5) The wood used in cabinets, flooring and other furniture should be free from termites.
6) There should be no evident stains on the exterior surface.
7) Stucco should be free from cracks.
8) Flashings on the roof should be properly installed.
9) The gutter should not sag, and there should be no missing downspouts.
10) Check your plumbing for leakage and make sure that the heating system operates properly.

How do I choose a lawyer?

1) Consider the lawyer’s area of expertise and prior experience
2) See if he has any references.
3) You should be comfortable with your lawyer.
4) Legal service is often cheaper when purchased in bulk. See if you can get together with other home buyers and get a better deal.

What do you mean by the mortgage term 'Lock Period?'

Lock period is the duration for which the borrower will not witness any interest rate fluctuations. This period normally ranges from 15 to 60 days.

What are some items I should consider before visiting a mortgage broker?

1) The first thing that you need to ensure is that the mortgage broker explains all the features and risks associated with the mortgage.
2) The next step is to have written proof of material risks and whether the broker is acting on behalf of the borrower or the borrower as well as the lender.
3) You need to have clarity regarding broker fees as well.
4) And finally, you need to make sure that are disclosures are documented.

What if my builder goes bust?

In the event of a builder declaring bankruptcy, the insurance company will come to your rescue any pay difference in costs.

What is an automated underwriting system?

Automated underwriting system is used to assess the information provided by the borrower plus public information provided by the borrower. This is used to determine whether the loan should be pre-approved.

What do you mean by the mortgage term 'cash in refinance'?

When an additional amount is paid to refinance a transaction, this is called “cash-in refinance.”

What do you mean by the mortgage term 'cash out refinance'?

Cash out refinance, as the name suggests refinancing an existing home loan for an amount greater than the balance loan payment.

What do you mean by the mortgage acronym 'PITI'?

PITI is an acronym for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. It is the total amount a borrower pays when buying a home with a mortgage loan.

What do you mean by the mortgage term 'Collateral'?

The property offered as security for repayment of a loan is called collateral. Bear in mind that collateral is not given with the intention of transferring property ownership.

What do you mean by the term 'second mortgage'?

Just as the name suggests, a second mortgage is a mortgage on your home over and above the original mortgage which you used to buy your home. The home acts as a security against the second mortgage, so in case you falter in payments, the bank takes away your home.

What do you mean by the mortgage term 'servicing' or loan servicing?

Loan servicing or servicing means the administration of a home loan by a servicer, lender or mortgage bank. The escrow payments, interest, and principal are collected from the borrower. The loan servicer may or may not be the same firm which issued your mortgage. It is very common for the loan servicer to change during the life of the loan.

What do you mean by the legal term 'mechanic’s lien?'

It is the guarantee of payment to builders, contractors and construction firms. Material suppliers and subcontractors are also covered under this lien. This is a guarantee of payment to workmen in the event of a liquidation.

Is it difficult to get a home loan if I decide to build my own house?

If you are buying within a development, the builder can arrange for your financing. The arrangement will be very similar to a traditional home. However, if you are building a custom home on your lot, financing is not easily available. You will have to avail a construction loan.

What do lenders think is high risk when considering your home loan?

1) A property smaller than 50 m2 is considered high risk. There is little scope to add value.
2) High rise apartments: If there is an abundance of properties in an area, supply will outstrip demand. Lenders will back out in this scenario.
3) Transportable properties
4) Special housing like defense housing.

What is a condominium?

Condominium or condo is a multi-family residence where every unit is individually owned, but the common spaces are shared by the owners.

What do you mean by the real estate term 'Tract Number?'

A subdivision of land identified in the U.S. census is called a “Tract” and a number assigned to every track is called the “Tract number.” Tracts can have up to 8,000 inhabitants.

Which type of home best suits my needs?

If you are single, an unmarried person looking for a budget option, a studio apartment may be right for you. Married people with children have the cushion of dual income and may be able to afford a bigger house. Space is a need in this scenario, and they can go for a townhouse or an independent house. If they want to scrimp on the budget, getting a big condo is also an option. Independent houses are more expensive but provide the privacy and space that a lot of people desire.

What do I do if my property falls in a high-risk area?

If your property falls in a high-risk area such as an area prone to flooding, you might have to purchase hazard insurance. Make sure you make inquiries about the existing risks in your area before making a home purchase.

Am I ready to be a homeowner?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:
1) Can you comfortably manage to make your mortgage payments?
2) Do you have enough money set aside to make a down payment?
3) Have you built a good credit history?
4) Have you set aside an emergency fund in case your house requires maintenance?
5) Are in a stable job?

If the answer to above questions is a yes, then you can consider yourself ready to buy your first home.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of making a home purchase when you are young and have just started your career?

1) If you invest in a property, you will be forced to save and pay towards your monthly mortgage.
2) You will get the benefit of compounding if you buy a property at a young age.
3) Property is a proven investment avenue and is less volatile compared to the stock market.
4) You can avail tax benefits.
5) It is easier to save if you are single and unmarried.

1) If you lose your job, you might be in a fix.
2) You might want to go to MBA school or pursue another form of higher education. Hence, buying a home might not feature on your priority list.

What are the factors that determine the amount that I will spend on home maintenance every year?

1) Age of the home: An older house will require more maintenance
2) Weather: Icy conditions will cause stress on the house
3) Condition of the home: Even if the home is old, if it maintained well, maintenance will be less
4) Location of the home: A home located at the bottom of a hill, for instance, will require more maintenance
5) Type of home: Single home will require more maintenance compared to a condo or townhouse.

How do I check the builder's reputation?

1) See if you can get references
2) Visit his past properties and talk to the owners about their experience
3) See if he has experience in the type of house that you are trying to build
4) Check if there are any construction claims pending against him.

What are the risks of buying a home without an agent?

1) You will not have an area specialist to guide you.
2) You might end up paying more in closing costs.
3) You will not have access to the tools and databases that real agents typically have.
4) Agents have a team of agencies working for them. They ready your house for sale.
5) You will have to find your mortgage, and you might not have enough knowledge to decipher the fine print.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying land in an undeveloped area to build your own house?

1) A small house with a big plot of land will attract lesser taxes than a big house on a small piece of land.
2) You can use the extra land for generating income. For instance, you can grow vegetation, or you can raise chickens.
3) You can use the extra space to build as per your liking.

How can I make my home energy efficient?

1) Making sure that construction is airtight.
2) Insulation should be properly installed
3) Solar panels can be installed to minimize electricity expenses.
4) Plant trees near the house.
5) Using special glass will help in reflecting sunlight and keeping inside temperature down.

What is my role in the home buying process?

1) Put in some initial research
2) Find a good real estate agent who can cater to your requirements
3) Shop around for the best financing option
4) Zero in on the right property and negotiate to drive down the price
5) Find a good lawyer to take care of the paperwork
6) Get appropriate insurance
7) Take care of the downpayment and closing costs.

Should I work with one or multiple agents?

It is wise to stick with one agent. While qualifying an agent, it is critical that you do you due diligence and zero in on the right agent. However, once selected you should work collaboratively with him or her to ensure that you can find the house that you aspire to.

What are some of the outdoor amenities that can raise the value of my home?

1) Landscape lighting
2) Kid’s playhouse
3) Deck
4) Outdoor shower
5) Outdoor kitchen or bar.

What are some tips and tricks to make my house eco-friendly?

1) Change the air filter of the HVAC system regularly
2) Install the latest water heater and do not go beyond 120 degrees F
3) Use the latest plumbing fixtures which conserve energy
4) Get and energy audit done
5) Use the latest windows which prevent loss energy.
6) Use appliances with the most efficient designation.

What are some tips and tricks to keep maintenance costs low?

1) Use hard surface tiles instead of carpets.
2) Keep your appliances in top running condition.
3) Use groundcover instead of vegetation to minimize the use of water.
4) Using glass doors in the bathroom is always a good idea.

How do I ensure that my new house is hurricane proof?

Here are some of the steps that you can take to ensure that your house is hurricane proof
1) Make sure that your home complies with building codes which will result in robust hurricane resistant construction.
2) Install window screens which will protect your house from a hurricane.
3) The use of impact resistant doors and windows are quite common in hurricane-prone areas.
4) Roof bracings are recommended to make them more resilient.
5) Increasing the strength of the roof covering
6) Providing water barriers.

How do I know that my new house is earthquake resistant?

1) Make sure that your house is built according to a continuous load path. This is a method of construction that ties all the components of your house together from the roof to the foundation. This method makes a house more resilient to earthquakes.
2) If you are purchasing a preowned house, make sure that this house is retrofitted as per the latest requirements.

How do I determine if my building location is suitable?

These are the things you need to know before you zero in on your building location:
1) Homes near the coast or at the foot of the hill are high risk and high maintenance properties.
2) Your home location should be ideally close to your workplace and your children’s school.
3) Public transportation should be easily accessible.
4) Safety should not be a concern.

How can I save money while building my house kitchen?

1) Use cheaper countertop material
2) Open shelving will save you money
3) Avoid using custom cabinets
4) Use track lighting instead of recessed lighting
5) Avoid removing the wall between the living room and kitchen which might lead to additional repairs.

Is it mandatory to use licensed subcontractors?

No. It is not mandatory. Not all areas would require a license. Moreover different states have different licensing requirements. Most states have licensing portals where you can input the license number and verify the authenticity of the contractor’s license.

Who is responsible for groundwater seepage into my property?

The property owner is responsible for groundwater seepage as it is considered a natural occurrence. The property owner has to manage this water.

Is it a good idea to check if my builder is using licensed subcontractors?

Yes. It is a good idea. Different states have different licensing requirements. These laws have been passed to protect owners from unqualified subcontractors. Also, if, you need to make use of the state’s dispute resolution mechanism, it is necessary that you are using licensed contractors and subcontractors.

What are some of the things that you should know about floor plans?

1) Floor plans gives a Top view”.
2) The first floor and the second-floor details are provided separately.
3) You can check the location of doors, windows, orientation and floor area
4) In an apartment building, a plan of the entire building will provide the location of your apartment within the apartment building.
5) 2D and even 3D floor plans are becoming popular now.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a residential property as compared to shares?

1) Investing in real estate require less research compared to the stock market which requires a lot of financial know-how.
2) Lenders will lend up to 95% of the property’s value. Hence, leverage is a big plus.
3) Real estate market is generally less volatile than the stock market.
4) It is an asset that you can use.
5) You can take advantage of tax breaks.

1) Stocks are more liquid.
2) Due diligence in real estate in necessary. For instance, if the title is not clear, you will have issues while selling your property.
3) You will be required to manage your mortgage payments.
4) Maintenance costs are significant. Insurance costs is another cost that you will have to bear every year.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a residential property as compared to a commercial property?

1) There is a smaller entry barrier while investing in a residential property.
2) Commercial leases are much longer than residential leases.
3) It is easier to value residential property. Due diligence is much easier.
4) Repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the tenant which is not so in a commercial lease.

1) Property management is more expensive.
2) Rent can be revised downwards in a residential lease. While in a commercial lease, there is a “rent upwards” clause.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of building your own house?

Pros:1) You can custom design your house as per your specifications.
2) Quality construction can be achieved.

Cons: 1) Bank financing will be difficult to get. You will have to go for a construction loan instead of a traditional mortgage since lenders may not be willing to lend.
2) You will need some construction know-how and a good contractor failing which it can be difficult to execute this project.
3) Raw materials and finishes might prove to be more expensive since you are not buying in bulk quantities.
4) Huge time commitment.

What are some items I should consider before meeting a realtor?

You can start off by identifying the realtors that are active in your area of interest. Attending open houses is a great way to get more information. You can also meet real estate agents to facilitate this. The next step is to quiz the realtor regarding his past work and references. You can look at the success percentage of his past projects to gauge his execution capabilities. You should have absolute clarity on the suggested selling price. Bear in mind that a good realtor always delivers within budget and before a deadline. He is a clear communicator and goes all out to ensure that you have the house of your aspirations.

Is debris removal covered by homeowners insurance?

Yes. Most home insurance policies do cover debris removal. However, you do need to be vigilant and check for the same. In case, debris removal is not covered, you will end up spending a huge amount if you need to ever rebuild your house.

How would you define the term 'high-value home insurance?'

A High value home insurance is generally split into two components: Buildings and content. A standard insurance policy will have a cap on value beyond which they don’t insure. So, if you go a high value home insurance, you can insure your jewelry, art and other valuables.

How would you define the term 'holiday home insurance?'

Holiday home insurance is the cover provided by insurance companies to protect your holiday homes. These homes attract a higher premium since there is a greater risk of burglary.