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The fact that there are several steps involved in the process of finding, choosing and finally purchasing a property, it is best if you know

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where to begin. To get you started, here are a few tips to take to finding the house of your dreams.

Assess your financial status

Making sure that your finances are in check will give you an idea as to how much you can afford. You just can't simply pick a house without considering your capacity to pay and without sacrificing your other needs. If you need to apply for a loan to purchase your house, it is a good idea to check your bank as how much you are eligible for. This is how you can get a clear idea as to how much you can afford.

Start Your Research

Going through real estate listings is one of the easiest ways to find the best home for sale. When you finally found several properties that fit your requirements, be certain to visit each of the property. This is when you can assess if the neighborhood is safe, especially if you have kids.

Ask assistance from real estate agents

Finding houses for sale is not always easy, especially if you have a specific location to consider. If you have tried doing some research yourself and can't seem to find what you are looking, talking to real estate agents is very helpful. Instead of spending hours searching the internet or making calls in hopes of finding townhouses for sale in Toronto, consider searching for real estate agents from that location. The agents know available properties that can be hard to find regular people like us. In cases like this, a real estate agent can greatly help.

Visiting the houses for sale you are interested in

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Choosing a house is a personal decision. Therefore, you have to be involved in this process. You can't just let other people choose a property for you. After all, it is your house and you will live there and not the real estate agent your contacted. If there's anyone who can tell what your exact requirements are, it should be you. In other words, if you want to purchase the house of your dreams, you should be the one to make the choice.

Finding houses for sale regardless of the location you choose may not always turn out successful on your first attempts. But bear in mind that it does not help if you rush things. Just be patient, and with the help of real estate agents it might be worth the wait.

Searching for houses for sale may not be that easy. But with the help of real estate agents, you will never miss the opportunity of finding the property that meets your specific requirements, because you have options to choose from. After all, they are the right people you should do business with when it comes to real estate related business.

Times are scary right now, it's virtually impossible to turn on the TV without hearing about how housing prices are dropping at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, because of the influences south of the border our housing market is suffering. Add to that the instability in the stock market and the rapid decline of the loonie, people are running scared. Let's face it, all you have to do is turn on the news right now to feel as though it's the end of the world.

In the United States, the vulnerable mortgage market has led to record high foreclosures and has caused the house values to plummet. People have literally walked away from their homes and handed the keys to the bank. So why does this affect the house values?

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Well the answer is simple, the banks are selling off their foreclosed houses at extremely low prices to try to recover some of their financial loses. If you add to that the fact that investors are now more cautious about investing in mortgage loans, the result is that it is much more difficult to get a mortgage loan when you purchase a home.

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Many Canadians are hesitant right now to purchase a home in this volatile market. If you find that you are one of these people you should rest a little easier to know that Canada has one of the strongest real estate markets in the world, and one of the best systems of banking in the world. The banks in Canada have always been more conservative about their lending practices, while the banks in the US had completely opposite practices.

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It's quite normal in the real estate market for there to be ups and downs, in Canada in 1989, we saw one of the worst real estate crises but the market rebounded. If you asked anyone who owned a house that year it was much worse than it is right now. People signed on to mortgages at a 5% interest rate and when it came time to renew that mortgage their interest rates went up over 20% more than doubling their mortgage payments. At that time, many people lost their homes because they couldn't afford to make their payments.

The point is that since that time the market has not only rebounded but has been booming, and this market is simply the cyclical slow down that is inevitable. In fact, many people would consider this a great time to purchase a home. There are so many houses for sale on the market right now it's definitely a buyer's market. You can purchase a home right now at a good price and benefit later when the market recovers, this is a great investment for first time homebuyers. More importantly, purchasing a home in this market provides a good opportunity for first time homebuyers to start building equity in a home.

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If you are a first time homebuyer you shouldn't expect too great a deal, it is expected that most of the price appreciation over the past few years should still remain intact in most of the eastern provinces, with the exception of major metropolitan areas like Toronto. The home prices in the western provinces however are expected to see a significant decrease in value.

The point of this article is to remind Canadians that the market is always going to have its ups and its downs but no one really knows for sure what tomorrow will bring. The one certainty I can offer however is that the market will not stay the same and it's not the end of the world!