The average person makes the most expensive investment they'll likely ever make after looking at a place for about 15 minutes. Some decide within the first few steps of walking into a home.
Most of us spend more time doing research on a pair of new boots than we do a new home. That could be disastrous. Especially if you don't check out what's already a part of, or about to become part of, the neighbourhood you're looking at.
You've likely determined how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want. Perhaps open concept. Ample storage space. Double car garage. You've decided between residential, strata and high rise condominium. And of course you already know your price point. And let us not forget the home inspection.
But that's not the end of the research you need to do.
I'm talking about going above and beyond what a home inspection will reveal. Beyond what the laws dictate must be disclosed about a property.
Have you considered doing a search of the area? A search to find out if there are gas/oil pipelines nearby? Underground water issues? Red flag districts close to where you want to live? What is the history of the area? Have there been floods in the past? Landslides?
In other words, consider what you don't see. Consider what's underground. Consider what's happened in the past.
This is where the Internet is your best friend.
Before you decide to make an offer on a home, go online. Check through the city's website about any encumbrances (easements, rights of way, etc). And don't just check it for the property you are interested in.
So, unless you don't mind that there's an oil pipeline coursing through the parking lot just beyond the property you want to make an offer on, check out the whole area. Make your decision with as a many facts as you can possibly find. Your health and well-being depend on the research you do before you buy.