When that once-spacious condo unit starts to feel a little cramped for you and your family, it's a sign that you should consider purchasing a house. Take care, though. Purchasing a house is a big financial decision. As such, there are many factors you should look into before signing on that dotted line:

Visit a house you're interested in during different times of the day. How is traffic in the area during the morning rush? What about traffic in the evening? This helps you get a better understanding of the community before you move in. In addition, talking to your potential neighbors can paint a clearer picture of a neighborhood's pros and cons.

Always put a premium on the condition of the kitchen. The kitchen is generally considered the heart of a home, where you and the members of your family will undoubtedly converge. As such, a spacious, yet efficient kitchen is ideal. Take note of everything a house's set kitchen has to offer and determine it meets your needs, since the kitchen is the usually the most expensive room in a house to remodel.

When looking at the bathroom, be vigilant in checking for any leaks and cracks in the tub, shower, and toilet. Take note of the total number of bathrooms and see if it's enough to suit the current and future needs of your family. Be thorough with your assessment because the bathroom can cost a pretty penny when remodeled.

According to the Calgary Herald, Vancouver and Calgary led the housing boom in Canada in September 2013. While this trend can be attributed to various factors, it is said that the sudden increase in demand for construction, due to heavy flooding, may be the biggest contributing factor. Under normal circumstances, however, the housing market can only improve if certain things happen over a prolonged period.

First, a steady population growth has to be observed given that it can have a huge impact on the demand for brand-new houses. The exact opposite can be a bad thing since a decline in population also entails a decline in home buyers and, consequently, consumer demand. In any case, population growth has to be supported by sizable employment opportunities to ensure that families can afford to pay for their housing needs and daily expenses.

Education and employment help create pleasant and vibrant neighborhoods since crime rates tend to go down once more people have legitimate, paying jobs. In turn, such an atmosphere allows businesses and schools to thrive, thereby enticing people from other cities to move in. This influx of buyers is usually what real estate companies look for before they can tell whether or not the real estate market is indeed improving.

Purchasing real estate, whether as an investment or a property to move into, is always a big financial decision. As such, do your best to avoid some of these common mistakes some people make when purchasing real estate:

A lot of people jump the gun without checking their credit reports and getting pre-approved for loans. While it may seem like a minor detail, checking your credit report and scores beforehand gives you time to correct any mistakes you may find, and more time to improve your credit rating. Getting pre-approved for a loan also helps speed up the closing process.

Hiring an inspector to check for any problems a house may have that the agent did not mention may seem like an obvious necessity, but you'd be surprised at the amount of people that skip the inspection process or do not complete it. Spare yourself the headache of future repairs and risking your safety and have a home inspector check a house before you invest in it.

Lastly, there will come a time when you may eventually have to move out and sell the property you are about to buy, so do take into account its resale value. Most people don't look that far ahead and purchase real estate without considering its resale value. This ends up making the house harder to sell in the future, with some people selling their homes at huge discounts just to close a sale, thereby losing money.