Top 5 things first time homebuyers should do before shopping for homes:
There are plenty of things to know and do before you’re ready to purchase your first home….here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Get Pre-Approved
Ultimately, you want to know how much you can spend. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than falling in love with a home, getting the deal together, and then finding out it’s out of your price range. So, save yourself the heart break and determine your budget before you fall in love with that unicorn!
When looking to get pre-approved for a mortgage, seriously consider using a mortgage broker. If you’re shopping around for mortgages, you should know that every time a bank doesa credit check, it docks points from your credit score. Depending on how many appointments you make, you can potentially be doing some substantial damage. With a mortgage broker, its a one stop shop! They will do the credit check only once, and submit the information to many lenders to get you the best rate available. Best of all, this service comes at no cost to you.
2) Make a Needs VS Wants list.
Be realistic. Sure, a 20’x20’ walk in closet would be great, but let’s face it: you don’t NEED it. Making a list of the things you ABSOLUTELY need from a home helps to set the standards, and narrow down the initial search. If you work from home, then yes, you need an extra room for an office. I don’t mean to be a total Negative Nelly. After you make your needs list, write your wishlist. The double car garage, the in-ground pool, the wood burning fireplace…they’d be nice and definitely a bonus if you can get them. Accepting that these are wants instead of needs will help you stay within your budget, and open up opportunities to see more homes that you may love!
3) Consider what you want from your neighbourhood.
Keep an open mind. If you really have your heart set on a certain neighbourhood, consider what it is about that area that is so appealing. Is it within close proximity to work? What amenities are important to have nearby? Sometimes your dream home isn’t situated in your dream neighbourhood, and you may have to compromise one way or another.
4) Choose an Agent
Get someone working for your interests! Buying property for the first time can be overwhelming, and choosing an agent will decode the whole process. We keep you updated on new listings on the market, will handle all the paper work, and will share in-depth knowledge about the current market. Not to mention knowledge about different types of homes, neighbourhoods, reputable 3rd party professionals, resale value, negotiations…and on and on. A great agent will make your experience stress free.
You want to choose someone that is experienced, knows the area, and most of all, someone you like! You’re making what could be the biggest investment of your life, and have big decisions to make. You want someone there to answer the ka-zillion questions you may have! That’s what we’re here for!
5) Be prepared for Expenses.
Buying a home isn’t simply having a down payment and paying a mortgage. You’ll incur other costs that some first-timers don’t expect. Here’s a quick list of the most recurring culprits:
- Legal fees and final adjustments – fees vary based on the lawyer you choose and the Expect $1500-$2500
- Home and septic inspections around $400 each
- land transfer tax – based on the sale price of the home.
- moving costs
There are more things you’ll want to know as you embark on your home-ownership journey, and we’re here to help! Give us a call and we’ll help you get started.