Buying your first home is an exciting moment! It shows that you are being responsible, and you may even have dreams of what this experience is going to be like upon moving into a home. For many of those who are ready to buy their first house, having a handy checklist to use as a guide for what you need is invaluable. There are many first-time home buyers that find they do not have everything that is needed, and the process is delayed. This delay could result in losing that perfect dream house you have already picked out, or the delay could make you question whether buying a home is a good option for you or not.
What can you Afford?
The first aspect of the checklist is to consider what can you afford! Before you even start looking at homes to buy, you must know just how much you can afford when it comes to a mortgage. What monthly payment are you comfortable at for the next fifteen or thirty years? Along with knowing what you can afford, be sure that you are factoring in those costs that are not related to the actual cost of the home, such as:
– Inspections and legal fees
– Taxes for the property
– Insurance for the property
Remember the Down Payment
Do you have a down payment? In Canada, a down payment of at least 5% is needed to purchase a home. However, remember that the larger the down payment you make the less you will be having to pay on your mortgage payments. A few helpful tips for saving for this down payment are:
- Consider an automatic savings plan
- Save in a Tax-Free Savings Account
- Look for programs that you may be able to take advantage of that are designed for first time home buyers.
Know your Mortgage Options
There are numerous mortgage options that you need to consider. A mortgage is not simply a one size fits all solution. There are mortgages that include a fixed rate, variable rate, open and closed mortgages and the like. The best advice is to talk to someone about your options and what each will entail. From there, you can choose the best one and get pre-approved for this. Pre-approval is preferred for most home purchases as those who are selling their homes want to know that the potential buyer is serious about the property and will follow through on the offer that is made.
What are you Looking for in a Home?
The next item on your checklist once financial aspects are taken care of, is what are you looking for when it comes to a home? For example:
– Is there a certain neighbourhood that you are looking to move into? What type of feel do you want in the neighbourhood that you do choose? This can help to narrow down locations for the home of your dreams.
– Do you want to be close to certain main roads for accessing work easily? Do you have issues with travelling more than 20 minutes to get to your job? Know what you are willing to give up and refuse to live without.
– Do you have several bedrooms that are a must-have? For example, many people know that they must have a personal office in their home if they are working from their home, so this is a must-have, not just a want.
– Are there any housing amenities that are must haves? Or those that you simply do not want? Do you want a backyard that is ready to go? Or maybe you are okay with a backyard that you have to make into what you desire.
For those who are having trouble with answering these questions, they are going to find that one of the easiest ways to do this is to envision yourself in a home. Look around, what feeling does this home have? What are the characteristics that make you feel at home? You can then relay this information to the real estate agent that you are working with to help narrow down what homes on the market may fit these qualities.
You may also want to consider your future plans. There are those people who decide to buy their first home with the intentions of moving again in a few years once they decide to start a family. Others decide to purchase a home that is going to fit into their future plans. Of course, which course of action you take is going to greatly depend on what type of budget you have for your home and the like.
Why You Need a Realtor
Be sure that you are working with a realtor on finding a home that fits all your requirements. A realtor is going to provide you with knowledge of the market and may even show you homes that you are not even aware of as being for sale on the market. Do not try to go at this home buying process on your own, especially when this is your first time. Realtors are accustomed to working with those who first-time buyers are, and they can answer questions you may have, along with answering those that you had not thought to ask about yet.
A few tips on finding a realtor to work with:
- Be sure that you are comfortable with him or her
- Find someone that is ready to help you since you are a first-time homebuyer
- You want a guide in the realtor so that he or she can guide you on what the best option would be
Buying a home for the first time can be nerve-racking, but it can be exhilarating as well. The key to buying a first-time home is to be prepared, know what you want and know what you can afford to pay. Knowing these aspects makes the process much easier and less stressful, and working with a professional is going to help out tremendously. Give us a call today!