What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home
If you're thinking about entering the real estate market, congratulations! Purchasing property is one of the smartest ways you can invest your money. If you're a new home buyer, the process might be foreign to you, but I'm here to help you along the way.
Determine if you are financially ready.
The most important step for any new homeowner is to make sure they can afford a home, and if so, how much home you can afford to buy. You will need to make sure your finances are in place and that you can budget for your other expenses while carrying a mortgage.
Get preapproved for a mortgage.
If you're serious about buying a home, you need to get preapproved for a mortgage. This is a very simple process that will not require much of your time, it will however save you a ton of time when looking at the available homes for sale. By getting your financing in order before you start viewing homes, you'll be able to reduce the available homes from hundreds of options to a handful that you can afford to buy. Additionally, when you find one you like you'll be able to make an offer with confidence!
Account for closing costs.
You've saved your down payment and have your budget in place... but did you account for the closing costs? Luckily, as a home buyer, you don't have to pay for your Realtor's services. Those costs are actually covered by the seller! However, there are many closing costs and fees you might not have considered, like paying for a home inspection, a lawyer, and home insurance. For more information, you can read my Closing Costs 101 article.
Choosing the right Realtor.
As a first-time home buyer, I suggest working with a Realtor because you are not familiar with the ins and outs of the home buying process, and you probably have a ton of questions that you would like answers to. When you choose your Realtor, make sure he or she is someone who you can trust, has experience in the industry, and can provide you with good references for their services.
Make a list of exactly what you want.
You know what your needs are and whether you'd be better suited to a larger home, a smaller home, or maybe even a condo. Depending on if you're buying a home for yourself or for a growing family, your needs will be very different.
Consider the neighbourhood you're buying in.
Even if you score the deal of the century, it becomes less so when it's in an undesirable neighbourhood. It's often better to invest in a small or outdated home in a good neighbourhood than a desirable house in a not-so-great neighbourhood.
Search for a home with your agent.
Once you know how much you can afford to spend on your house and have chosen your Realtor, you're ready to start looking! Your Realtor will show you the houses he or she thinks you will be interested in, based on your list of preferences. Depending on what you're looking for, your search can take any amount of time, from one week to several months.
After you have found a home, put in your offer, taken care of the closing costs and the house has closed, congratulations! You're officially a homeowner.
Have more questions about the home buying process? Contact me and I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have.Greg Dewar on