You did it! You have saved, saved, and saved some more and you finally have the money needed for a down payment! This is an exciting time for you—and also one that can be filled with questions. As a first-time homebuyer, the market can be confusing and misleading. However, there are tips that you can use that will make the process a memorable one for the right reasons.
- Research the Area
Really get to know the community you are looking at buying in. Find out what it has to offer in terms of nearby schools, drive time distances to work, and other destinations. Your dream home may become less dreamy when you discover you are 30 minutes away from the nearest grocery store!
- Get a Home Inspection
A home inspection will put your mind at ease that your prospective purchase is in good condition. The last thing you want are unexpected surprises once you move in and it’s too late. Make sure you choose a credited home inspector and review the report with them understanding that any repairs will be money out of your pocket once you own the home. Knowing all the facts is a good thing!
- Use a Mortgage Broker
One of the easiest choices you can make during this process is to work with a mortgage broker—and get pre-approved! Pre-approval will give you a set budget that your realtor can work off of. This way you can have your dream home—but stay on budget too.
- Avoid Large Purchases while House Hunting
As a first-time buyer, you will want to avoid making any large credit purchases while you are house-hunting. Large credit purchases will alter your debt-to-income ratio which will directly affect how much you qualify for a loan. The less you have in the “debt” category typically will result in you qualifying for more.
- Look past Décor
When entering a home, you have to look past the cosmetic décor items such as paint colour, furniture, finishes, etc. They are easy, low cost changes that you can easily switch out if you choose to purchase the home. As a buyer, remember that the homes you are looking at will undoubtedly have the current owners touch to it but this is easily fixed.
- Make a List
While you will need to retain some flexibility in this list, make a list of both your needs and wants. Your list should encompass your basic desires (like neighbourhood and size), all the way down to the smaller details like kitchen and bathroom layout. Match the property as closely as possible to your list and be honest with your realtor when looking at properties.
Finally, use a local realtor! Realtors that are well-versed in the area will have a better idea of fair-market value in the area. This will allow you to make an offer that is in line with the true price of the home vs. the listing price. Using a local realtor will also help you to have more insights into the neighborhood. They can help you determine the walk-score, tell you about nearby points of interest and have information about the general population in the area. A realtor well-versed in the area can be an invaluable resource especially for first time buyers!
Are you a first-time homebuyer? Give us a call at Young Real Estate Group and we will meet with you to help start the process!