The adventure of buying your first home can seem daunting at times. So much so that you may consider accepting the first home you see that is within your price range. Rash decisions like this can leave you with regret. Regret is not a welcomed feeling when it comes to a purchase of this magnitude.
Today’s tips will hopefully help to ease some of that stress and have you house shopping like a pro…
It is very important to start the journey to owning your first home with a well known trusted financial professional such as a broker or a bank. Sit down and work with them to understand where you fit financially. Before you can even begin to look for a new home, you need to know what you have to work with when it comes to the financial side of things.
This is not only referring to the cost of the home itself but the taxes to be paid, possible necessary renovations, closing and survey costs, or the multiple required insurances and building inspector fees. You will need to lay everything out on the table at the start so you don’t dig yourself into an impossible hole that you can never get yourself out of.
Set yourself a budget and then stick within that range. Don’t take on more than you can handle or risk losing it all when the bills become too much.
Tip #2 – Lifestyle –
Is the neighbourhood you are considering one that feeds into your personal lifestyle?
For instance, if you are person that likes to jog or ride a bike it probably would not be beneficial to choose a home in an area that does not support outdoor activities such as trails, beaches and or parks.
Do you have school age children? If so, is there a reputable school located within close proximity of the home you are considering? Is your home on a bus route so that your children have a way of getting to and from school if you should not be available to take or pick them up?
There are also several options to consider regarding the building itself when purchasing a residential property. Are you looking to house a family, a couple or just you on your own? Do you like to garden or need yard space for your children to play in? Depending on your needs you will want to explore anywhere from a single family unit up into a multi-family building.
Are you a Mr/Mrs. Fix-it? If so then perhaps saving some money with a fixer upper purchase might be the route to go. However the time it takes to bring your first home up to par may far outweigh the money saved. Always consider the options from all perspectives before signing your life away.
When looking to buy your first home we recommend you arrange your viewings for weekends. Weekend visits increase the chance that your potential neighbours will be at home.
This gives you the opportunity to see not only who would be living around you but offers a window into what kind of lifestyle they lead. Are they partiers who like to play their music too loud. Are they friendly when they see you walking down the street? Do they have children that your kids can become friends with if that is something you are wanting?
Knowing your neighbours is essential to a home purchase decision. Weekend, and even evening visits will give you the insight you need into who does what in the neighbourhood you are considering.
Tip #4 – Ask Questions –
Many first time buyers will avoid asking questions of their realtor simply because they are embarrassed that that they don’t know or even understand certain terms when it comes to purchasing a home.
If you have a good realtor they will always be willing to answer any questions you may have. If you have an excellent realtor they will expect certain questions and give you the necessary information before you even think to ask for it.
Buying your first home is one of, if not the biggest purchase of your lifetime. For this reason you need to ensure that you truly understand every aspect and decision, that goes into making such a huge financial commitment. Never be afraid to ask a question. It is your hard earned money after all. You should want to know where and how it will be spent.
Tip #5 – First Home Inspection –
So you have found your dream home but are not 100% sure on its structural soundness. Time to call in the professionals to look into the finer details for you.
A home inspector checks into a home’s overall structural condition and will supply you will a ballpark repair estimate should they find any that need to be done. This is helpful for finding any mold or moisture issues that may be invisible on surface glance of the house.
If you are having any concerns about electrical or gas lines in the home you will need to bring in specific professionals that work in those areas to have them checked out.
Although you may be tempted to skip over this step because of the financial cost, we recommend that you don’t. Instead try to see it as an insurance payment on the biggest financial commitment you will ever make. You don’t want to find out about irreparable or costly issues after you have already taken ownership of the new to you house.
The purchase of your first home can be both exciting and overwhelming. Our best advice to you is to:
- Talk to the professionals
- Ask a lot of questions
- Make notes
- Most importantly take your time
Do not rush into this decision lightly. This is a decision you are going to have to live with or should we say live in for years to come.