Our first time home buyer tips have been carefully compiled to give you all the help you need when going through the process of buying your first home. It’s a big step to take and you’re probably going to need a lot of help and advice along the way – that’s okay, we’re here to help, so please feel free to ask any questions! In the meantime, here’s our top 6 first time home buyer tips:
1. Mortgage Pre-Approval
We can’t say this enough – getting mortgage pre-approval is a necessity when you’re buying a home, especially your first home. It gives you peace of mind because you’ll know exactly what you can afford to spend, and it also helps to narrow down your search criteria to within a specific price range. Being pre-approved can also speed things up once you find a home, as much of the paperwork has already been done. It can make the difference between buying a home and losing a home, particularly in a vibrant market.
2. Work With a Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent is one of the top first time home buyer tips. We recommend that all buyers work with an agent when purchasing a home, but for first timers it’s probably even more important. You haven’t done this before and there’s lots to consider, but when viewing homes with an agent he or she can point out things that you hadn’t even thought of that could make or break whether you buy that particular home. And it’s not just the searching process that an agent helps with – there’s the whole purchasing side too including all the paperwork and making sure everything runs smoothly.
3. Know What You Want
This next tip is important for two reasons – first, you need to have a good idea as to what you want in a home such as number of bedrooms, square footage, yard or outside space, appearance, and location, but second, you also need to know that these desires will probably change as you see more and more homes. You will get a better understanding as to what it is you like and you may come to realise that you can’t get exactly what you want for your budget.
4. Don’t Get Tied Up On Appearances
Following on from the last of our first time home buyer tips is that you should not get tied up on appearances. We know that many first time home buyers have a strong picture in their mind’s eye as to what they want their first home to look like and when you see a home that’s been recently renovated and looks great it’s easy to get swept away by cosmetic appearances while forgetting about the bigger picture. Renovated homes are always going to appeal, but don’t choose the best looking home in the worst neighbourhood.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Cost of Buying a Home
This is a really important first time home buyer tip as we come across this so often – first time home buyers who underestimate what it’s going to cost to buy a home. The purchase price is the biggest number you’re going to see but not the only one! Don’t forget to account for legal fees, land transfer taxes, mortgage arrangement fees, and property taxes.
6. Don’t Underestimate the Cost of Owning a Home
And the next thing that first time home buyers often underestimate is the cost of home ownership. We consider this to be one of the most important first time home buyer tips as well, because, after all is said and done, are you certain you can afford to own a home? It’s not just the mortgage payments – it’s the insurance, annual property taxes, strata fees (if applicable), maintenance, utilities, and furnishings and decorating that you should add to your costs too.
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