Purchasing a property can be a daunting task, especially for first time buyers. There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which include location, price, and needs. But there are ways to secure your first home while staying within your budget, and to make sure that you make the right investment.
Buying your first home is an important milestone that requires time and thoughtful consideration. There are many steps that first time home buyers can take to secure a property that will reflect their needs and budget. There are also things that prospective first-time buyers can do to ensure that the property they are purchasing is in good condition and will not require any significant repairs in the future.
1. Start Planning
One of the most important steps that a buyer can take, whether it is their first time or 10th, is to plan their investment ahead of time. This may involve saving for a down payment/ closing costs, and getting pre-qualified for a mortgage to determining how much is needed in order to purchase a property that will suit your needs. These initial steps may vary in time depending on factors such as income/ credit level and the availability of properties in your desired location, but they are critical steps in the home-buying process that all people should consider before investing in a property.
2. Choose the right Realtor
Another important step will be to consult with a professional Realtor (like myself) who can assist you with looking for a property that suits your needs and price range. We have access to every property available (no matter whether it is a for sale by owner or which company it is listed with) and assist with negotiating to come to an agreement that works for both a seller and a buyer…just to name a couple items out of the dozens we do behind the scenes. Professionals in the industry have an in-depth knowledge of neighbourhoods, amenities, whether a property follows city guidelines, what updates are worth the price, and much more. Doing it on your own will mean that you may not be fully informed or getting the best value for your investment.
3. Getting Pre-Approved for your mortgage
A mortgage pre-approval is important because it means your lender has checked your credit and verified your documentation to approve a specific mortgage loan amount. I always recommend using a mortgage broker that shops you around in order to find the best terms and rates for your needs as going to the bank directly may not be as firm of a number for us to work with. Let me know if you need some referrals.
This makes buying your home even easier because you will know exactly what you can afford and feel confident when submitting your offer.
4. Finding a home that matches your lifestyle
Part of your first home search will be researching prospective neighbourhoods that you want to live in. Is it safe, near the amenities that are important to you? Does it match your lifestyle?
For example, if you are a single working person who values convenience, you may want to consider an area that is in close proximity to grocery stores and restaurants, as well as a low-maintenance property like a condo or townhome. If you have a family or are considering having a family in the future, you may want a property in a suburban area that has amenities for children and families, such as schools and parks. You will want to consider the size of a property and determine how much space you need along with what features will make this home ideal for your wants and needs.
When considering your options, it is important that we search for a property that will meet your needs today and for the next few years. But keep in mind that things change and people typically live in their first home for 2-5 years before wanting to move or upgrade to fit their new needs or use equity to get closer to their forever home.
Although it may be tempting to purchase a property that is priced lower in order to save money, this may not be the best option for your future satisfaction as a homeowner. Some compromise might be necessary in the home-buying process, depending on your budget, such as spending a bit more to be able to live in your desired location or choosing a different neighbourhood to save a bit of money. Balance is key when it comes to finding the perfect first home as it likely is just your entry into home ownership. Focus on finding a property that is ideal for your current needs and budget, and be flexible if needed.
5. Property Inspection
After we find you the right home, negotiate an offer, and send the documents to your mortgage broker for final financing approval, the next important step is to ensure that the property you are purchasing is in good condition. Although a property may appear to be in good condition, having a property inspection can notify you of any structural, electrical, or plumbing issues, or just give you a list of small repairs that you can do over time as every home whether brand new or 60+ years old will need some form of maintenance.
Property inspectors are registered professionals with building and/or trade experience. They always have knowledge of the latest building and safety codes, and what is necessary for the property to have versus suggested to have based on the year built. I also have several inspectors I have worked with for years to referral if needed.
When searching for your first home, concentrate on the practical aspects of your search, such as planning ahead, maintaining your budget, and looking for a safe and secure neighbourhood. Remember to also look for a space that you can envision yourself spending time in and what reflects your needs.
A professional Realtor like myself can help make your first home buying experience educational, positive, and unforgettable. Give me a call to get Professional Real Estate Advice, Jeneen Marchant, Re/Max Real Estate – (780) 904-4240