First Time Home Buyers Guide
Friday Oct 16th, 2020
The First Time Home Buyers Guide
Buying my first home was probably the scariest and most rewarding experience I have ever gone through. The anticipation, the worry of the unknown and the constant thought of "What am I doing?" that truly did not end until I moved into the home. I was grateful to have experienced home owners in my corner, encouraging me along the way. After getting my real estate license, I became fortunate to begin helping others that were just like me! Not knowing the steps to take, overthinking all the details and feeling a large cloud of the unknown walking around with you constantly. I was able to help them navigate through all the tough waters, the emotions that come along with buying a home, provided a shoulder to lean on and encouraged my buyers that they were making the right decision. I knew I found my calling when I began to notice that my services were truly helping people. Looking out for my clients' best interests and goals comes above all else and is the foundational values of our team. I have been fortunate to help many first time home buyers throughout my real estate carrier and each time I am brought back to my own first time buying experience. So, in my nostalgic rant, I have created a guide for all the First Time Home Buyers out there. If followed, I know you will be on your way to home ownership in no time!
- Find a Realtor
- Know Your Budget
- Get Pre-approved
- Begin Searching for Your Home
- Have your Realtor Schedule Showings
- Make an Offer
- Get a Home Inspection
- Hidden Costs
- Prepare for Move
- Move into Your New Home
1. Find a Realtor
Step 1 is to pick up the phone and call me! All kidding aside, choosing the right realtor to guide you through the buying process is key. You will want to lean on them for their market knowledge, insight and expertise. Having someone look out for your best interest and guiding you through the process will help ease the stresses that buying a new home can bring. The realtor's fee is usually paid by the seller, which is an even greater reason for you to have an expert on your side. Don't be afraid to ask them LOTS of questions. The more the merrier!
2. Know your Budget
Buying a home is expensive, which is why taking a good look at your financial stability, the amount you have for a down-payment, possible debts and lifestyle is a needed step in making a wise investment. Consider what your monthly expenses will be, what outstanding debts you may have, if you are secure with your employment and if you are planning on any major life changes in the near future, such as expanding your family. Also, consider your goals in real estate. Are you looking to get into the market? Do you want to scale your investments at a fast speed? How long do you plan to live there? All of these answers will help your realtor guide you in the right direction.
3. Get Pre-Approved
The mortgage pre-approval is another crucial step in searching for a home. This will inform you on what budget to stay in and the mortgage conditions to consider. It is important to have this basic foundation when looking for homes, as it will direct your search criteria and must have's list. The pre-approval is the guide that realtors use when helping you house hunt and will inform them on how to best assist you in your search.
4. Begin Searching for Homes
Exploring different house types, styles and neighbourhoods is a great way to get the feeling of where you want to live and what best suites your lifestyle. Your Realtor will help you narrow down your search and can give you insight on what will suite your needs. They will also set you up to receive listings through the MLS system.
5. Have Your Realtor Schedule Showings
You have gotten all of your ducks in a row and now it is time to get out there and look at some homes! Your realtor will schedule all the showings for you either in person or virtually. In person showings is still our preferred way to conduct showings. Walking into a home, feeling the energy, flow, experiencing the neighbourhood and surroundings, while taking it all in cannot be replicated virtually. Make sure to ask questions while walking through the home and take your time.
6. Make an Offer
You have found the perfect home and want to put in an offer. This is where working with a Realtor will prove very beneficial. Their understanding of the different market conditions and knowing that each require different approaches will help you during the offer process. Your Realtor will ensure that the proper conditions are in place and can also give you the upper hand in a multiple offer situation.
7. Get a Home Inspection
The home inspection will inform you of any items that may need repair and that can't always be seen during a showing. It is important to have all the facts about the home prior to finalizing your purchase so you can avoid any surprises that may arises in the near future. Knowledge is key when buying.
8. Hidden Costs
There are many hidden costs that come with purchasing a home. Some of the most common ones are:
- Land Transfer Tax: a provincial and municipal tax (if purchasing in Toronto) charge to all home buyers. First time home buyers can receive a rebate up to $4,000.00. Click Here for a Land Transfer Tax Calculator.
- Closing Adjustments: These will be outlines by your lawyer before closing (ex. property taxes)
- Insurance: Home Insurance covers loss and damages to a personal property. Title insurance protects owners and their lenders against losses related to the property's titles or ownership.
- Legal Fees: These will be charged by your lawyer and due on closing.
9. Prepare for the Move
This includes items such as:
- Set up utilities, possible rental items (ex. hot water heater) and transfer services into your name before closing
- Change your address via Canada Post
- Notify your bank and credit card companies
- Purchase home insurance
- Ensure a smooth transition for your children to their new school
- Hire movers
10. Move Into Your New Home
Finally you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour and move into your home!