Things To Consider When Buying Your First Home
You finally feel you’re at the place in life when you are ready to buy your first house. It is an exciting time and you cannot wait to make an offer, move out of your rental home or parent’s basement and into your very own private abode. You have been following the real estate market and have researched neighbourhoods in your city. You are ready to move forward.
Being a first time home buyer is a learning curve so do some research before making the plunge. You need to be educated about the process and know what you need to keep in mind. If you live in the Toronto area and are looking for a great neighbourhood the Springfarm Yorkville real estate market is a good spot to start your search. Just remember a few simple things and your first home purchase will be a positive experience.
The first and most important step when it comes to buying your starter home is to create a budget. There are a lot of extra costs to owning a house that as a first time buyer you may not be aware of. Not only do you have to make a mortgage payment each month you also have to pay your insurance provider. House taxes and condo fees also affect your bottom line. Plus you should have savings for general upkeep.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval
After creating a budget that works for your financial situation you should talk to your bank or mortgage broker to see what you qualify for. This affects the price of the house you can buy and maybe even the location. Try to keep in mind just because you are approved for a large mortgage does not mean you have to buy at the high end of the assessment. Always remember your budget before deciding on your price cap.
- Location, Location, Location
This is one of the most important choices for a buyer when purchasing a home. While the square footage and number of rooms are pivotal in your decision making I suggest the location trumps this. Having a larger residence in a neighbourhood you do not love can lead to buyers remorse. Really think about what you want in a neighbourhood and a community and create your search parameters around this.
- Take Your Time
Even experienced home buyers can be pressured into making an offer before they are really ready. This is especially so in a hot market where bidding or above the asking price offers are common. While it is easy to get caught up in the hype instead take a step back and see if the house you like checks all the boxes. Just because someone else wants it does not mean it is the right for you.
- Get a Home Inspection
Never buy a home without getting a professional inspector to walk through it first. The last thing you want is to move into your dream home only to find out it is an absolute nightmare with water damage and mold lurking behind the walls. A home inspector will educate you about any potential problems with a house or set your mind at ease if there are none to worry about. Take the time to find a reputable inspector.
- Look into Renovations
If the house you like has had substantial renovations ask the seller for permit records and ensure it was done by a licensed contractor. Oftentimes if a renovation was done to flip a house cheaper materials were used and quick fixes were done. This may become a problem for you down the road. If the homeowner did their own remodelling ask the inspector to pay close attention to the details.
- Look for Extra Costs
Asks questions about the furnace, hot water heater, any septic systems and the age of the roof. These can all lead to big expenses you may not have budgeted for. A new roof will run into the tens of thousands of dollars as will a new septic system. An older furnace may not need to be replaced but may cost you in utilities bills. The age of the hot water heater is also important to know.
- First Time Home Buyer’s Cash Back Rebate
Being a first-time home buyer does have some perks. Some successful real estate agents will give a substantial cash rebate. Many areas have home buyer programs and grants in place to aid you in the purchasing of your first home. Check into tax credits as well as you may find some to offset some of the costs. Every area has different incentives so do your research.