Buying your first home is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. If you have spent years living in apartments, there is nothing more satisfying than owning your own property.
The process can be a little lengthy and you might hit a few bumps in the road to home ownership, but we are here to support you! The following tips will help the first time homeowner avoid some of the hiccups.
Talk to a REALTOR®
The first thing you should do is talk to a real estate agent about the home buying process. It should not be a sales meeting and you should be able to find an agent that will agree to meet with you about the basics without having to sign a sales agreement with them. There are buyer’s agents and seller’s agents.
A buyer’s agent’s responsibility is to negotiate the best deal for the buyer. The goal of the seller’s agent is to get the price that the seller most desires.
The best way to find the right agent is to use RealAgents.ca service – we can greatly reduce the risk of hiring a bad agent, through our DIY plan or by asking us to get you in touch with the top talent. When meeting with a potential agent, pay attention to how they treat you. Make sure they listen to you when you talk about what you want. You’ll want to know how their follow up skills are and if they take the time to return your calls or emails. If they don’t take the time to respond, move on. There is a better agent out there for you.
Get a Credit Report
Order a copy of your credit report so you can check it for accuracy. Mistakes are common and you want to make sure that there is no fraudulent activity. You have the right to dispute errors on your credit report. If you come across something that you know is an error, circle it and send it to the reporting agency along with a letter of dispute.
Talk with a Mortgage Broker
Another great person to speak with would be your loan officer at your bank or a mortgage broker. An equally important tip is to get your finances in order before you apply for a mortgage. You need to be able to find the right loan and lender most suitable for your needs. Familiarize yourself with industry terms like debt to income ratio and adjustable rate mortgage. Learn the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified. It will all seem foreign at first, but taking the time to learn the business will spare you from headaches in the future. You also need to consider the size of the down payment and figure out what you need to do to come up with the money for it.
Figure Out Your Wants and Need
You need to figure out what your wants and needs are. What kinds of amenities are you looking for? How many bedrooms? One story or two story home? Think about your current lifestyle and how that might change in the future. Think about how many kids you might have, or currently have, and how many bedrooms you will need. Figure out if that fireplace is actually a need or a want and figure out what you can get for you money!
Think About Resale Value
Before you even think about making an offer, you need to consider the resale value. You might plan on being there for a long time, but you just never know. You might opt for a different climate to alleviate your allergies, you could simply be transferred by your company or you may need to find a home with an in-law suite – there are numerous reasons that can come up. You want to pick a good location that will be attractive to others as well.
Don’t Forget About Zoning
Another issue that cannot be ignored are the deed restrictions, which govern what you can and cannot do with the property. If it has always been your dream to have a pool, you want to make sure that you don’t buy a home in a subdivision that won’t allow it because of deed restrictions.
Get a Home Inspection
Home inspections are an important part of the equation. Talk to your agent to find out when the inspection will be performed – don’t let someone talk you out of not getting a home inspection, even if it is a new home. They can be an invaluable resource. Sometimes the inspection will be right before the contract is signed and other times, they are performed right after an offer is made.
Regardless of where you are at on you journey, do your best to stay on top of things. Any number of problems can crop up at the last minute and delay the purchase of your home. If you aren’t sure about something with the paperwork, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might think of something that everyone else has overlooked.
Purchasing a home is a time consuming task, but with some careful planning an wise choices, you’ll be well on your way.