- Not being realistic about what you can afford
Have you been pre-approved? Seeking mortgage pre-approval is the first step in your home buying journey. Before you even begin your search, you should know how much you can realistically spend on your first home. Know where your mortgage payment fits on your list of monthly expenses and make sure that you’re in a good place financially. If owning your dream home means that you cut back in other areas, is that something you’re willing to do? Also, just because you’re approved for a certain amount by your bank, doesn’t mean you need to spend it all.
- Not thinking about additional expenses
There are many costs associated with homeownership that first-time buyers may initially overlook, including closing costs and ongoing monthly and annual expenses. Closing costs include lawyer fees, land transfer tax and movers, just to name a few. As for ongoing costs, be sure to factor in things like homeowner’s insurance, property tax, maintenance, and utilities so that you aren’t caught off guard when you finally take the plunge and open your cheque book.
- Not getting a home inspection
A house is one of the most expensive assets you’ll ever own, so it’s crucial that you opt for a home inspection when the time comes to put in an offer on your dream home. If you decide to forego an inspection, you run the risk of not catching important issues that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars soon after purchasing the home. A home inspector can detect deficiencies like a roof that will soon need to be replaced, a furnace that’s on the fritz, or even risky electrical components. It’s important that you do your due diligence.
Also: Know what you need vs. what you want
If you’re buying your first home, it’s important not to settle for less than what you really need, but it’s equally important not to set your standards too high. For example, if you have a growing family and your small condo apartment simply won’t cut it anymore, you need to create a list of non-negotiables (that work within your budget). Maybe you need a big backyard for your pets and children, or at least two bathrooms and a minimum of three bedrooms. These are things that you can’t easily change about a home, so it’s important to know ahead of time what’s a need and what’s just a nice to have. This list will not only help make your search easier for both and your realtor, it will keep you on the right track and prevent you from becoming too picky. If you see a house that checks off all the right boxes, you’ve likely found your dream home.
You may be a fan of HGTV and the real estate shows that feature million-dollar listings with upgraded and top-of-the-line everything. Your first home will probably look nothing like that. However, just because a home that’s within your budget doesn’t have fancy countertops and all the finishes you see in magazines, that doesn’t mean you can’t tailor the home to your own style over time. It’s better to focus on the things that you can’t change about the home, like square footage or the size of the backyard.
If you’re a first-time buyer and have any questions about the home buying process, or even if you just want to chat real estate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today! Email email@example.com