The first thing you must do when considering buying a home is market research. You need to know what home prices are in your desired city and the variability between neighbourhoods, house size, amenities and more. The more you know, the better! This can be overwhelming for most people, but that is where a real estate agent comes in! This brings us to our next tip, finding a real estate agent.
Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent
Once you’ve settled on a general area that you’d like to live, you should look for a real estate agent that is an expert in that area. If you are moving from far away, ask anyone you know from that area for a referral as these typically lead to the best fit for Realtors and clients. If you do not know anyone in the area, do your research in the web and make a few calls. Having a few conversations with Realtors will help you decide if they will work well for you!
Know What You Want
Now it’s time for the big discussion with your spouse and/or kids – what do you want in a house? My best recommendation is to sit down and spend some time creating a needs, wants and nice-to-haves list. These lists are segmented based on the priority level for having in your home. For instance, number of bedrooms and bathrooms is usually a non-negotiable for families, so this would be a “need”. Perhaps a finished basement would be a “want” and a backyard pool would be a “nice-to-have”.
Being pre-approved is a step that most new home buyers have to go through – unless you’re fortunate enough to have the cash on hand! To be pre-approved, you need a down payment and need to find a financial institutution that will agree to lend you the amount that you need. I recommend that you do this before you start looking for houses so that you have a clear idea of what you can afford.
Look in Your Favourite Neighbourhoods
Once you’ve been pre-approved you will know what your budget is for your first home. At this point, you can go looking for your dream home in your favourite neighbourhood. At this point, make sure your wants, needs and nice-to-haves are set. If these aren’t set, your hunt for home may be tough! Your Realtor will come in handy here, as they will be watching the market to keep an eye on what you are looking for!
Making An Offer
Once you find the house that you want, your Realtor will take the reigns. A good Realtor will make a comparative market analysis, arrange a land title search, and help you decide on a fair offer for the home in question. Your Realtor will have a good understanding of how much you are able to negotiate and hopefully be able to achieve the price you are looking to pay!
Hire a Home Inspector
Before you purchase any home, new or old, it is always a good idea to get a home inspection. A home inspection is useful to discover any structural concerns or anything in need of repair. It is best to discover these before home purchase so that the repairs can be negotiated in the closing of the deal.
Secure Your Financing
If you decided to get pre-approved, this still will have been sped up! At this point, you must finalize your financing agreement with your lender so that you can purchase the home. Once your financing is secured, you’re ready to close the deal! It is also a great idea to look into home insurance at this point.
Close the deal
Great! We have reached the closing stage of buying your first home. This is where your offer becomes an agreement to purchase the home. This will require some legal work to make the purchase official. You will also decide the closing date at this point so that you know when you are able to move into the home!
Move in to your new home!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…move in day! Congratulations to you and your family for buying your first home!