For most of us, buying a home will be the biggest purchasing decision we make in our lifetime. Adding to the weight of that decision is going through it the first time.
First-time homebuyers can benefit tremendously from receiving extra advice throughout the purchase process. It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect, but most issues can be resolved by doing a little homework at the outset.
The good news is first-time homebuyers are not on their own. Here are five tips to help you navigate the journey:
1. Do your research
Ask questions and do your homework. Speak with other homeowners to get a real-life perspective on what it’s like to own property. Also take some time to think about where you want to be today and five years from now, and plan accordingly!
2. Get pre-approved
It is best for first-time buyers to get pre-approved for a mortgage so they know how much they can spend.
Talk to a mortgage specialist about mortgage products, terms, payment options and rates. Then, share the pre-approval with your REALTOR® so they only show you homes that fit your budget.
3. Use a REALTOR®
Many homebuyers research potential homes using realtor.ca, but what’s really important is the interpretation of that data, and that’s where a REALTOR® comes in.
A REALTOR® is a trusted source for all your real estate needs. Not only do they provide invaluable expertise, but they are also committed to a high standard of professional conduct focused on the consumer.
A REALTOR® also provides a homebuyer with all the information to make an informed decision in terms of comparable prices in the neighbourhood, market conditions and the proper steps to go through in a home purchase.
4. Seeing is believing
While most people begin their home search online, shopping that way may not tell the whole story of a property. Photos can be deceiving, so it’s important to get inside a house and explore it for yourself.
Things like the size of a home, the condition of the interior and exterior and the neighborhood can vary when looking at a home online versus in person.
Schedule a showing with your REALTOR® or visit an open house to help you make a much smarter buying decision.
5. Get a home inspection
A home inspection could identify a simple cosmetic problem or safety issue that could be potentially life threatening.
Many first-time buyers walk into a home, love the kitchen or the bathrooms or the general layout, and can look right past everything else. That’s why you need an unbiased, independent review of the home.
Your home inspector should not care whether you buy the home or not. They have no vested interest in the transaction and present you with the facts.
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