Buying your first home can become a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be, rather it should be uplifting, educational and most of all, it should feel exciting and fun. For many, the real estate world is complex and confusing, and it’s tough to know where to start when you’re ready to search for your first home, this is especially true as a first time home buyer.
It helps when a first time homebuyer can identify what their long term goals and how home ownership fits into those plans. Some just want to convert all the monthly rent payments into something that is tangible in which allows them to build equity over time, while others relate owning a home to gaining their independence. Having a sense of what your big picture looks like will help point you in the right direction.
Work with a Real Estate Agent or Realtor MLS
A client once said “I wish there was a thing called the internet when I bought my first home so I could find articles that promote first time home buyer tips” Luckily for most, the internet does exist in today’s market and yes, a consumer can search, read and dissect all the real estate content they desire. The key is to confirm the content is applicable to your situation. Remember each province in Canada is governed differently when dealing with the sale and trade of real estate matters.
This is just one of many reasons as to why it’s important to work with a Real Estate Agent or Realtor for best results, it also helps ease any added stress that home buyers experience throughout the process.
Mortgage Pre-Qualification is Essential
Some real estate agents suggest that being pre-qualified should be any home buyers first step, regardless if you're a first time home buyer or an experienced purchaser who has bought and sold real estate for decades. Mortgage rules in Canada have been constantly changing over the past ten years, knowing how much capital one qualifies for is just one aspect of the pre-qualification process.
The other aspect and maybe just as important is to shop around for the right type of mortgage product that best fits your goals. Again, knowing your long term goals of home ownership plays a big role in deciding which product best suits your needs. If you don’t plan on owning the home for more than five years then maybe choosing a variable product works better then locking into a mortgage term as there would be fewer penalties once you decide to sell the home.
The best practice is to always consulate with a mortgage specialist as they can best help guide you and plan towards meeting your long-term lending requirements
Create a List of Wants and Needs
Creating a list of ‘must haves’ is essential to reaching your goals. Some people can find it overwhelming when planning how to start your list. Start with a simple list of what type of home you prefer, then work your way into the homes features, from there, you can define more added features or amenities for i.e how many bathrooms does the home must have or is parking an essential feature etc..
Once you locked down the type of home and its features you can move forward by adding the areas that you prefer. Start with the region, then the city. Once you narrowed down the area and city, for i.e Toronto you can then start searching MLS listing in Toronto. Now, Toronto is a big city, for best results narrow your search down to a specific part of the city and from there being your search for your preferred neighbourhoods with your city of choice. You can start with searching MLS listings in North Burnaby, Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond etc…
By taking this approach, it helps take that overwhelming feeling off while also making the home buying process more enjoyable.
Ask Questions and Inform Yourself
Great industry professionals that you choose to surround yourself with will always take the time to answer all your questions. Top industry pros have great communication skills, they will anticipate the questions you’re going to ask and provide you with the information before you even request it.
A first time home buyer could be hesitant to ask questions because they don’t want to feel embarrassed if they’re not familiar with certain terminologies or even real estate lingo. An industry pro would never make a home buyer feel uncomfortable rather they would gently instruct their clients to ask away!
Industry pros understand the confusing nature of the business and are happy to help navigate you through the process, after all, that’s what client care is. If you ever feel uncomfortable in asking questions then that’s a clear sign that the Realtor, mortgage broker or any other pro might not be the right fit for you. Especially a first time home buyer should always feel comfortable in asking anything without hesitation. Remember the industry pro works for you and is there to provide you with benefits.
View MLS Listings that are in your Budget
A common mistake that a first time home buyer seems to make consistently is they search MLS listings that are not within their budget. Even worse, some of them go out of their way to go out and view listings first hand even though they can’t afford these types of homes. As a first time home buyer, you never want to set yourself up for disappointment, stay within your means when searching available listings.
We believe that there is a home in any city or any community that fits a normal budget. It’s just a matter of finding them, again your buyer agent representative will help guide you if you choose to also search listings on your own via the internet. There are some great sites available that are feature rich by displaying city and neighbourhood amenities, a location walkscore and transit score and even promote local schools with a ranking system. The key is narrow down which community is listed in your must haves checklist. Use websites in which you narrow down your search to your preferred neighbourhood, like for i.e search MLS listings in Burnaby, British Columbia or search MLS listings in East Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster etc…
A great place to start your search once you have your checklist prepared, a buyer agent or Realtor MLS in place and a preferred mortgage product is masonoskoei.com