“Buying your first home in the real estate market can be exciting, exhausting, complicated, fulfilling, simple, streamlined, frustrating and yes, even difficult. Buying a home is never an event, it is a process. The steps in the process, however, are very simple.” -Author Unknown
The key to your first home is not just any key. Considering that you are about to experience a major milestone in your life, this key is symbolic of years of hard work, of dreams finally being realized and of goals coming into fruition. The key to your first home is iconic of the happiness and laughter you are inevitably going to share with your family. It is that place where you will foster new memories. However, before all these can be yours, you need to go through the rather overwhelming process of making what would possibly be the biggest purchase of your life.
Not to worry, seeing as this is one of the most pivotal decisions you are going to make, it would be easy to see why it would be daunting. But there are ways of making the entire ordeal much less stressful and hassle-free. So, whether you are thinking of purchasing a condo unit in High Park, or a residential townhouse elsewhere, here are a couple of dos and don’ts you should keep in mind:
1.) DO Find a real estate agent
Although availing of the services of a real estate agent is not entirely necessary, it is recommended—particularly if this is your first time going through the process. A professional would be a lot more knowledgeable about the market which would make it easier for you to comprehend the logistics of buying a home. Additionally, working alongside a real estate agent opens your doors to an extraordinary network of individuals such as credit counselors, inspectors, insurance agents and the like who will inevitably become a part of your team.
2.) DO mind your budget
A crucial factor that influences how you choose the home you are going to live in is your lifestyle. From a cost perspective, determine what you necessarily need in your home and those that you merely want and from there, you can draft a budget. Remember that even if you paid in full for your home, your monthly expenses do not end there. There are several things you have to consider such as electric and water bills and the kind of lifestyle you have. A good question to ask yourself would be if you ended up losing your job and would not be working for three months, would you be able to afford your lifestyle and your home? Or would you be stretching yourself too thin?
3.) Do not be too emotional
When it comes to home buying, you should never let your emotions cloud your judgment. This can be quite the case when it comes to first-time buyers which is why you would need to have your emotions in check, and think rationally. A good thing to keep in mind is the re-sale value of your home. Remember, you would not be staying in this home forever. And when it comes to real estate, there is nothing more valuable than a prized location, so make sure that your home meets at least that minimum requirement.
4.) Do not make any big purchases before you get approved for a mortgage
This one should be obvious, but apparently, some owners fail to follow this basic step. Always keep your eye on the prize and refrain from making any big purchases that would perhaps decrease your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. Buying a car or any material items of similar value before you get approved may cause the bank to adjust their loan terms where they are no longer favorable. Or even worse, they might even deny you a mortgage. So, make big purchases only after getting approved and only when necessary.