Ditching the land lord and taking the leap into the realm of home ownership? While it can be frightening, consumers who have the resources to buy a home shouldn’t shy away from this type of financial decision. But you must be prepared and you much have the money to do so, or you may incur years of unavoidable debt.
With the help of your REALTOR® or real estate representative, and some research, buying a home for the first time will be less daunting and complicated. The best thing you should do is to not rush into a decision and to prepare well ahead of time.
Here are some tips, guidelines and advice for those who are thinking of buying a home:
- Knowing that you’re ready: Before you even look at homes online or in the newspaper, make sure that you have the ability to buy a home. Check your finances, your credit score and budget accordingly. Ask your real estate professional or your representative at your bank to check over you financial situation to determine whether or not you’re ready. If you aren’t or if you feel like you aren’t, start saving what you can. Even if you choose to buy a home, you’re going to have to cut your spending considerably.
- Know how much you’re going to spend before you look: After you have found out that you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time to budget yourself. Determine how much you’re willing to spend to purchase a new home, as well as for down-payments – something that usually gets left until the last minute.
- Finding the right real estate representative: If you haven’t already, you should acquire the assistance of a real estate professional. As a first-time buyer, you should never go solo when buying a home. A real estate professional can give you advice on what home is best for you, as well help you search for the most fitting home for your needs.
- Knowing what you need: Once you acquire the assistance of a REALTOR® or agent, start looking for a home that suits your needs. If you’re thinking for the future, take that into account when deciding which home is best for you. But don’t be over the top—be realistic when searching for that first home.
- Getting a home appraised and inspected: To receive a quality mortgage, homeowners will need to hire an appraiser. An appraiser values your home based on the surrounding market and the condition of the home. Finding a reputable appraiser is crucial because an overvaluation can be detrimental to your economic health. An inspector is someone who comes in to check out the physical condition of your home. Hiring an inspector will let you know if you have to spend extra money on renovations or construction. Do this before you close on the deal – you don’t want to spend considerable money after you’ve bought the home.
- Understanding your options for mortgages: Do a bunch of research before you choose a mortgage. Go to various lenders and understand their rates and policies. You could also ask your real estate agent for some help or hire a mortgage broker. There are different options, so find the one that suits you.
- Getting a Lawyer/Notary: Before you make a deal, have a lawyer or a notary read over the financial documents. This is to ensure that you’re not getting into a deal that looks shaky or fraudulent. The lawyer or notary has to be a real estate specialist.
- Don’t forget about those closing costs: After purchasing a home, you may be faced with “extra charges”. Understand the various fees that you’ll have to pay before the close of the sale so you could save accordingly. These fees can include legal costs, land transfer taxes, disbursements and many others.
Buying a home should be an exciting period for you, and while it seems complicated and difficult at first, prevailing through the challenges isn’t as hard as you think. With the help of a real estate professional on your side, you’ll get a favourable deal. So if you decide that buying is the right decision for you, just do your research and you’ll be good to go.