First Time Home Buyers – Tips to a Successful Sale
First Time Home Buyer Tips
One of the largest purchases people make is buying their first home. This is a big life altering decision and should not be taken lightly. Listed below are a few tips that may help the first time home buyer.
1. Use a Real Estate Agent
Consult a local real estate agent in the location you are interested in buying a home. For example, if you plan to buy a house in Markham, Ontario, then use an agent familiar and knowledgeable about the Markham area, not someone who doesn’t even know the Toronto area.
The majority of houses are sold using real estate agents. Each agent represents their respective party during the transaction and will try to obtain the best possible deal for their client. Real estate agents deal with hundreds of transactions and have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your first home purchase. A real estate agent will be familiar with the current real estate market and will be able to provide you with information on houses available for sale. They have the resources and contacts you will need during the whole process, including contacts such as mortgage brokers, title companies, inspection companies, etc.
2. Figure Out Your Price Range
Find out how much you can afford to spend on a house. Consider how much you can put down as a down payments and how much of a mortgage loan you can afford. Keep in mind that your monthly housing payment can include not only your mortgage amount, but other fees such as homeowners association dues, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.
3. Make a List of Criteria
Make a list of specific criteria that are important to you to have in your house. For example, you may need a specific number of bedrooms or bathrooms. You may want a house that has an attached two car garage. For those with young children, good local schools are important. For those who commute to work, from Markham into downtown Toronto for example, may be looking for a house that provides easy access to highways. Share this with your real estate agent, who can customize a search for you.
4. Take Notes and Gather Information
Once you have a list of houses you are interested in seeing, your real estate agent can set up the necessary appointments and gain you access to the interior of the houses. Take notes at each house, as after viewing a few homes, sometimes it becomes difficult to remember which house had what features. Rank the houses in your order of preference and make a second (or third or fourth) visit to your favorite houses.
Take note of the physical location and proximity to areas of interest. Does the house back up to a commercial piece of land that may create a lot of road noise or high traffic on the road? How far away is it to the grocery store or to a gas station? Your real estate agent can be a good source for this information, as he or she should be familiar with the area.
Find out why the Seller is selling the house you are interested in. This may help you in the negotiation process. If the Seller is motivated to sell or needs to sell by a certain time frame, these factors could work to your advantage.
5. Be Patient
Be patient. Buying a house is a major life altering decision. It may take awhile to find the house you need at the price and condition you want. If you don’t find something you like right away, don’t worry. Houses are constantly being listed for sale.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides many more great tips and advice for first-time home buyers in Canada.