For the average first-time homebuyer, the excitement of finding your dream home often takes the reins when house hunting. After all, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the real estate market—it’s time to enjoy the buying process. While viewing properties like townhouses and detached bungalows make for a fun and exciting time, keep these five things in mind throughout the process for a pain-free experience.
1) Plan for Closing Costs
Knowing everything about the home is critical in making an informed decision, which is why you’ll want to budget for a few expenses throughout the way. A home inspection, property appraisal, and survey offer first time home buyers a full understanding of the property, including issues that may have gone unnoticed previously. Some lenders will require a property appraisal and survey to finalize the mortgage.
Finally, you may have to pay taxes, insurance, and fees when you purchase your new home too. Additionally, consider any lawyer’s fees and disbursements in the closing cost.
2) Always Check Your Credit Report Before Qualifying
Your credit score will play a key role in whether you not only qualify for a mortgage but also determines the interest rate a lender will offer. Lenders will offer a better interest rate to those with a higher credit score. Pay attention to any default accounts, accounts with high balances, collection activity, or other discrepancies on your report. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right, report it right away to have it removed.
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3) Pick the Right Home and Area
Choosing a home to match your lifestyle is important for the first time home buyer, but consider more than just the immediate needs. While a small two-bedroom townhouse may be perfect for your current life, a home needs to last throughout the years. Make sure you factor in lifestyle changes like marriage, children, career, and education requirements when purchasing your first house. While you may not need three bedrooms now, if you’re starting a family in the next five years, opt for a larger space. Check out some of the Toronto condo listings here.
4) Choose Your Real Estate Agent Carefully
A decent real estate agent will work hard to get you everything on your list without breaking the bank. They are your guide throughout the home buying process and work with you throughout the negotiation and closing process. Ensure you feel confident and comfortable with your agent, especially if it’s your first time purchasing real estate.
5) Opt for a Home Within Your Budget
While a lender may approve you for a higher mortgage than you initially anticipated, make sure that the expenses that come with owning a home don’t leave you strapped for cash within your budget. Make sure you evaluate the amount you can afford and stick with that before house shopping.
While these may seem like five simple considerations when purchasing your home, they can often be the difference between a smooth, exciting experience and a frustrating, painful process. By knowing what to look for and what to expect, you won’t be left scrambling when you finally find that perfect home.