June 24th 2016
Thinking about purchasing your first home can be scary! Being financially ready and mentally ready do not often fall simultaneously. Either way it’s important you know what to expect before jumping into the process. These are tips from my own personal experience with buying our first home.
1) Get pre approved. You will have no idea how much you need for a down payment or what you can afford until you take this step. This is a free service that the lenders at Member Savings can do to get started
2) Set a budget and determine what you can afford. Now you know what your credit union says you can afford, decide what you are comfortable paying each month and create a budget for all of your other monthly expenses. Extra piece of advice – leaving out small costs like lunches during the week and gym memberships doesn’t do you any favours when setting up a budget. Be honest with yourself to make this process as stress free as possible.
3) Pick a real estate agent. This could be a family member, close friend or recommendation. But either way, do your research. Make sure they understand your needs and wants in a property and are honest with you about the market. You should thoroughly trust this person to help you through the process. They have much to gain in commission and you are making a big investment, be sure they are the right person for the job.
4) Pick a lawyer. Again, this could be a recommendation from someone you trust or a close family member or friend but either way read reviews! Search online and find out approximate costs. You don’t want to be stiffed with a huge bill at the end, that is way off from the fee’s originally discussed.
5) Inform yourself. Know what you are willing to sacrifice and what you must have. Research your preferred location, type of home, age of the home and builder. It is easy to go online and read reviews about builders and the pros and cons of living in a condo vs. a town house vs. a detached. Depending on your budget, you may or may not have options but you want to determine this to make sure you choose what works best for your lifestyle.
6) Enjoy the process. This is the only time you will be buying your first home, so try to enjoy it! Be prepared for all the ups and downs of real estate but as long as you are positive you will always come out on top! Don’t settle for something you are unhappy with. If you find you don’t like anything in your budget or location, think about changing or putting off your search until you are able to save a bit more money to get exactly what you want. Dealing with great real estate agents, lawyers and credit unions will help make this process an enjoyable start to the journey of purchasing your first home!
Written by Amanda Perkins