Know What You're Getting Into
Before you begin your home buying process, make sure you've considered your options and are clear on your goals. Here are some important ones to consider:
Make a Budget
Together, with your financial advisor and your chosen Realtor, you will want to explore how your income, expenses, & debts determine how much you can afford. In consultation with your accountant & financial advisor, you will want to look into your investment and borrowing options as they relate to your first home purchase. Calculate what total monthly payments you are able to make (mortgage payments, maintenance fees, heat, hydro, taxes etc), be sure to factor in all your expenses when deciding what you can afford. Of course, you also need to be sure you have enough saved for the down payment. Check out these blog posts to learn more about financially preparing for your first home purchase and saving for your down payment.
Get Prequalified & Pre-Approved For Your Mortgage
As your Realtor, I will provide you with recommendations for a mortgage broker to suit your specific needs. Getting your "Pre-approval" from your financial advisor or mortgage broker marks you as a serious buyer and can help you in the competitive offer process. When you are clear on your price point, it focuses your activities and speeds the search process.
Be Prepared To Move Quickly
It is important to be prepared to move quickly when you find the right home, as the market moves quickly and waits for no one. Being prepared means connecting with your Realtor to ensure you have all the paperwork in place so you are ready when the time comes to put in an offer. It also means knowing exactly what you want from your home. Take time to make a list of needs vs. wants, decide on your preferred area or school district and know which features are most important to you. Do you need a garage? Or a condo locker? A yard for pets? A home office? Having a clear list of desires, and communicating them with your Realtor will help the process move quickly and efficiently.
Find a Realtor You Trust
You will trust the Realtor who shows up on time, listens to what you want, does diligent research on your behalf, and cares as if it were their own purchase. You will trust the Realtor who puts the tools in your hands, shows you the searches so you are confident in the numbers decided on, and the steps taken. A great Realtor will make all the difference in your home buying experience, so make sure you find one to guide you through the entire process.