Buying a home for the first time is exciting and scary all at the same time. It is also one of the biggest financial decisions that you will ever make.
Mary will provide you with the highest level of customer service. She believes your first time buying a home should be exciting, comfortable, informative and stress-free.
Here is some information to help alleviate some of the stress and answer your many questions about getting into the housing market.
What You Need to Know About Buying Your First Home
1. Determine What You Can Afford
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Purchasing a home involves one-time costs and monthly expenses, so you’ll need to determine just how much home you can afford and if you’re financially ready for home ownership. You’ll want to determine:
- Your monthly income.
- Your monthly debts and expenses.
- How much you have set aside for a down payment.
The purchase price of your new home is just one of the costs associated with home ownership. Experts recommend that you budget 1.5% of the purchase price of your home to cover these costs.
- Home Inspection
- Appraisal and/or Survey – In order to provide financing your lender will sometimes require an appraisal or survey of the property, to make sure that the value of the home matches its purchase price.
- Land Transfer Tax – A provincial tax based on the purchase price of your new home.
- Mortgage Insurance – If your down payment is less than 20% of your purchase price, you’ll have to pay mortgage default insurance. The cost of this insurance varies depending on the amount of your down payment and will be rolled into the cost of your monthly mortgage payment.
- Legal Fees – for instance, paying your attorney for the title search, deed preparation and registration.
- Title Insurance – Protects you from situations such as title fraud or flawed surveys.
- Home Insurance – Making sure that your home is insured is a condition of your mortgageYour lender will require you to have home insurance before they release your mortgage to you.
- Adjustments – Adjustments are made for things that the seller has paid for, but which you now owe part of because the home is now yours. This could include things like property taxes or rental fees for hot water heaters.
- Utility Hookups and Moving – You will be responsible for any utility transfers and costs associated with moving into your new home, such as hiring a moving company.
After you’ve figured out what you can afford, sit down with a mortgage agent or broker and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will make your home search more focused.
4. First Time Home Buyer Incentives
As a first time home buyer you are eligible for refunds, benefits and programs not available to other home buyers. For example both the First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit and the Land Transfer Tax Refund for First Time Home Buyers are tax breaks that could end up saving you thousands of dollars!
Land Transfer Tax Refund
Home Buyer's RRSP's Home Buyers Plan
5. Know What You Want & Get Organized
What are you looking for? Make a list of what you need from a home and a list of things that you want from your home. The list of things that you need will include all of the features that are necessary for you and your family to function comfortably during your daily life. ie. number of bedrooms. Also, look at all of the aspects of the location you are considering and the surrounding area: is it attractive based on your proximity to work, schools and amenities such as grocery stores, parks, commuter routes, etc.? Keep a detailed map on hand and highlight your areas of interest. Knowing what you need and what you want from a home, as well as what area will suit your lifestyle best will make searching for your new home easier and less stressful.
6. Get a Professional on Your Side
She will provide you with a stress-free real estate experiences.
- Information on market trends in the area.
- Information on government programs available for Buyers.
- Local school information.
- Factors affecting local neighbourhoods, such as zoning changes and new developments.
- Conditions and histories of properties.
- Comparative Market Analysis on homes you are interested in purchasing so you can determine what they’re really worth!
- Assistance in viewing unlisted (for sale by owner) properties.