Thinking about buying your own place? Buying a house is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences a person can go through. It can also be pretty overwhelming, particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer looking to secure your first mortgage. Buying real estate is also one of the biggest financial decisions you will probably make in your life. But there are ways you can prepare beforehand to reduce the stress from buying a house. With these tips below and a bit of preparation, you’ll be well on your way to buying your first home – stress-free!
Before you start looking at houses…
If you’ve already jumped into attending open houses and shopping for a house in your desired neighbourhood, let’s pause for a second. Is it bad to start looking before you prepare? Of course not. A bit of causal window-shopping has never hurt anyone. However, it is better to do a little bit of research, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and gather more information before you fully start house hunting.
Review your finances
Step number one of buying a house is to review your finances. Where does your credit score stand? How much of a down payment do you have? Do you have the necessary documents compiled and ready to be reviewed such as employment history, T4 information, and paystubs? All of this and more is necessary to have ready for a lender or mortgage broker to review so that you can get pre-approved for the mortgage you need.
If you (or your partner buying a house with you) are self-employed, you will need to come even more prepared. On getting approved for a mortgage as a self-employed person, click here for more information.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Once you’ve done your research and gathered all the necessary documents, you will need to see a mortgage broker to get pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s in your best interest to get pre-approved because it gives you a better idea of what price range you can shop for houses in. Know how much of a mortgage you are approved for, means you can avoid falling in love with a property that is WAY out of your price range and start looking at houses that fit your budget.
Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage…
Now that you’ve met with your mortgage broker and have been pre-approved for a mortgage, NOW it’s time to start searching for the perfect house. To keep you on the right track and to help you on your house-hunting journey, below are a few more helpful tips.
Work with a real estate agent
Real estate can be a tricky thing to navigate on your own. Especially right now while the market is so hot, it can feel almost impossible to get your foot in the door fast enough to even make an offer. That is why I highly recommend working with an experienced real estate agent. They have in-depth knowledge about what to look for in a house and could even provide you with listings that haven’t been posted yet. They have the latest information about specific neighbourhoods and can show you properties that match your needs as well as your budget.
However, don’t just choose the first agent you see on your Google Search. You want to work with an agent that you can trust and that won’t pressure you into making decisions you don’t want to make. When picking an agent, choose someone knowledgeable, trustworthy, and who won’t force you to buy a property just to make a sale.
Take your time shopping
Buying a house isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Yes, right now it may feel like properties are being purchased very quickly but remember this: there will always be more properties up for sale. Take your time shopping around. When looking at a house, consider the future and what the resale value of your house will be. It’s good to explore the market and attend different open houses too. It will help you get a better idea of what your budget will get you in which neighbourhoods.
Tips for first-time homebuyers
When it’s your first time buying a house, everything can feel overwhelming. From what I’ve learned from my own experience and what my clients have said to me, these are excellent tips for the first time home buyer eager to sign the dotted line to buy their first home.
- Don’t let emotions drive decisions: Just because you love a property doesn’t mean it’s the right one. Whether it’s because it’s a property you have a personal connection with or not, you need to make sure you love it personally AND financially. If you pick a house out of your price range, you’ll begin to loath it once those monthly mortgage payments start rolling in.
- Don’t be overly picky: Consider your needs versus your wants. Yes, we all want to live in glamorous huge properties, but as a first-time homebuyer, there’s a good chance this won’t be your forever home. So, pick a place that is functional for you now and in the near future. Think about the essentials first, and if a property has a couple of bonuses from your ‘want’ list, that’s great. All in all, just be mindful of your budget and how your house will function for you throughout the next few years.
- Remember closing costs and additional fees: There are a lot of costs included with buying a house. I’m not just talking about the down payment and your mortgage. From inspection fees to insurance, there are many closing costs involved in buying a home.
- Be aware of financial support options that can help you: As a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible for financial support programs. Such as the Affordable Homeownership Program or the First Time Homebuyers Incentive. Be sure to do your research and see what options you are able to take advantage of.
- Avoid big lifestyle changes: If you’re changing jobs or making a large financial purchase, it can impact your chances of getting approved. For more information on how this can impact your mortgage approval, talk to a mortgage broker for more information.
Ready to get pre-approved for the mortgage you need? I can help!
With my years of experience as a professional mortgage broker, I can help you get pre-approved and walk you through the mortgage process. Buying a house shouldn’t be hectic, and I am here to make the process as simplified and stress-free as possible! If you’re ready to get started on your mortgage application, you can apply online here, or feel free to give me a call. You can reach me at 705-315-0516 to book your virtual meeting and we’ll have all your ducks in a row before the spring market temperatures really start heating up.