Work Life / Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Work Life May 27, 2015

Are you ready to take the plunge into home ownership? Consider these key tips when shopping for your first home. 

Buying your first home can seem so daunting that it’s tempting to go with the first house you find in your price range or just continue to rent. The key is to determine what your long-term goals are and see how home ownership fits in with those plans. Here are five questions to ask yourself to help ease you into the process and help you get the most out of your purchase.

What type of home best suits your needs?  
You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a detached home, a semi-detached, a townhouse or a condo. Each option has its pros and cons and you need to decide which type of property will help you reach your home ownership goals.
What’s on your wish list?
Your wish list should include basic desires, like neighbourhood and size of the home, all the way down to smaller details like the number of bathrooms, kitchen layout and backyard space. Create a list of features you are willing to compromise on and ones that you absolutely need to have. 

How much mortgage do you qualify for? Get pre-approved!
Before you start shopping, it’s important to find out how much the bank will actually be willing to give you to purchase your home. You may think you can afford a $400,000 home, but the bank or lender may think you’re only good for $300,000. This depends on many factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income, how long you have been at your current job and your credit score.


How much home can you actually afford?
Here, you will want to look at the house’s total cost, not just the monthly mortgage payment. How high are the property taxes in your chosen neighborhood? How much will insurance cost? How much do you anticipate spending to maintain or to improve the house? And how much will your closing costs be?

Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?
Of course you can try to navigate the process alone, or use the listing agent, but having a great real estate agent that represents you is valuable for a first-time homebuyer. An agent will help you locate a home that meets your needs and is in your price range and then will assist you in negotiating the price, making an offer and even getting a loan, if need be. An agent's expertise can protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process.

Answer the questions above and you'll be on your way to finding your dream home!

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Pooja Rao

Pooja Rao


A self-taught home-cook with a passion for what cooking really stands for…Pooja believes that food really feeds the soul not just the stomach. Realtor by profession but a foodie at heart, Pooja’s love for food earned her a spot as one of the Top100 on MasterChef Canada.  Follow h...