Tips for First Time Home Buyers
February 13, 2017
Here at Hometown, we love our First Time Home Buyers. Here are a few quick tips to share with those who are thinking about making the leap into the market.
1) Get pre-approved
It’s heart breaking to watch hopeful first time buyers fall in love with a home, only to discover that it is not within their budget, or that their credit score is forcing them to wait 6-12 months to improve. Call your bank, or better yet, build a relationship with a mortgage broker. They can help you improve your credit score if necessary, and get you on the road to home ownership.
2) Know your limit
Your bank may very well pre-approve you for an amount higher than what your are comfortable with. Be sure to consider what the monthly payments will be, what the monthly property tax payments will be, and don’t forget about utilities. Figure out what your total monthly carrying costs will be and what you are comfortable paying. Your Realtor® can help you with those calculations.
3) Know the closing costs
Be prepared to fork out some money to get that first house. Check what your lawyer will charge you for a purchase – make sure the disbursements and title insurance are included in those costs they quote. Don’t be afraid to shop around – it could save you a few hundred dollars. Your Realtor® should be able to recommend 2-3 local lawyers. Consider what land transfer tax costs will be. As a first time home buyer, you will qualify to receive $2000 off – but it could still be a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Again, your Realtor® should help you with those calculations. Will you be using a mover? Or friends? Do utility companies in your area require deposits? With a tight budget and downpayment money, cash can be tight.
4) Choose your Realtor® wisely.
Be sure you hire someone who is looking out for your best interest. Don’t just randomly pick an agent from an open house, especially from the open house of the house you want to buy! A buyer’s agent will look after your needs, find you a house that suits you, warn you of neighbourhood changes or concerns, and can put you on an email system that will send you listings within your parameters BEFORE they get listed on MLS. This can be a huge advantage in a hot market. Get recommendations from friends and family, and find someone you are comfortable with.
Hope this helps!