Buying a house for the first time is exciting – and a bit unnerving for many people. There is a lot that goes into the home buying process. What you don’t know can cost you money, time and stress. That is why it is of the utmost importance to work with an experienced realtor when you are a first-time home buyer.
There is more to buying a house than walking through the front door, falling in love with the home and placing an offer. If it were that simple, there would be no need for realtors. The last thing you want to do is to overpay for a house, be on the hook for costly repairs that you didn’t see coming or find out the community is not what you had envisioned. These are the areas in which my experience as a local realtor is priceless.
Buying your first home is one of the most important choices you will make and I am happy to provide a list of steps for buying your first home.
Step 1: Start Looking!
Don’t wait until you are ready to buy to begin researching the areas you like. Research prices, as well as the neighborhoods, schools, accessibility, stores, etc. If you do not know how to begin, a professional realtor already has all this information available. In fact, finding the right realtor who knows the area is a vital part of this first step.
Step 2: What’s Your Budget?
Before you contact a mortgage broker for pre-approval, it is best to know where you stand financially. How much will you be able to afford as a down payment? What kind of mortgage payment will you be able to carry comfortably?
Step 3: Get Preapproved
If you are a first-time home buyer, you may not understand the pre-approval process. Preapproval requires providing additional documents, which may be bank statements, tax statements, as well as proof of employment. The mortgage company will check your credit and review any outstanding debt and if all goes well, you will be pre-approved for an extended period of time which will give you a much better idea of what price range you will be working with. Sellers also like it when potential home buyers are preapproved because it reduces the risk of the sale falling through.
Step 4: Go House Hunting!
This is the fun part. Your realtor will discuss your needs, desires and requests with you and put together a selection of houses for you to view. As a first-time home buyer, you might fall in love with the first house you see but I strongly advise that you do not jump head-first into an offer. I always advise my clients to look at a few homes to really get a feel of what they want. There is much more to selecting a house than a quick look. Pay close attention to the size of the rooms, if the home needs painting or new floors, parking, lighting, plumbing and the surrounding homes.
Step 5: Make an Offer
When making an offer on a house, be prepared to negotiate. Your realtor will take care of presenting the offer to the buyers. Your offer is a legal document, so ensure you read and understand everything that is outlined in the paperwork.
Step 6: Home Inspection
This is a critical step as you want to get a good inspection to ensure that your new home is in good shape. Buying a home is a big financial investment, so it only makes sense to have your dream home professionally inspected before signing on the dotted line. Even if you are a dedicated do-it-yourself, who is well-versed in-home improvements, a home inspection can find problems you might miss, and could detect serious structural issues.
Step 7: Sign on the Dotted Line
The closing of the house is an exciting time for any first-time home buyer. Buying a home will be one of the biggest transactions of our life. It may take some time to go from pre-approval with a mortgage lender to actually closing on a home. You owe it to yourself to make the right decisions by choosing a reliable and experienced realtor.
If you follow the steps above, you will be in a prime position to shop for your new home with confidence.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, I have been in sales for over 30 years. At the young age of 23, I was a successful store manager for a large well known Retail Shoe Company in Toronto, which led me to work for a large Floor and Wall Fashions Distributor in Warehouse Management and Sales. Beginning in 2004, this valuable experience led me to a successful and dynamic career in Real Estate. I then achieved my Broker's license in 2008 and I am always continuing my education in this exciting field.
I find myself so fortunate to live and work in Lagoon City. Over the years, I have met so many wonderful people who have become my neighbours and friends. I truly believe in creating a better community through connecting people with the right homes. My integrity and honesty will always keep you on the right path and my dedication to finding or selling your home goes beyond expectations.
Richard McGuigan is a professional CENTURY 21® Real Estate Broker at Century 21 B.J Roth Realty Ltd, residing in Lagoon City, Ontario and providing you with the highest quality service possible. His personal knowledge of the Real Estate market in Lagoon City and surrounding areas is combined with the power of the CENTURY 21 brand - the most recognized name in Real Estate today. Let Richard assist you in finding your dream home in our beautiful waterfront community. Contact him today for a free home evaluation.