By: Vincent Picone

10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Tags: homebuyers, homes in toronto, newmarket homes, GTA homes, real estate blog

10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
 

  1. Narrow Down Your Wish List – Know which things on your list are your absolute must-haves, and which would simply be nice to have. When viewing lots of different potential homes, this will help to simplify your search.
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage – Doing so makes you look like a serious buyer. Whether you’re planning to go through your bank or a mortgage broker (more on that here) to acquire your loan, being pre-approved will give you the upper hand over another offer who hasn’t yet been approved.
  3. Know what you can afford – Keep in mind that your costs will include more than just the cost of the home. Budget for moving costs, for furnishing your home, and for potential closing costs, which can be anywhere from 1.5-3.5% the total cost of the house. These things can add up, and you don’t want to spend your whole budget on the house and not have any breathing room for the things that come next.
  4. Pay as much as you can for your down payment – While only 5% is typically needed to invest in a home, first-time homebuyers should be prepared to put down upwards of 20% of the cost in order to qualify for a mortgage.
  5. Consider moving out of the city – The difference in price between a house in Toronto and a house in a smaller town like Newmarket or Aurora is huge. By remaining in close proximity to the city you can still take advantage of all it has to offer while getting more for your money.
  6. Find the right neighbourhood – Once you know what city or town you want to be in, check out online resources such as neighbourhood guides in order to help you narrow down where you want to be by knowing the statistics surrounding crime rates, transit accessibility, and proximity to high-quality schools in any given neighbourhood.
  7. Stick to your budget – Although it can be tempting to put in a higher bid to have a better chance of getting the house, don’t let your emotions take you too far. You’ve set your budget for a reason, and you don’t want to be set back in the long run because of over-bidding.
  8. Know your plan – If growing your family is something you are planning on doing in the near future, having a home that you and your family are able to grow into will be key.
  9. Use a mortgage calculator – how you pay back your mortgage is up to you, so figure out what you can afford and what works best in order to pay smaller amounts of interest and have your mortgage paid off faster.
  10. Find a realtor who can help you navigate the search and purchase process – Someone who does a lot of their business in the area you’re searching will know that market. If you’re seeing one realtor’s name over and over again in your area, there’s a reason for it.