Are you ready to buy your first home? Here’s what you need to know
If you’re about to buy your first home, congratulations! It’s a huge milestone and likely one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. Between your realtor, lender or mortgage broker, lawyer, family and friends, you’ll have a lot of resources to go to for information.
Here are the some of the basic things you need to know to get started!
- Know your budget: Before you start viewing listings, take a good long look at your finances. Make sure you understand what you can afford for a down payment, closing costs and ongoing payments. Closing costs are expenses related to your purchase over and above your down payment. For more information, you can read our blog post on the different costs that come with buying a house. Knowing your budget also helps you choose neighbourhoods and home features (pool, large landscaped yards, etc.) that would be in your price range. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house you can’t afford!
- Get pre-approved for a loan: Once you have an idea of your budget, sit down with a lender or mortgage broker to determine how much you would be allowed to borrow. While a pre-approval does not mean that your mortgage is guaranteed, it gives you a better idea of the price range of properties you should be looking within.
- Book a home inspection: Once you’ve found the house of your dreams, make sure it’s worth it! Home inspections go in and out of style depending on the market, but the value of them does not. A professional home inspector can identify issues like foundation cracks or leaks that could end up costing you more to fix in the long run. It’s better to be prepared with all the information upfront. Depending on the issues you find, you may also be able to negotiate the selling price or request that the sellers fix them before closing. FCT offers unique value by offering a discounted home inspection along with an 18-month warranty on major home features. You can find out more at fcthome.ca.
- Don’t forget title insurance: When you’re ready to close on your home, make sure you protect your ownership by buying a homeowner’s title insurance policy. It is purchased through your lawyer and will protect you from issues like fraud, previous liens against the property and other title and off-title issues.
Do you have any questions about buying a home for the first time? Ask us in the comments!