What Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

Buying a home for the first time is an exciting milestone in your life. It is also one of the most overwhelming experiences you will go through as there are many steps and responsibilities you will face.

The Process

As a first-time home buyer, you should understand the entire process from the beginning so you know what you can expect. First of all, become aware of what you can afford to finance your home.

Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage? A pre-approval is not your mortgage approval. This approves what you can afford and what price range you can start looking at for buying a home.

Have you prepared a down payment 5%-20% of the pre-approval? If you have a strong credit rating, you may only need to a 5% down payment. Many first-time home buyers may be still working to pay off their large student loan and other lines of credit. If you are unsure of your credit history, be prepared to provide up to 20% down.

Legal Fees and Home Inspections

Over and above your down payment, there are always last-minute closing costs such as taxes, legal fees, appraisal fees, moving expenses, and house insurance to pay before you are finally a new home owner.

There will be lawyer fees which may vary from $800-$1200. Your lawyer will perform a title search which will guarantee that there is no unpaid mortgages, liens or any other potential problems that would prevent the buyer from taking full home ownership. The lawyer will also close and finalize your home buying transaction.

Not only do home inspectors catch things you may have missed, but they also provide a detailed, written inspection report. An inspector will look at the roof, faucets, pipes, furnaces and central air systems. Every light switch, power outlet and faucet will be tested. An inspection also includes looking for any possible signs of structural damage, mould, and if necessary, septic systems will be tested. This is a very thorough process and based on the inspection and size of the home, the cost of a home inspection could start around $400.

Using a REALTOR®

There are many benefits of working with a registered real estate professional.

As your REALTOR®, I am dedicated to find a home that not only suits your needs, but one you can call your own.

Have you decided what your needs are for your first home? Do you want to renovate a home or are you looking for something more up-to-date? Do you want to live in an area close to shopping and schools? Do you need a garage and a yard?

Mapping out the needs for your home first and incorporating them into the price you can afford is essential. These considerations are important to you and as your REALTOR®, I am here to focus on these details when searching the market.

Here is an outline of the services I offer as a Buying Agent:

  • Locate and evaluate properties in your price range
  • Exercise a level of diligence on the proposed purchase
  • Determine an offering price
  • Develop a negotiating strategy based on the competition
  • Advise you on how to prepare an offer to purchase contract
  • Enter into negotiations


Overview

Once you have understood the responsibilities of a home buyer, you can start preparing your checklist:

Meet with a Lender - Get Pre-Approved First.
A pre-approval is not a mortgage approval. This will pre-approve the amount you can afford and apply for.

Start Looking - Meet with a REALTOR®.
We can assess the needs you are looking for in a home and start viewing properties and open houses. If we see a home you become interested in, we can begin the negotiating process and make an offer.

Home Inspection.
Arrange for a home inspection for your desired property. Depending on the outcome of the inspection, we can negotiate the seller to fix any issues or lower the offering price.

Apply for a Mortgage.
When we find you the perfect home, you can apply for a mortgage. The lender will view your financial history and the property you are interested in. All remaining conditions from the mortgage lender will need to be finalized in order for the mortgage to be approved. If there are still conditions remaining, make sure to provide all your documents to your mortgage associate.

Meet with a Lawyer.
The lawyer will perform a title search on the property and will also close the transaction of the property.

Take Possession of Your New Home.
You can now move into your new home and enjoy one of the biggest investments of your lifetime. Even after all the steps involved to get there, it’s still an exciting experience to go through!

There will be many questions along the way. You can start by contacting me to set up your first meeting. Give me a call today at (306) 230-8213 or email me at maryann.walker@century21.ca.

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