First Time Buyer Tips - Courtesy of Home & Design Blog

The Calgary Home and Garden show is coming up February 26 - March 1 at the BMO Centre, and the most popular questions we get are from First Time Buyers.  

Anyone who has made the leap into homeownership knows it can be a tricky road to navigate, so we've enlisted trusted Realtor, KaraLee Foat, to give you the inside scoop on the do's and don'ts of purchasing a new pad.

KaraLee is a Broker and Branch Owner with Century 21 Summit Realty, and has more than nine years of experience finding Calgarians the perfect home. KaraLee's fast facts are a must-read for any new or potential homeowner!

What are 5 little known facts that every first-time buyer should know?

  1. Though it might not be your dream home, a starter house is where countless beautiful memories are made. Cherish it!
  2. It won't be your final or forever home, so don't feel discouraged if it doesn't check all the boxes.
  3. It will teach you valuable lessons about what homeownership really means. It's not as easy as you might think.
  4. Do your research and enlist a great team to help you not only find the perfect home, but maintain it.
  5. Your first home can become a source of future income as a rental property. Make note of things like location, structural integrity, and valuable design details when searching for the right fit.

What are 5 tips every new homeowner should know to avoid pitfalls, save money, and get the most out of their property?

  1. Hire a team of professionals (Realtor, Home Inspector, Mortgage Broker, Lawyer) to help you discern where best to spend your money before you purchase or renovate a new home.
  2. Don't overspend and become "House-Poor". Make a realistic budget before you buy and stick to it!
  3. Put a small amount of savings away each month for future upgrades, regular maintenance, or those surprise repairs that can severely impact your bank account if you're not prepared.
  4. Don't put off repairs - they often rise in cost if not dealt with straight away. Better yet, do a bi-annual inspection of your property to identify areas needing attention.
  5. Have a file system to save and locate all the important documents, like purchase and repair records, tax and insurance forms, and more - you need them to sell the home, and purchasing additional copies can be expensive.

Any other words of wisdom?

Buying your first home is exciting, but it's also full of emotions and anticipations. Educate yourself on the entire process and set your expectations accordingly. A starter home is the stepping stone towards your dream dwelling, so always weigh your wants against your needs to ensure the best possible equity increase when you move into your next house. Most people own 3-4 places before they purchase their "dream home". Don't feel rushed to find yours right away!
Whether you're a first-time homeowner or on the hunt for your forever home, there's something in store for everyone at the Calgary Home + Garden Show