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First time homebuyers's guide to purchasing

First time homebuyers's guide to purchasing

First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing Property

6 steps to buying your first home

Being a first-time home buyer is equally exciting as it is nerve-wracking. For many, it’s a big step forward into their next phase of life. However, it’s often hard to know where to start with the home-buying process, especially when it’s your first time.

Let’s strip away the mystery and break down the steps you need to take as a first-time home buyer:

1. Decide what you’re looking for.

Is it a condo? A semi-detached townhouse? A house in or outside of the city? It’s important to narrow down what you need from your property. This means deciding what’s non-negotiable versus what would be nice to have in terms of utilities and amenities in the home.

2. Know your financial situation.

Sit down with a few mortgages brokers or banks a month before you decide to buy. Lenders offer various interest rates on mortgages, so don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deal. By getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much house you can afford. And though interest rates fluctuate, if you’re pre-approved your rate will be held for 90 to 120 days.

3. Get a REALTOR®.

We suggest that you discuss your needs and wants with a REALTOR® early in the process. This should include location, price range, features, etc. Real estate agents act in your best interest, and work with you to find the place you’ll be calling home in the future.

4. Securing the place you want.

So you’ve found the perfect place. Now it’s time to submit your offer. Your agent will be a huge asset during this process, especially as you discuss strategy and price. It is common for the sellers to make you a counter-offer so know the limits of what you can afford as a first-time home buyer.

5. Enter the conditional phase of your offer.

When your offer is accepted, it starts out as conditional. This means that conditions are written into the Purchase and Sale Agreement that must be met before the sale can go through. Examples of common conditions are:

  • paying the deposit

  • securing financing

  • having a home inspection done

  • getting your lawyer to review the paperwork

Other conditions can include water and septic tank testing and the sale of the buyer’s property. Conditions may include extra costs, so keep that in mind as you move forward.

6. Prepare for closing.

Once all the conditions are met, it often takes 30 to 60 days from the date of acceptance for the closing to be final. Once your house closes, it’s time to move in! Consider the following:

  • arranging movers

  • changing your mailing address with contacts

  • confirming your closing costs with your lawyer

  • scheduling a walkthrough with your REALTOR® to ensure no damage has occurred since the offer was accepted

If everything is kosher, the sale is finally closed. Congratulations, you’re a first-time home buyer!

Buying your first home can be an intimidating process. A REALTOR® will be your guide for navigating this process and helping you deal with any curveballs that may come your way.

It’s important to have the full picture before you make such a massive investment. Partner with a REALTOR®—they have your best interest in mind and will simplify the journey for you.

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