Preparing to purchase your first home is a milestone event by any measurement standard. It takes a lot of hard work to reach this pivotal moment, and it’s important to recognize that. However, the work isn’t quite over yet.
Getting to the financial position to be able to buy a house of your own is major, but there are a lot of steps involved in the buying process as well. Those steps can be wonderful, stressful or downright frustrating and maybe even all three at once.
However, understanding the process can help to prepare you and mitigate some of the frustration before it begins. While there seems to be no shortage of advice on buying a first house, there are some steps that many people overlook or forget about.
There are some essential steps to buying your first home, and we’ve listed them here as a guide for first time buyers. Read on if you’re preparing to buy your first home soon.
Understand Your Budget – And What it Can Get You
When you’ve been saving for a down payment, you likely have a ballpark figure of what you hope your budget will be. But before you start seriously looking, it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be able to afford. This is why getting pre-approved for a mortgage is highly recommended.
Pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of what you’ll end up getting, but it gives you a really good idea of what you can afford to spend. Plus, you’ll have to get your financial information in order to apply, which is smart to do early in the process. You’ll need to know what your credit score is, as this tells mortgage lenders whether you are a good or bad risk and is essential in calculating your interest rate.
Once you’ve been pre-approved, you can begin to look at areas you can afford to buy Bowmanville houses for sale in and what you want in a house. But it’s important to remember that there are other costs aside from the price of a home, including maintenance costs, insurance and closing fees.
Look into First Time Buyer Programs
First time buyer programs can help cut down on costs. In Canada, you can borrow money from your Registered Retirement Savings Account (RRSP) without penalties, provided you meet certain conditions.
In some areas, there may be deductions or refunds on land transfer taxes, or other programs that can work to your advantage. Look into these early to see what is available in your area and whether you meet the requirements.
Buying a house requires making a lot of decisions, but it’s important to stay open and flexible. As you consider what you need and want in a house, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being too rigid. Must-have and want-to-have lists tend to change as you start looking at houses.
Of course, some things will be dealbreakers, but it’s important to remain flexible where you can. Otherwise, you might find you have no options.
Don’t Neglect the Home Inspection
When you do find a house you love and put in an offer, don’t skip the home inspection. You might think the house looks in good condition, but what’s in sight only tells you so much. When making such a big purchase, you must know what you’re getting into. Making your offer contingent on a home inspection could end up saving you a fortune down the line.