First Home is very much like first date, first kiss or first time behind the wheel. You will have second and third, and may be many more, but first one will always be the most exciting, charming and unforgettable. And it is up to you to make it right!
Make a Decision to Buy your first Home. Old Russian Saying: "You made a decision – you are half way through!" It does not happen overnight and reasons and motivation might be different, from the need for your own space up to the need to invest in your own home rather then blowing money away on rent.
Find a Real Estate Agent that you are comfortable with. Use your common sense, but don't ignore your gut feeling either. You will be spending quite a bit of time with your Agent, so make sure it is a good personality fit. Get a full time and fully licensed agent. Agent will be your "go to person" to help with all your questions, doubts or concerns all the way through the home finding, buying, closing and after closing.
Get pre-approved. Not sure where to start? Your Real Estate Agent will help you with a list of 3-4 proven mortgage specialists. You will "get your both feet on the ground" by establishing your budget. Mortgage specialist and your real estate agent will also explain the extra funds needed for deposits, closing and moving.
Location. What town, neighborhood, community would make you happy? Think about proximity to your work, schools, transportation, shopping, hospitals, places of worship. Are your kids in sports or arts? Will you have your elderly parents living with you? And of course, consider the population, school ratings and type of the neighborhood (growth, stability, declining, renewal). Again, your Real Estate Professional will guide you through.
Write down your needs and your wants to establish your search criteria. Would you be looking for a free-hold or condo, detached, semi or townhouse? How many bedrooms, bathrooms would you need? Finished basement, garage, fenced backyard, swimming pool just to name a few. You will have to decide what is an "absolute must" and what is "nice to have".
Go shopping! Don't look at more then 3-4 homes at a time.
Be realistic – don't overspend and don't look at homes way over your budget – homes within your budget might start looking quite unworthy.
Find the One and Only! Make an Offer and have your deposit ready. Your real estate professional will walk you through every clause and every condition on the offer. You have the RIGHT to know what you are signing for. If something is not clear – ask, ask and ASK! Have all your questions cleared and concerns resolved before signing.
Mortgage. Once your offer is accepted, you will need to arrange for financing.
Home Inspection. Always-always get a home inspector – this is one of the best investments you can possibly do. You will have a clear picture of all vital systems of your home. You will also get a chance to have the seller fix and repair certain things. Use only proven home inspector. Don't go for the cheapest version you found on line – few dollars saved today might turn into multi-thousand repairs after closing. Your Agent will be able to provide a list of 3-4 proven home inspectors to choose from.
Lawyer. You will need one a lawyer to close the deal. Again, if you don't have one – your agent will get you a list of 3-4.
Close, pack, move in and Enjoy! Need moving company, cleaning company, interior designer, renovation folks? Right, you are thinking in a right direction! Ask you Real Estate Agent.
Compliments of Marina Gavrylyuk
Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group Summit Realty
More Tips for Home Buyer
Types of Homes – Learning Real Estate Terms
First Time Home Buyers – Wonderful Video For You by CMHC
Discount Real Estate Brokers – Illusion and Reality or Free Cheese, Get now – Pay later
Moving Checklist – based on the list from Martha Stewart
Some More Mortgage Terms and Rates
Your Home and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
10 Reasons Why You Need a Realtor to Buy a House