7 Steps To Buying Your First Home
A home provides a wonderful place to build memories and a financial foundation for your future. Our team understands that buying your first home is exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time.
At The McKillop Team we want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership. We've helped hundreds of home buyers celebrate finding the right first home for them.
Step 1. Being financial ready to own a home.
It’s important to figure out how much you can afford to spend before you start looking for a home. Your mortgage payment will probably be the biggest expense, but there are other costs you should be aware of. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises!
The more you know about your current financial situation, the more prepared you’ll be when you meet with your lender or broker. These calculations will clarify your current financial picture and help you figure out how much you can afford.
Step 2. Getting pre-approved.
As a first-time home buyer, getting pre-approved before you start house hunting is one of the most things you can do. You need to know what you can afford. Getting pre-approved is something your lender can help you with.
Know the difference between being pre-qualified for a mortgage and being pre-approved.
- Pre-qualified Simply means that based on general information you provide a bank or mortgage broker, like annual income, credit and debt, they will suggest the amount of the mortgage you can afford.
- Pre-approved. You want to be pre-approved before looking for a home. Pre-approved is a guarantee in writing by a lender to grant you a loan up to a specified amount (subject to receiving full documentation). With a pre-approval you will know exactly what you can afford when looking for a home, and when you find the right home you will be one step closer.
Step 3. Making your needs and wants list.
It's important to narrow down what you want your first home to look like. What are your must-haves, your nice-to-haves, and your no-way-absolutely-nots? What type of neighbourhood do you want to live in - for example, urban or suburban? What amenities do you want near by - for example, schools, parks or services? What type of home do you like - for example, detached, row or condominium? What size of home do you want? How many bedrooms do you need? What do you want in the kitchen?
Think about the lifestyle needs that owning a home will make easier for you. For instance, how far from work do you want to live? What does the family need and want in a neighbourhood and in a home? Make a list so you can focus and find the right home for you.
Step 4. Choosing your home buying team.
It’s important to have an expert real estate team to help you during the buying process so you have no-regrets buying your first home. The McKillop Team understands how stressful buying a first home can be. You don't want to make mistakes. You need a team that can help guide you through every step and provide expert advice so you can make the right decisions for you.
Step 5. Searching for a home.
Now that you have been pre-approved, made your wants and needs list, and chosen your home buying team, you are ready to start your home search. When searching for a home remember there is no perfect home. A home that meets 85% of what you are looking for may be a great match for you.
Step 6. Making an offer.
As a first-time buyer you'll be excited and a little nervous about making an offer. It's important you understand the details of an offer and feel comfortable moving forward.
Items to consider when making an offer.
- What price would you like to pay for the property?
- What is a possession date that you would like?
- How much deposit will you need? The deposit amount will depend on the price of the property and will be due typically 2-3 business days after an agreement.
- What are the inclusions? (dishwasher, washer, dryer, play centre etc.)
- What conditions need to be included?
1. Do you need a Financing Condition, so you have time to get a mortgage approved?
2. Do you want a Property Inspection Condition so you can determine the physical condition of the home?
3. If a condominium, do you want a Condominium Document Review to examine the financial health of the complex?
Step 7. You're a homeowner.
Once you have a mortgage, are satisfied with the home inspection and/or the condo documents you will "waive your conditions" making it a firm sale, and you are officially a home owner.
There are several things you will need to do before moving into your new home.
- You need to hire a real estate lawyer to finalize the transaction.
- Get home insurance.
- Arrange for your utilities to be connected (electricity, gas, cable, etc.).
- Hire a moving company.
- Arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address through Canada Post.