Next to your wedding and the birth of a child, buying your first home is one of the most exciting times of your life. It can also be one of the most stressful. But if you have a great team working for you and take some extra time to learn as much as you can, the excitement will outweigh the stress. And at the end of the journey you’ll find yourself owning a home that you both love and can afford.
So, who are the key players on your home-buying team? The first person you’ll want to enlist is a realtor.
When selecting a realtor, experience, knowledge and compatibility are key. Ask these questions. How much experience do they have and how well do they know the neighbourhoods you are interested in? Are they willing to take the time to educate you on important things like closing costs, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance? Are they trustworthy, comfortable to work with and fit your personality? Do they have great bankers, mortgage brokers, lawyers and inspectors at their fingertips? The right realtor for you will rank high in all these areas.
The second person to join your team should be a banker or mortgage broker. They’ll help you determine what you can afford, take advantage of Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer’s Plan, and can pre-approve you for a mortgage. Knowing your budget before you start looking at houses (and sticking to it) will help you avoid the stress of falling in love with a home you can’t afford.
The final person to enlist on your team is a home inspector. Whether it’s a brand-new build or a century-old house, you definitely do not want to skip a professional inspection. A home inspector will look for mold, check the status of the septic tank, and identify any structural, plumbing, heating and insulation issues. When you find a home you love, it’s easy to see past any underlying problems. With a great home inspector on your team, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.
When you have the right team assembled, you can dramatically reduce the amount of stress involved with buying your first home, and fully enjoy the excitement that comes with this huge life milestone. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Happy house hunting!