Buying your first home can be the single most exciting experience you've had so far, but it can also be the most nerve-racking. There are a host of factors to consider, and overlooking some of them can cause headaches down the road. If you missed our first 5 DOs for buying your first home, check them out. Here are 6 more DOs for you to tackle.
- Be Realistic
So you've decided the time has come to make the plunge and you're ready to dive deep. But are you really ready for this? It's important to be realistic when it comes to buying your first home.
If you can barely make your student loan payments or have racked up lots of debt, now may not be the best time to take on another payment. At some point you're going to need to decide how important buying a home is to you and what you are willing to do - or give up - to get there. Being realistic about who you are and what you're willing to do will ensure that owning a home doesn't become a struggle because you rushed into it.
- Sweat the Small Stuff
When you're walking through potential homes, make sure to cover all the bases. Think about thingks like how much storage you currently have vs how much you think you'll need in the future. Does the house sport a decent size closet or linen shelf? How is the cupboard space, garage and basement? You don't want to move into a place then go nuts trying to cram your things in.
Flush the toilets, turn on the taps and open the windows. Are these up to par? A thorough examination of the home will be performed by the home inspector, but it's nice to know in advance when you're considering.
Is it move-in ready? How much extra cash are you going to have to dish out in renovations, updates and extras? Do you have the money to spare, or should you keep looking for something that already caters to your needs a bit more? These may seem like small details, but they're important to consider as expenses add up quickly.
Keep in mind that no home will check every single one of your boxes; however, if it checks your most important "must-haves" that's what counts.
- Create a List
A great way to define what you're seriously looking for in a home is to weed out your wants from your needs. By making two lists - one including things you cannot live without (your non-negotiables) and the other featuring things you would like your home to include, but could live without - you'll have a much easier time when visiting potential properties. Separating your wants from your needs will allow you to know where you can compromise and more importantly keep you on budget.
- Draft Your Dream Team
A key player in your home buying game is a great realtor as they can help you find the kind of house you're looking for, in an area you like, with a price to match your budget. Moreover, they can also help with strategies during the bidding process.
In addition to a realtor, having a mortgage broker or lender, attorney, home inspector and others to be your professional eyes during your home search is invaluable. For example, while sellers don't always disclose all the details to potential buyers, a home inspector can look beyond the fresh paint to find costly underlying problems such as plumbing, wiring or mold. Take advantage of these professionals; with their assistance you can potentially save lots of time, hassle and money.
- Buy for Your Lifestyle
It's extremely important to look to the future when buying a home, regardless of if it's your first, second or fifth time buying. Since your first home may not be your last, try to anticipate how long you'll live in it and buy based on plans for that period of time. Do you plan on having kids in the near future? Will you be starting a home-based business or housing a relative? Do you want a dog? These are all things to consider.
- Be Patient
Buying your first home can be an emotional roller coaster so it's good to know what you're getting yourself in to. Throughout the process things may get frustrating, but it's important to stay patient and not give up hope that you'll find what you are looking for. Buying a home takes lots of perseverance and it's important to stay within your budget. Prepare yourself for the ups and downs that come along with house hunting and remember: if it's meant to be, it'll be.
The Auxilium Team believes that a home is more than a roof over your head. It's where friends gather, families are raised, and memories are made. Our experienced brokers work with you to break down the mortgage process, explain the terminology, and determine how you can get the most for your money. We offer a complimentary consultation to start your home buying process; contact us today at 250-590-6520 (toll-free 1-855-590-6520). You can also visit us at 307 Goldstream Avenue during regular business hours. We can arrange an appointment evenings or weekends to work with you.
Auxilium Mortgage Corporation is based in Victoria, BC and works with clients locally and across Canada. The Auxilium team has over 100 years of combined financial experience and access to dozens of lenders to help you meet your goals.
This post reflects the best available information at the time of writing/last update. In order to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information, contact us to confirm the details for your specific situation.
Updated March 2018
This list originally appeared as part of The 20 Do's and Dont's For Buying Your First Home. See 5 Key DOs for Buying Your First Home and The Top 9 DON'Ts for Buying Your First Home.