Beginning the search for your first home can be a bit daunting. Where do you start? Who do you call? What comes first? These are some of the most common questions I get from people starting to think about entering the buyer’s market. Below we have put together some tips for how to tackle these questions and some helpful links to get you all the information you need to start.
Where do you start?
The best way to begin the process of buying a home is to determine what your budget is. Some helpful factors to take into consideration are how big, and where your down payment will be coming from. For first time home buyers, RRSPs can be used to help with up to $25,000.00 of your down payment on your first home. If your down payment is coming from your savings, you may want to be conscious of the percentage of a down payment that you have available and what that will mean for you long term. Here are some links to helpful tips on funding your down payment, the cost of CMHC insurance and other first time home buyer programs:
Once you understand your options for your down payment it’s time to get pre-approved. The most obvious place to get a pre-approval from is your everyday banking institution. Most people can qualify directly through the home branch of their bank, but there are benefits to shopping around. A mortgage broker has access to a large amount of different lenders on both the A and B side of lending and can help to do the comparing of rates and options for you. The best part? They cost you nothing to use and get paid directly by the lender. Once you’ve gone through the process of getting a full, committed pre-approval (not just pre-qualified) you will understand your budget requirements and can move onto the next step!
Your Needs and Wants
Buying your first home is an exciting time and most people have been dreaming about what their first homes will be like long before they even start looking. Now that you have your budget and finances organized, you can begin to make a list of your must haves. It’s important to remember that you are honest with yourself when making this list- there’s no time for second guessing in today’s market! Write the first draft of your list and then take a look at some of the listings in your area. You may be in for a rude awakening when you find that you can’t get everything on your list while staying in your budget.
Talk to a Realtor
In today’s market, the listing prices on homes and the amount that they actually end up selling for can be anywhere from $10,000 different to over $100,000 different. This is why it is important to find yourself a realtor who is in touch with the current market. They can help you get realistic about your needs and wants or talk to you about options you may not have considered. Once you’ve had a good honest talk with them, you can begin to receive emails with all the new listings in your preferred areas that fit within your desired budget. Then all you have to do is call up your agent to schedule a showing if one catches your eye.
In today’s competitive seller’s market, the buying process can be time consuming and frustrating. Be prepared to put in multiple offers on a home and have a few losses along the way. Being new to the game does come with an added perk of the land transfer tax rebate (you can find more information HERE), but the process of finding your home can test your patience. With how much Guelph has grown in the past few years and how popular it has become, it makes the market a fast-paced competitive place to be, but it also proves that buying here could be your best investment yet.
Tell us some of your thoughts in the comments below!