First time home buyer guide


Assessing your finances.  Planning for your new expenses is the most important step, no one wants to be “house poor”. Set a budget and figure out what you can realistically afford for a down payment as well as your monthly expenses. The minimum downpayment is 5% of the purchase price, but putting down 20% could help you avoid CMHC insurance. When calculating your monthly budget keep in mind; mortgage, tax, insurance payments and possible condo/association fees. Another step to improving your financial readiness is to reduce your debt as much as possible and increase your credit score. You can find your credit score through your bank or by contacting Equifax Canada Inc. or TransUnion of Canada. Additionally you can check out first time home buyer programs offered in Ontario.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage. The Team has access to mortgage specialists in your banking institution of choice as well as trusted mortgage brokers. After reviewing your financial situation with you mortgage specialist, they can provide you with a pre-approval or pre-qualification (ask us what the difference is) for a mortgage, demonstrating to sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Exploring home options. Start Shopping! But first help us narrow your search by drawing up a list of your new home must haves. Speak to your partner and determine what your house needs to include, what are your deal breakers and where are you willing to compromise. Visit open houses for a no pressure way to view different varieties of homes while you are exploring your options.

Enlisting professionals A Realtor is a very valuable resource for finding you a home, guiding you through the paperwork, negotiating and helping arrange home inspections. As a Buyer these services are typically at no cost to the buyer, making the value exceptional. Other professionals you may need to draw on include: a lawyer or notary, insurance broker and a home inspector. The Team has a list of these trusted professionals.

Preparing for Emotional Ups and Downs. The reality is that sometimes after all the hard work of finding your home there can be surprises and it may not turn out to be the right home for you. Get excited for your first home, but always remember it’s not a done deal until you have the keys at closing, and that everything happens for a reason!

Being present for your conditions. This is an exciting time! Your offer has been accepted and now it is time to do your due diligence. At this time you will be going back to your mortgage specialist in order to finalize the paperwork specifically for this home. This is also the time to complete the home inspections, typically 3-4 hours, where you have the opportunity to learn all about the maintenance you can expect in your new home.

Becoming a responsible homeowner. On closing day you will be able to pick up your keys from your lawyer and the home is yours! This is an exciting time for you to start putting your personal touch on your home. It’s also good idea to keep to your budget and put a little extra away for emergency costs associated with owning a home. Another good rule of thumb is to re-invest 1% of the value of the home back into your home every year. This can be through basic maintenance or aesthetic upgrades.



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Rachel Hammer
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Rachel, Chris, and Dana are knowledgeable professionals you can trust. In a competitive market, their strategies help their buyers stand apart and their sellers maximize value. They succeed by building relationships with their clients -- and the competition.
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