When the time comes, buying your first home is an exceptional accomplishment!
While exciting, there are a lot of decisions involved in the buying process. If you want to find success and land a great first home, it’s a smart idea to iron out all the details before you head to the market.
Here are 5 steps to preparing for your first home purchase.
1. Identify Your ‘Why’
When you purchase your first home, you’ll face a multitude of decisions. As long-serving real estate agents in the GTA, we’ve worked with buyers from a variety of unique circumstances. One of the most important ways to prepare for your first-ever home-buying journey is to get to know yourself as a buyer.
Start by asking yourself why you’re looking to buy a home in the first place. This may seem like a small detail, but it will impact your decision-making more than you may think. Are you looking to stop paying rent? Are you searching for a strong investment asset? Maybe you’re expecting a family and will need more space than your current apartment or condo. Once you’ve determined your main reason (or reasons) for buying a home, it will be much simpler to accomplish step two.
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2. Separate Your Needs From Your Wants
Now that you know why you’re looking to buy, it’s important to establish what kind of home you will need. It may seem tempting to just browse through listings and wait for something to catch your eye, however, it’s much easier to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you head to the market.
During this step, be as specific as possible with your home wishlist. We like to tell clients to imagine themselves zeroing in on a target - starting with general, big-picture requirements, then steadily narrowing it down to specifics. Start with location. What kind of area are you looking to buy in? Somewhere with great schools? Close to your work? Or nearby entertainment? You may already have certain neighbourhoods in mind.
After that, consider what kind of home you will need. How many bedrooms and bathrooms will be enough? Are there any special accessibility requirements? Is a front yard, back yard, or garage a must-have? Finally, consider how much work you’re willing to put into your home. This will determine whether or not you may consider buying a fixer-upper or older property.
Are you gearing up to buy your first home? Purchasing real estate in the GTA involves navigating a myriad of variables and decisions. For helpful tips and advice, check out these posts from our blog.
3. Choose a Realtor® to Work With
After you’ve determined what kind of home you’re looking for, it’s time to partner with an expert. In a competitive real estate market like the GTA, working with a local Realtor® is downright essential.
Beyond introducing you to properties that fit your specifications, a full-service Realtor® will guide you through the home-buying process from beginning to end, taking the stress out of buying. As seasoned professionals, they negotiate on your behalf, oversee home inspections and provide referral services when required, ensuring your experience is as enjoyable as it is successful.
4. Get Pre-Qualified For a Loan
Once you have a dedicated expert at your side, there’s one more step before you can head to the market: getting pre-qualified with a mortgage company. Pre-qualification is an important step in buying a home as it helps you confirm how much you can afford. When you get pre-qualified, you’re far less likely to waste time looking at homes outside of your budget.
Pre-qualification also makes you appear more favourable to home sellers, which can increase your odds of having your offer accepted once you find your perfect home. This step is easy and can be done online or over the phone in a matter of minutes. If needed, your Realtor® can refer you to a reputable mortgage professional.
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5. Think Ahead
Now that you have everything you need to begin looking for your first home, be sure to get yourself in the right headspace. While your Realtor® will endeavour to make your buying experience as smooth as possible, recognize that real estate can be highly variable. This means managing your expectations for what your first home may be, while also knowing when to pass on a potential home and wait for the next one.
Looking to buy your first home? As local Realtors® with decades of experience, we can help! Give us a call at 416-985-1486 today!