Oakville Real Estate News

8 Tips Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

Blog by Joette Fielding | September 16th, 2013

First Time Home BuyersReady to buy your first home?

These helpful tips will make sure you're fully equipped to take the plunge.

1. Always Go To Your Home Inspection

One of the most valuable things you can do for yourself to learn about details you might otherwise not know about a home is to be present at your home inspection. Although a home inspector provides you a detailed report afterwards, it doesn't compare to visually seeing in person what's reported. This is the time to really get to know your potential house, or to learn if an issue is a deal breaker.

2. Know Your Walk Away Price
Before you even register an offer, know your final price point. Whether it's $70,000 above asking or $30,000 below asking, knowing your final price will help prevent any risk of becoming emotionally caught up in the excitement and eagerness to get a home, and any disappointment should you not get the home. Also, if entering a potential bidding war, and you're prepared to go above asking, go in with your best offer. Be prepared to stick to your walk away price to mitigate risk of purchasing beyond what you know you can really afford.

3. Create A Projected Budget Spreadsheet
Get out the pen and paper, and crunch those numbers! List out possible mortgage scenarios based on your down payment, and factor in all closing costs, your average monthly credit expenses, living expenses, taxes, utilities, car payments, and any other debt payments. Then you'll have a clear picture of what you can actually afford versus what you could afford if you just projected for your mortgage payment. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results (and able to make a smarter investment choice).

4. Plan for Closing Costs
Land transfer taxes, lawyer fees, real estate agent fees, bridge financing, bank fees, home inspector fee, hiring movers - the list goes on. Plan as though there's a cost for everything and be prepared for these costs. Call the banks, lawyers, etc., to ask about fees in advance so there are no surprises.

5. Research The Neighbourhood
You're not just investing in a home, but a community as well. Don't hesitate to ask your real estate agent to look into the ownership history of the home you're interested in and those that surround it as well. Has there been high turnover in the area? Why? Is there a rental unit attached to the home you're looking at and is this something you'd be comfortable with? Where is the nearest public transit stop? What types of stores and businesses are nearby? Planning for a family? Ask about the schools, parks, and community centres. And don't hesitate to knock on the neighbour's door to ask them questions about the area and community.

6. Plumbing, Electrical, Foundation
These are the three biggies to ask about: When was the plumbing last updated? Is there risk of any lead piping? When was the electrical update, is there any (or potential for) knob and tube? And if there's knob and tube, call your home insurance to see if they'll insure your house. What's the foundation's condition like? Any leaks, moisture, structural settlement?

7. Don't Let Bidding Wars Get You Down
Competitive markets can be daunting and exhausting. But keep a list of what you're willing to compromise handy, and your budget at the forefront of mind. If you're in a position where you have to move by a certain date, having a back-up plan will help lessen the pressure of finding a home, and the sting of losing (albeit, repeatedly) a bidding war. Maybe you rent, maybe you have family you can move-in with? Or, if repeatedly losing in bidding wars, consider expanding your search or re-evaluating your budget. Try to stay positive and proactive, and in due time, the right house will happen.

8. Look For Good Bones
Love the new renovations? When (and how well) were they done? Anyone can make a beautiful kitchen, but if the foundation behind that kitchen is cracked and needs repair, you're going to have to rip it right up. Finished basements are great, but not if there are leaks, mold, and old lead plumbing that needs to be replaced. Look at your foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical, structure, sloping, the grading of the house, the exterior walls, windows, etc. These are what can make your house great or not-so-great. And if your "bones" are good, then you can add your finishing touches with peace of mind.

Content courtesy of http://www.hgtv.ca

The Fielding Team

Your #1 Source for Real Estate!

For all your real estate needs, call The Fielding Team at 905-338-9000 or visit our website at: http://www.thefieldingteam.com/