First Time Home Buyers
Deciding to become a first time home owner is an exciting time! Whether you’re tired of renting or just starting out on your own, there are a number of things to consider when purchasing your first home in Calgary.
While it is nice you finally have the freedom to paint walls and make decorating decisions about your home you also need to consider mortgage payments, property taxes, ongoing home maintenance, house insurance (not just contents) and other costs that can be somewhat overwhelming. The team at K. Friesen Real Estate Group wants to help you take the guess work out of owning your first home. We will help you take stock of your financials and review your expectations to make sure you are prepared for home ownership. Have a look at the list of things to consider or contact our team with any questions you may have. You can complete the form below or simply call and we will walk you through the home buying process.
Things to Consider:
Are you ready to buy?
Deciding to purchase your first home is more than finally being able to decorate the way you would like; it’s about being prepared to pay for and maintain your home for years to come. To that end, you need to understand that part of your income is going to go towards mortgage payments and property taxes but also towards repairs and maintenance.
How much can you afford?
You want to be realistic about how much of your income you want to spend on your home. If you are sacrificing a large portion of your salary to pay your mortgage, home ownership will quickly become a burden. Consider a modest home based on a percentage of your income now and look at moving up to your “dream home” in the future.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Your debt-to-income ratio is something lenders take very seriously when determining mortgage approval. To that end, your overall debt should not encompass more that 40% of your income and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. How much home you can afford with 32% of your income depends on where you want to live; for example in a rural area you may get a little more home for your money that in a trendy urban area.
What do you want?
When considering what you want you should determine not just what features you want and need in a home but also how much outside home care you want to manage on your own. Would you rather pay a monthly fee and have the landscaping, gutter clean out, shoveling and other exterior work done for you or are you prepared to manage this on your own. How about specific community rules that may regulate the color of your exterior or when you can put your garbage cans out? The answers to these questions can help narrow down your property search.
How to decide on a real estate agent?
You need a good agent who will work hard for you and consider your best interests during the property search process. The K. Friesen Real Estate Group are dedicated to helping you find the right home at the best price. We work with you. We listen to your goals, your budget and your list of wants and needs before looking to find a way to merge your priorities to find a real estate property you will call home.
What are your objectives?
As a first time home buyer it is important the excitement and anticipation of owning your first home does not overwhelm your practical sense. Keep a list handy of the features you need and want in a home and judge each prospective property by this list rather than the home details that could distract you from your goal. We can help you review the pros and cons of each home we visit, based on your list, to help you stay on track while still keeping our eye out for a great property.
Do you really need a real estate lawyer?
We highly recommend the use of a real estate lawyer when purchasing a home. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be tricky, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. We can recommend several real estate lawyers to you however it is important to interview them yourself to ensure you find someone you are comfortable working with. The several hundred dollar cost of engaging a good lawyer now could save you thousands in legal fees later.
How much to offer?
How much you offer for your first home depends on many variables. We can help you prepare a realistic offer by reviewing comparable properties in the same area as well as wade through the maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion” terminology on your offer document that many find confusing. In addition, it is possibly you may need to write a deposit cheque to the seller’s broker to prove the seriousness of your offer. Remember however, the seller may reject or counter your offer so it is usually best to hold off celebrating your new home until the offer price has been accepted.
Should you do a home inspection?
Getting a home inspection is a crucial part of the home purchase. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They will also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. If you do not have an inspection completed, you could be stuck in a home with many catastrophic issues like black mold or a leaky roof with no recourse other than to pay for the removal or replacement yourself. A home inspection will cost a few hundred dollars but could save you several thousands in the end. We would be happy to recommend several qualified home inspectors to you.
What is a final walk through?
You can always contact us if you have any other questions that haven’t been addressed here about the complicated process of buying your FIRST Calgary home.
We are here to help make your first home purchase as simple as possible.