Guide for First Time Buyers
As a first-time home buyer in Calgary, there’s a whole lot to learn. This is likely the biggest investment you’ve ever made – and the more you know, the better your decisions will be. So grab a glass of wine, sit back, and prepare to learn how to buy a house or condo.
1. Work with a Great Realtor
It goes without saying, that you should work with a Realtor who has buying
experience and knows the current market.
However, you might not have considered the fact that you and your Realtor will potentially be spending a lot of time together… choose someone that you actually like.
My suggestion is to at least meet your potential Realtor for a quick coffee
before committing to a working relationship.
2. Get Pre-Approval
It’s important to launch your house hunt having already obtained pre- approval for a mortgage. This marks you as a serious buyer, and lets you jump on a property you are interested in with confidence. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a home and suddenly finding out that no one will finance your purchase.
Mortgage pre-approval helps narrow your search and allows you to focus on properties that you can actually afford.
For help with mortgage pre- approval contact me here.
3. Start with a Plan
Where do you want to move to and why? Do you want to be closer to work, or as far away from work as possible? Do you want a condo, or a single-family home?
There are tons of questions you have to ask yourself before you commit. You should also do some homework on the communities that you are considering living in. What about schools, transport links… and is there a local watering hole?
Be sure to research but don’t get bogged down in too many details as the “perfect” community might not actually exist.
4. Think about the Future
Most first-time buyers will move home again in 3-5 years. Be mindful that you’ll likely be selling your beloved first home in the not too distant future.
With this in mind you need to look at the re-sale potential of your purchase. This is why having a great realtor is essential. Your realtor will be able to guide you towards a property that is not only great value, but also has great re-sale potential. Your realtor will have knowledge of the location, the condition and the market trends.
5. Know your limits
So, you think you’re a handyman? I fell face first into this trap when I purchased my first home. I watched HGTV and YouTube on repeat and I fully believed I could take on any project… I soon found myself way behind schedule and more frighteningly, way over budget.
Sure, I’m all for a bit of sweat equity and taking on a reno project can actually be fun, just make sure you know your limits and plan accordingly.
6. Be Flexible
No, I don’t mean in the Yoga sense, I’m talking about the ability to compromise. The mere mention of the word can turn people green, I know.
However, possessing the ability to compromise is essential when it comes to buying a home. I always tell my clients to choose 3 non-negotiables, 3 features that they simply can’t live without. Everything else must be up for compromise. If you are completely rigid on your list of needs and wants, it’s likely you will never find what you’re looking for.
Knowing first hand that you have to be flexible will allow you to have a much more pleasant buying experience and open up much more opportunities and possibilities.
So, there you have it. Not an exhausted list by any means but it should certainly get you started. If you are considering a home purchase in the near future please get in touch, I’d love to have a quick chat and help guide you in the right direction.
I always tell my clients that buying a home is a process and not an event, and it’s really important to start at least 2-3 months before you pan to purchase. Doing so allows you to become fully educated on the process, putting you in a position where you can make better decisions and reduce your level of stress. Remember, you’re buying your first home, let’s make it a fun process.