A Beginner’s Guide To Buying A House
Buying your first home can feel daunting, especially with the recent dramatic rise in home prices. It’s one of, if not the biggest purchase, that you’ll ever make. Before you start calculating how much you need for a down payment or shopping around for mortgages, you’ll want to make sure you have a few bases covered. Staying on top of the basics can help you stay in control of your money and set you up to achieve long-term goals. As an expert in the field, Tracy Phelan, Broker RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc, has written down a beginner’s guide to buying a house. This will help you break down the important factors you should consider when buying a house.
Do your research: You’ll find that the more houses you see, the more they all start to blend together, so be organized and make sure you walk through the various things you like and dislike about each property with your real estate agent. When visiting a listing, take notes and reflect on the house itself as well as the surrounding area. Some things to consider are the size, style, and physical condition of the home, the neighborhood the home is in, what your commute would be like to work, the schools in the area, etc. Figuring all this out will help you in the long run.
Hire a buyer’s agent: The world of real estate financing can be very confusing and complex. One thing to expect when you hire a buyer’s agent when buying a house is help with evaluating and securing the best financing for your circumstances. Since a buyer’s agent is looking out for a buyer’s best interest, they’ll help ensure the buyer gets the best deal possible. During the course of a real estate transaction, there are several professionals that are needed. When you’re buying a house, you’ll potentially need a mortgage broker, a home inspector, a real estate attorney, and a handful of other professionals. It’s likely that the professionals a buyer’s agent recommends will provide quality service and would also be looking out for your best interest during the purchase of a house.
Have a strong credit score: When buying a house, the first thing you will have to do is the preliminary work of getting your credit score in shape. A higher credit score means a lower interest rate on your mortgage. A few extra points in interest may not seem like a big deal. But when you’re talking about a huge loan with a fifteen to thirty-year life, it can add up quickly. Taking the time to work on your credit score before you apply for a mortgage is worth it!
Get preapproval for a mortgage loan: A mortgage pre approval is important because it helps take the pressure off your home search, helping to make it a stress-free, enjoyable and exciting process. A pre-approved mortgage helps you understand the purchase price you are qualified for before you begin your search, ensuring you don’t look at homes outside your price range.
Have money saved for a down payment and closing costs: The amount you designate as a down payment helps a lender determine how much money to lend you and which type of mortgage is best for your needs. However, the down payment isn’t the only upfront cost of buying a house. There are fees for the appraisal, the home inspection, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and many other additional costs you’ll need cash to cover depending on the home and type of loan you’re getting. Make sure you have a substantial amount of money available to cover these costs.
Advice From The Pros
Be logical: Buying a home is without a doubt an emotional decision. It’s normal to let emotions, intuition, or “a gut feeling” guide you to “the one.” But it can also lead you astray if you fail to consider the logical side, which is your budget, the property value, resale value, and keeping your non-negotiable checklist in mind. Don’t make any big changes before getting approved. Don’t finance a car or another big item before buying. Don’t max out credit card debt. Don’t quit your job or change careers before buying.
It’s a home, not just an investment: Most first-time buyers are so nervous about spending all this money they have saved up over so many years that for them, spending this hard-earned money on a home needs to be profitable. However, profit is not the most important reason to purchase a home. I remind them that yes, a good investment is important, but real estate is a long-term gain, not a short-term gain. Remember that it is most likely going to be your home for at least five years or so. You are looking for your first home, not just an investment. You have to LIVE there.
Plan for the long-term: Buying a home needs to feel right, not just have the numbers align. As I have seen this process unfold with many first-time buyers, I remind them gently that real estate is long-term (five to ten years at least) before they may see strong increases in value. They should plan and think accordingly. Also, moving is EXPENSIVE! Moving costs, legal and other fees, land transfer tax, and (sometimes commission) all add up and can cost tens of thousands of dollars to a home buyer. This needs to be taken into account as well so that the buyer plans for the long-term.
If you are looking for a real estate agent/realtor in St. Catharines, Niagara Region, reach out to me at Tracy Phelan, Broker RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc. As a professional realtor in St Catherines, Niagara Region, I put my thirty years of experience to good use by providing a client-first approach. Therefore, I listen carefully, offer expert advice and work hard to deliver results using up-to-date marketing techniques. I serve clients across St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Welland, Lincoln, Lincoln, Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland, Fort Erie, Jordan, Port Colborne, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the services I offer, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here.