5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home
Chances are, your first time home buying experience feels a little overwhelming; there’s so much to do, tons to remember, and a million questions to ask.
The good news is, you’re not the first first-timer! Canada’s real estate market is made up of between 35-50% of first-time buyers each year.
So whether you’re about to sign on the dotted line, or just doing a little online house hunting, there are several important factors you should begin to consider.
If you’re thinking of buying your first home, ask yourself these 5 important questions before you move any further alone!
1. What am I Looking For?
For many people, finding the answer to this question is one of the most exciting aspects of the home buying process.
In deciding what you’re looking for in a first time home, you get to draw up an extensive wish list that highlights all the things that are most important to you as a homeowner–like multiple bathrooms with double vanities or a finished basement!
It’s important to separate your wish list into two categories; that is, needs and wants.
Make a point to understand what things you absolutely cannot live without, and what things you can put off for a little while. Prioritizing necessities and working out a budget for luxuries is an important step in the process of buying your first home, and it can help you make decisions and compromises in the smartest way possible.
Found a house with those gorgeous hardwood floors you wanted, but only 1 bathroom for your 4-person family? Consider compromising for the 2-bath house with those new carpets instead. While your first time buying a home shouldn’t be about settling, you should probably expect to compromise in some areas.
Ask yourself what, exactly, you’re looking for in your first home–and then pursue your exciting mission accordingly!
2. Do I Need Help Finding It?
Well, probably, yes.
You’re a first-time home buyer, so it’s only natural for you to be a little lost in the process. But, someone who works in the field every day will have a great sense of balance and direction as you try to sort through everything.
In buying your first home, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of all the people you’ll need to help you through the process. But the good news is, bringing in the right help at the beginning can make the whole deal a lot easier and less overwhelming!
Ask yourself whether you’ll want to contact a real estate agent (probably, right?), a financial advisor, a particular home investor, a mortgage lender, or any other real estate professional.
If you feel unsure or lost in any aspect of the home-buying process, hiring the right expert is a great way to ensure you’re on the right track.
Bringing in professionals is another great way to make sure you get what you really need from your first-time house hunt. The experts who know the real estate market will know how to leverage your offers, navigate concessions, and make sure you get the best deal for your personal wants and needs.
Ask yourself which parts of the process you want help with, and go find the best people to help you with them!
3. Can I Afford This Home?
This consideration may seem simple, but it’s often one that gets pushed out of sight pretty easily.
Now you’ve found a house with gorgeous hardwood floors, two bathrooms, and a finished basement! And it’s only $15,000 over budget! Yay, right?!
Sure, you can work to negotiate the price so it’s closer to your budget. But even so, you risk falling in love with a house whose price the seller just won’t lower–and further, with a house whose taxes and closing costs you didn’t account for!
It’s super important to be mindful of what exactly you can afford and to stick to your budgets whenever possible. If you’ve saved for a significant down payment and worked hard for that excellent credit score, then good for you! That’ll be a huge help in the long run.
But the fact is, many first-time homebuyers simply neglect to consider closing costs, insurance, and taxes when adjusting their budgets, and they wind up with a house they can’t afford.
You know what you can afford. Ask yourself where you’ll draw the line, then put in an offer and lock in a mortgage rate you’re totally comfortable with.
4. Am I Ready for This Home?
Your parents have probably asked you the same thing already, and you’ve probably already gotten annoyed with them about it.
But the fact of the matter is, you should never buy a house without sitting down and having a serious talk with yourself or your partner about whether you’re ready to take on all the responsibilities associated with homeownership.
Do you understand the ongoing costs associated with owning a home? Have you researched potential fees and expenses and worked these into your day-to-day budget? (We know, we’re starting to sound like Dad again).
Beyond that, it’s important to ask yourself where the house in question (or any house) will fit into your life two or five or ten years from your closing date.
Buying a house is no small commitment, so it’s absolutely necessary to look to the future anytime you’re thinking of buying a home.
5. Am I Asking Enough Questions?
It’s true that there’s no such thing as a dumb question–and when it comes to buying a house, it’s also true that there’s no such thing as too many questions.
Whether you’re wondering about something big like mortgage rates, or something more minor like the age of kitchen cabinets, remember to ask.
Keep in mind the fact that anyone involved with your home buying process is involved for a reason; use your resources. As questions, even if they may be silly or seem irrelevant.
Ask yourself whether or not you’ve asked any question that you should maybe probably ask–and then ask a few more.
Ask. Ask. Ask.
We mean it. Plus, fortunately for you, we’ve been selling homes in the Lakeland region for decades, and our unique experience and dealings with the homes on the market means that we have a lot of information that we can share with you.
So…About Buying Your First Home
Feeling excited? Feeling ready?
We thought so!
Stop by along your way for a little extra help or advice on buying your first home!
As a Realtor, I believe in honesty integrity and having a fair deal
Darren PoirierOwner & Associate
Like everyone else at CENTURY 21 Poirier Real Estate, Darren has a strong sense of personal integrity, a constant desire to do what’s right and respectful, and a drive to help both buyer and seller get a fair deal.
And he’s just like his colleagues in this respect, too—what makes him happiest are the smiles on his customers’ faces when they move to the next phase of their real estate journey.
- October 1, 2018