First Time Buyer?
Wondering where you should start?
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Look at your current situation. Are you paying rent now? Are you employed and earning an income? Yes to both these questions is the first step.
The next step would be to find someone who can help assess your current financial situation. You need to understand the boundaries of your financing. An import factor in borrowing money is the rate of interest you will pay. One of the functions of a Mortgage Broker is to shop around for the best interest rate for you.
Sometimes we have a credit history that follows us and puts us at a disadvantage but no worries a good Mortgage Broker can help you address those and iron out the kinks until you are ready to make a purchase. For that reason you should contact someone about your financing as a first priority.
Another advantage to having a Mortgage Assessment in advance is that part of their service will be to hold interest rates for you so that if interest rates should increase they can still honour that held rate. If the rates go down you will get the lowest rate available to you.
FIND A REALTOR®
Find a REALTOR® that you can relate to and one that understands your needs. They will assist you in finding a property, help you to compare properties, share valuable market information with you including recent sales activity. They will also assist you with determining the necessary subjects to include in your offer and help explain the contract to you. A REALTOR® is there to help you with your purchase and will be negotiating on your behalf.
It is a benefit to have a REALTOR® that sees a variety of properties with you getting to know your likes and dislikes and the things that are important to you. They can alert you to opportunities you may not have been aware of.
I would be happy to meet with you and discuss how I can help you. I like to use the philosophy that I give my clients the same advice and information that I would if you were my Mother, Brother of Grandparent. I believe in being open and honest and feel that this is the best way for us to work together.
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE MARKET
Start studying the listings in the area you would like to purchase. It is not enough to watch them as they list at www.realtor.ca. I can set you up in a database that will help you to see new listings before they appear on realtor.ca. This online system will allow you to sort your favourites and watch specific listings. The system will also notify you of price changes as well as what properties actually sell for - probably the most useful information. This information is not available on realtor.ca.
Through this process you can become a knowledgeable and educated buyer which will help you to become more confident in the decisions you make.
START VIEWING PROPERTIES
Start viewing listings. All the MLS photos and virtual tours are no replacement for physically seeing a property.
The house may be fabulous - everything you ever dreamed of and shortly after you arrive you realize it is right beside a noisy generator powered building running 24 hours a day (not likely on Pender!!!!).
The surroundings of the property will also be an important part of your purchase – do you want to have a garden, is there enough sunshine? Does the property you want have a view, are you in control of that view? This can work in the reverse too, perhaps a property is filled with knickknacks and shelves of things or poor taste in décor and paint colour, it could be difficult to get a great picture of the property but if you remove all that and change the paint it might be a gem in disguise.
My point is the importance of viewing properties and recognizing market value.
Learn about the opportunities for first time buyers
You may want to seek an accountant’s advice on this too…
Learn about the first time buyer tax credits
Learn how you can borrow against your RRSPS
BC First time home buyer property transfer credit
Understand the expenses associated with buying a home
It is expected that come July 2010 HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) will apply to these costs. Currently GST (5%) is charged and when converted to HST the new rate will be 12%.
Some costs you may incur as a buyer are:
The lawyer's fees
Building inspection and survey costs
Property transfer tax
PUT IN AN OFFER – BUY A HOME
The next step is to put in an offer on a home. This can be a somewhat emotional time and your REALTOR® will help you during this time. Negotiations don't always turn out the way you had hoped or expected and at times you can be disappointed. It is important not to get to emotionally involved with your negotiation and not take it personally. If it is the right fit things will work out and if not you may need to continue your search.
START BUILDING EQUITY
Now that you have made your first purchase you can begin building equity. Start by keeping up with the regular maintenance on your home. Over time you may wish to make some improvements which can improve the value. The market can fluctuate over time, at times the value may increase and at times the market may fall. If you are prepared to make a long term goal you can be building equity. When you are paying rent you never receive a penny of that money back again.