Taking the leap into home ownership is a big deal. For most of us it will be the largest financial decision that we ever make. Before you buy, here are some things to do.
1. Work out what you can afford
Before you start looking for a home, make a call to your financial institution and establish what you can afford. What mortgage are they willing to give you and how much are your monthly repayments? Don’t forget that in addition to your monthly mortgage, you need to consider costs like taxes, property insurance, maintenance, and closing costs. Build this into your budget to make sure you have a realistic idea of what you can afford before you go looking in the market. It will save you time and heartache down the road.
2. Narrow your priorities
Establish what is most important to you in a new home. Is it the size of home or the neighbourhood? Is it walk score or a larger home with a longer commute? Setting out your need-to-haves against your nice-to-haves before you look at houses, will help streamline what you view and your decisions.
3. Check out the inventory
A house is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. Take your time looking at what is available. It’s time consuming but you want to find a home that is right for you while understanding pricing in the area. A realtor can help with evaluating comparable homes.
4. Do a home inspection
Before you seal the deal, it’s vital that you have a home inspector walk through the house to identify:
- Problem areas and whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect
- Which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced
- Items that are good for now but that should be monitored.
A great inspector will even tell you about routine maintenance that should be performed; a boon for first time home buyers!
5. Ask for help
Don’t be determined to go it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and it helps to have someone walk you through it step-by-step. A realtor can help educate you on current market trends, advise you on neighborhoods, choose homes for you to view the best meet your parameters, and present and negotiate your offer.
Call me today for more information about buying a Vancouver home.