Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will make in your life.  When you are ready to invest in buying your first home, there are several things you will need to do before you start shopping.  Ensuring you have everything on this checklist in order will mean you can move quickly when you find the property of your dreams.

  • Figure Out How Much You Can Afford to Spend

Based on your income and debt you will be able to calculate how much you can afford to spend on purchasing your new home.  Keep in mind that your monthly mortgage cost is not the only expense you should use to calculate the monthly cost of your future home.  You should also take into consideration condo/strata fees, property taxes, insurance and improvements or upgrades.

  • Get Preapproved

Meet with lenders or brokers who can give you a preapproval for the amount you will need to borrow to purchase your first home.  They will take into consideration your income, assets and credit score in order to calculate how much they are willing to lend you.  Getting preapproved means you can move quickly when you find a home and will help ensure you are shopping within your budget.

  • Save Up a Down Payment

The minimum down payment for a home in Canada is 5%.  It is imperative that you have your down payment saved up before you start shopping for a home in order to qualify for a mortgage.  You should also plan for the other expenses that you will incur during the process of purchasing your first home which include the home inspection, lawyers’ fees and closing costs.

  • Engage the Services of a Trusted Realtor Early On

A Realtor will be able to guide you through the complicated process of searching for, making an offer on and eventually closing on your first home.  It is a good idea to choose your Realtor early on to maximize the benefit of their experience to you.  You will spend quite a lot of time meeting with and speaking to your Realtor.  Realtors navigate the ins and outs of home sales and purchases every day – you will be glad to have the knowledge and advice of a trusted Realtor in your corner, particularly if it’s your first time purchasing a home.

  • Shop Around

You can easily shop for homes online, which is a great way to get a feel for what is available.  It is also beneficial to visit open houses, peruse newspaper listings and even drive around neighborhoods you like.  Your best asset in your search for your first home will be your Real Estate Agent who will use their expertise to advise you of properties that are new to the market, recently reduced in price or that might be a particularly good investment. 

You will always remember the first home you purchase – it is something to be proud of.  As your Realtor, I am here for you to ensure the process goes smoothly.  You can count on me to guide you and ensure your experience purchasing your first home is a positive one.  Contact me to discuss how I can support you in your journey to find your dream home!

Karen Borring-Olsen

Your Key to Real Estate Success in Kelowna