First-Time Home Buyers: This Checklist is For You

While buying your first home is extremely exciting, and a huge step forward in your life, it can also be an overwhelming process. There is a lot to learn when it comes to the real estate market, property values and homeownership in general.

Step one, of course, is choosing a real estate agent that you can work with, and more importantly that you can trust. If you need help finding a real estate agent, check out my previous blog on how to find the perfect one here.

Once you have your agent sorted out, it’s time to start searching for your dream home! But wait… what is my dream home? And what steps do I need to take to find it? Here are a few things to consider when purchasing for the first time.

Decide on your budget and get a mortgage pre-approval

Taking a look at your financial situation will be a critical step in deciding how to proceed with purchasing your first home. How is your credit score? What are your debts and assets? How much money do you have to put into a down payment? Have you factored in other expenses such as lawyer fees and home inspection? What will all your monthly expenses end up being (utility bills, property taxes etc.)? These are just a few things to consider.

We suggest meeting with your bank to figure out what you are pre-approved for to help you figure all of this out. Before you set sights on your dream home, it’s important to find an appropriate mortgage lender to help you understand where your budget truly sits. Book appointments with local banks or other lenders to see which program works best for you. Once you have completed your mortgage pre-approval, you will know what money you have available in terms of budget and bidding.

Figure out your top priorities in a home

Once you have settled on a budget, it’s time to start thinking about which factors are most important to you when it comes to choosing your home. Is there a certain neighbourhood or community you’d like to live in? How many bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas do you need to be comfortable? Is a garage a must? What are other must haves?

Start browsing listings and viewing potential homes

Once you have figured out exactly what you are looking for you can let the hunt begin! Start going to open houses and viewings. Remember, you should already have your agent chosen prior to browsing listings and visiting houses for sale. Using your own agent, rather than the listing agent, will help make the experience more seamless. Your agent will understand your wants and needs in a home, and thus be able to help point you in the right direction when it comes to listings.

Keep a list of things you like and don’t like at each house—this will help you understand your new home goals.

Submit an offer

So, you’ve found your dream home—it’s time to make an offer! This is where your real estate agent’s assistance will be very important. Your agent will help you put together your offer, including bidding price, conditions and more. They will ensure your offer is as enticing as possible while still fitting into your budget and criteria. 

If the offer is accepted, it’s time to close the deal! If not, it’s time to keep searching. Remember, not every house is meant to be!

I was born and raised in Saugeen Shores. I’ve been analyzing the market for years and am familiar with every unique aspect the community has to offer. I am passionate about real estate and finding you your dream home. I also have a background in interior design. This means I can not only help you find the perfect home, but if the home isn’t move-in ready when purchased, I can help you envision its potential and work with you to make it your ideal space. If you’re selling a home, my knack for interior design will shine through when staging the home and adding finishing touches prior to listing. If you have questions about the local market, or are looking to buy or sell your home, contact me! I’m happy to help.

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