Buying your first home is a milestone to be celebrated. Yet, by the same token, it is very easy to get caught up in all the celebrating that you become blind to things that can really spook you. To prevent unexpected scares, I’m going to break down some things you need to know before buying your first home.

Shop Around for a Mortgage Lender

While it may seem natural to go to your bank and ask them what their rates are, make sure that this is not your first and final stop on your search for a mortgage lender. Instead, imagine shopping for a mortgage lender akin to speed dating. Come prepared with important questions and information, and be in and out, writing everything down in between so you can keep track of it all. Always be aware of fees that don’t make sense to you, and ask every question you can think of!

Plan for Transitional Costs

You may have a plan for life, but life may have an entirely different plan for you. When house hunting, especially for the first time, make sure you have money saved up for all sorts of things. You don’t want to be in a situation where your lease ends in 3 months but you still haven’t found the home you want to purchase. You’ll be stuck in short-term rent limbo which can become very costly very quickly. Plan to have some money in case this happens, but more importantly, plan also for hiccups like this.

Be Open to Change

You might walk in to the house hunting process with a fixed list of must-haves in mind. But you may find that when you actually start looking, these homes can be out of your budget, or not in the neighbourhood you really want. Many times, there will be sacrifice. Be open to re-prioritize your non-negotiables or come back when you have a budget that matches your needs better.

Negotiate!

I’m not just talking about negotiating the price of the property itself. I am reminding you that you can negotiate with the seller smaller things when you buy your first home. This could be window blinds, an extra garage door opener, maybe even a piece of furniture you really like that belonged to the previous owner. Anything can be negotiated!

Your Home Inspection Will Find Problems

This is just a universal fact – there is no perfect home. There will always be something wrong, so please expect the home inspector to find things. The home inspector might find things that require small fixes, things that need maintenance down the line, even possible deal breakers. If you do find something that requires substantial fixing make sure you get a couple professional estimates on how much this would cost. You can negotiate this price with the seller or walk out of a deal entirely. Chances are, the seller will want to work with you to sell the property.

My final piece of advice that I wish you knew before buying your home is that I am your biggest asset! I am not just here to unlock homes for you to view. I can answer almost every question you can think of. So don’t be afraid to ask me anything big, small, silly or serious. I’m here to make the house-hunting process as smooth as possible. If you have a question right now, don’t wait! Send it to me here.