Buying a first home is a monumental milestone in anyone’s life. It marks a significant step towards financial independence and stability. However, the process of finding the perfect home can be both exciting and challenging. From house-hunting to negotiating offers, it demands dedication, patience and persistence. Here are our top three tips to remember when embarking on the journey of purchasing your first home.
Tip #1 – Get Pre-Approved and Define Your Priorities
Before diving into the real estate market, be sure to seek pre-approval from a trusted broker and then take the time to sit down and define your priorities. Pre-approval is a very important step in property purchase. It allows you to work within a budget and gives you greater negotiating power when it comes time to make an offer.
Creating a clear list of what you want and need in your new home will help you stay focused during the search. Consider factors like location, size, layout, amenities, and budget. Ask yourself questions like:
Location. Is it important to be close to work, family, or certain amenities? What kind of neighbourhood do you envision yourself living in?
Size & Layout. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Are you looking for an open floor plan or more traditional segmented spaces?
Amenities. What features are essential to you? This could include a backyard, a garage, or specific appliances.
Budget. By obtaining pre-approval, you are determining how much you can afford to spend on your first home. Remember to factor in additional costs like property taxes, conveyancing fees, insurance, and potential renovations.
Having a clear set of priorities will make your house-hunting journey more efficient and less overwhelming.
Tip #2 – Work with a Trusted Real Estate Agent or Buyers Agent
Navigating the complex world of real estate can be intimidating, especially for first time buyers. Enlisting the help of a trusted and experienced real estate or buyers agent can make a world of difference. A skilled agent will possess a deep understanding of the local market, have access to a broader range of listings, and be adept at negotiating on your behalf.
Here are some tips to find the right real estate agent:
Referrals. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have recently bought a home. They can share their experiences and refer you to a reliable agent.
Research. Look for agents with a strong track record and positive reviews online. Read testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction.
Compatibility. Meet with potential agents to ensure your personalities and communication styles align. You’ll be working closely with this person, so a good fit is crucial.
A knowledgeable real estate or buyers agent will streamline the home-buying process, providing valuable insights and assistance every step of the way.
Tip #3 – Stay Patient & Flexible
In a competitive real estate market, finding the perfect home that meets all your criteria may take time. It’s essential to stay patient and be prepared for some compromises. Understand that you might not find your dream home immediately, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for something that doesn’t fit your needs entirely.
Be open to exploring different neighbourhoods and property types. Sometimes, the perfect home may not check all the boxes on your list but could have great potential with a few renovations or modifications.
Moreover, the negotiation process might require some back-and-forth with the seller. Don’t rush into decisions, and always consult with your broker and/or real estate agent before making an offer. A little persistence and flexibility can lead you to a home that truly feels like the right fit.
Written by Gemma Cuskelly.