You want to buy your first home and there is information EVERYWHERE – from your family, friends, real estate professionals and countless online articles. With all of that information coming at you, how do you separate fact from fiction? Here are some questions we see most often:
1) Buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood
While somewhat true, it’s important to think about WHY that home is priced so much lower than others. There could be hidden issues or major repairs that you’ll need to address once moved in and this could cost you big time!
2) Get more bang for your buck in the burbs
While it’s true that land costs less in the suburbs than in the city, you need to consider things like travel time (commuting back and forth) and its associated costs such as automobile payments, gas, repairs and even public transit costs. Not only if you’re commuting for work, if you’re someone who likes to be in the city to watch your favourite bands, sports teams or the latest play, factor in all the time you’ll spend going back and forth.
3) Location, Location, Location
OK, location actually IS important but think ahead. The best deals can be in areas that aren’t fully developed yet – this could be new construction or a neighborhood that is going through an urban renewal process. Imagining your neighborhood 10-15 years down the road can save you big bucks and get you in that perfect location.
4) Get a home inspection and forget it
Most first time buyers believe that getting a home inspection that has passed means that they’ll never have to worry about home repairs (at least for the near future). It’s important to know that home inspections will cover the systems and materials on the date of the inspection so it won’t cover a furnace if it goes kaput 2 weeks after the inspection. Also, keep in mind that a home inspector will only be looking at the surface – if anything leaks or the electrical has issues behind your walls, it won’t show up in the report.
5) I won’t be able to pay my monthly payments
If you take that time to plan your finances out, you’ll be fine. Many times, you’ll be approved for a mortgage for example that will strain your monthly finances. It’s a good idea to buy a home with a lower price than your maximum approved amount so you have some flexibility as the years go on.