What are the Most Important Factors to Keep in Mind When Looking to Buy Your First Home?
It’s been a long winter, but the spring housing market is finally here. Hooray! Buying a home for the first time can be intimating, it’s most likely the single biggest financial transaction of your life time, but it doesn’t have to be. By preparing ahead of time, you can help ensure it’s stress free.
Here are the most important factors to keep in mind when looking to buy your first home.
It’s often said that the three most important rules in real estate are “location, location, location.” While you can change many things about your home, location isn’t one of them. You can paint the walls, put in a new kitchen or add a second story, but the location of your property will always remain the same. You’ll want to choose a location that you’ll be happy with for the years to come. You might think twice before moving besides less desirable locations like a highway or railway. Not only can those be annoying to live near, it can make it difficult to resell your property later on.
While most of us would probably like to live in a spacious detached house in downtown Toronto, the reality is that most of us can’t afford it. But that’s not to say that there isn’t some choice when it comes to our property type. Depending on your home budget (which we’ll talk about later), you might have a choice between property types. For example, you might be able to afford a condo or townhouse. Based on your lifestyle, you’ll want to choose the one that’s best suited for you. If you’re looking for a property with less maintenance a condo can make a lot of sense as long as you don’t mind paying the maintenance fees.
Urban vs. Suburban
Another important factor to consider is whether to live in the city or the suburbs. Again, this isn’t a decision that comes down to dollars and cents. You’ll also want to consider lifestyle. While it’s true that your home buying dollars will typically be stretched further in the suburbs, don’t forget to consider the higher commuting costs if you’re going to be going into the city every day to work (not to mention the time it takes to get home). You might actually be better off purchasing a home in the city if you can avoid buying a car.
Meet the Neighbours
The neighbours is a factor that’s often overlooked, but it can come back to haunt you later on. If you’re thinking about buying a property, you’ll want to find out about who the neighbours are. Most neighbours are friendly, but sometimes some neighbours aren’t. A good way to scope out the neighbours is to drive by on a Saturday night when everyone has their guard let down. If you hear loud music blaring next door, is that something you really want to live beside?
I wouldn’t be a good mortgage broker if I didn’t mention this. Before going house hunting, it’s crucial that you get pre-approved for a mortgage. The last thing you want to do is make an offer on a home, only to find out that you aren’t pre-approved to spend that much. If you aren’t able to come up with the extra money, you could lose your deposit or worse, get sued. Don’t let this happen to you. Speak with your mortgage broker ahead of shopping for a home, so you know what your budget is and you can make an offer with confidence.
Written by Sean Cooper
Sean Cooper is the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians. He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30. Sean’s helping others burn their mortgage, too, as an independent mortgage broker. For an unbiased second opinion on your mortgage, email SeanCooperWriter@gmail.com or call 647-867-3711.