Where to Start When Buying a Home

Buying a home in Milton

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Our Guide to Homebuying

Looking to purchase a home and not sure where to start? The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a location. After all, location is one of the biggest variables in determining the value of a home. That’s right. It’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Here are some things you’ll have to consider when searching for the perfect location for your next home.

Where to Buy Your Home?

The location of a neighborhood plays a huge role in the value. When looking to buy a home, it’s recommended to drive around the neighborhood to get a feel for it.  Ask yourself if the streets are littered with garbage? Are yards landscaped and manicured?  How well kept do homes appear?

Another way to get a feel for the neighborhood is to check out the vehicles in the area. While not to sound snobby, take a look at the cars and pay attention to whether they are parked on the driveway or lawn? Are they sitting on blocks or clean and well kept? Are there 4 cars squeezed into a 2-car driveway?

Don’t let one bad apple spoil an area for you, keep your eyes open for noticeable trends.

Milton real estate

Community Amenities

Consider what kind of amenities are nearby and decide which ones are important to you. Are there parks, school and plazas close by? Can you walk to them?  How accessible is transit?  The close proximity of amenities may not matter much to you at the moment but it sure can impact your home’s resale value.

Street Type

Pay attention to the level of traffic on the street you’re considering.   Is it a high traffic street or a quiet cul-de-sac? A quiet, family friendly street will demand a higher price than those on busier roads.

Real Estate Developments

Last but not least, it’s important to inform yourself regarding any new developments planned for the area before choosing a location. Are there new homes, schools or parks being built nearby? If so, you might actually see your property value increase.

While there are developments that will add to the value of your home, there are also those that can negatively impact its value. This is why we recommend discussing planned regional developments with an experienced Realtor that knows the area.  You can also search the web using keywords such as major intersections and community names, visiting municipal development websites, etc.

Location is a key factor in determining value.  Don’t rush into buying a property without knowing about the community and surrounding area.  Take a little time, do your research and lean on your Realtor for their advice and market knowledge.

OMG check out the #KTQuckTips video on this topic … this goes back to our third week of recording!  That seems like a lifetime ago considering we’re more than 160 episodes in.

Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to figure out and a lot to do to get ready. A new home is most likely the biggest purchase you will ever make. Being prepared will help make sure the transaction goes smoothly. Here are our top three tips to help first time home buyers secure the home of their dreams.

Have Your Deposit Ready

The first step when you’re planning to purchase a home is to get your deposit ready.  You need to have at least 5% of the cost of your home in order to obtain a mortgage in Ontario. So you should have this amount ready before you even begin looking for a home. The amount of your deposit will depend on the cost of the home you want to buy. But it will generally range anywhere from $5,000 – $20,000. Having the full deposit ready will help you secure the home you want when you find it.

Pre-Approved Mortgage

Once your down payment is ready, the next step is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The amount of your mortgage will be based on the amount you earn, what assets you own and how much debt you owe. Getting pre-approved will let you know how much you can afford to spend on your new home and what your monthly payments will be. Once you are pre-approved, you will know what type of home you should be looking at.  

Pre-approval will also let you know what your mortgage rate will be. It’s a good idea to lock in a rate to ensure you won’t be hit with increases if they occur before you’re ready to buy. Most pre-approvals are guaranteed for a 90-day period.

It’s also important at this time to make sure all your paperwork is submitted correctly, and that your mortgage is completely qualified. This will help ensure there won’t be any problems when you find your home and are ready to buy.

Select an Area

First time home buyers often want to look at a wide range of towns and neighbourhoods. To find a home that really fits your needs, you should narrow down your search to a specific area. Decide on a set of criteria that matter to you, and use them to select the neighbourhood that will be the best fit.

House prices vary greatly from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, so what type of home you can afford will depend on where you’re looking. Narrow down your search to your ideal location then look at prices to see what you can afford there. You may have to adjust your location or house size depending on your budget.

Once you have your deposit secured, your mortgage pre-approved and know where you want to live, you’re ready to start looking for your new home. If you have taken the time to prepare, you won’t miss out on your dream home when you find it!

Buying your first home is both exciting and overwhelming! The anticipation of finally owning your own home and the fear of how to make that happen to combine for a very exciting time in your life. But as a first-time homebuyer, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid so that your experience runs smoothly and efficiently!

First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Looking at homes before you shop for a loan

When you’re finally ready to buy that first home, your excitement might lead you to look for homes as soon as you realize home ownership is for you. But despite how excited you are, you should always shop for a loan first! Although you might think that finding the house comes before the loan, you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment if your loan comes out lower than anticipated. By getting prequalified for a loan, you’ll know exactly what your price range is when looking for a home. This way you won’t be tempted to look something that’s totally out of your price range. Contact a broker or mortgage professional to get pre-approved and then have fun searching for your dream home!

  1. Doing everything on your own

Despite what you think, you need a Realtor right from the start! Some first-time home buyers tend to do things on their own, but it’s best if you use a professional right from the start. This way you’re guided by someone who knows the industry, business, location, etc. and will have better insight on homes in your price range. They’ll be able to answer all of your questions and help you with all the confusing parts of home buying. Remember, buying your first home is a huge investment and not letting a professional help can lead to huge problems later on.

  1. Using all of your savings

Even though you might be tempted to use up all your savings so that you can reach that 20% down to dodge having to pay mortgage insurance, emptying your savings is never a good idea. In finance, one rule is to always have at least three month’s expenses saved in case anything happens. And when you’re buying a new home, anything can happen before, after or during closing! If you’re moving to a bigger place, you’ll need to buy furniture to fill it or might have to do some repairs before you move in. Don’t put yourself in a weak financial position, make sure you have some money set aside for a rainy day.

If you’re in the market for a new home, let us help you find your dream residence!

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