This post goes out to Buyers, specifically first time home buyers. If you haven’t purchased property before you can be fraught with nerves, which distracts from clear thinking and an open mind. These are the top 5 things you should do as you start to consider home ownership.
(1) Get your finances in order
Spend some time figuring out an appropriate monthly budget. There are a couple great websites (for example, Wave, Quickbooks) that you can use to track your spending. These sites pull in your spending from each bank account and credit card so you can properly monitor exactly how much money you spend every month on everything from restaurants, to take out food, to gas, to clothes, to electricity, to random Amazon purchases and more. This ensures you have an accurate view of what you spend, rather than a guess, so you can understand how much you can afford and what you can cut back.
(2) Talk to a Mortgage Broker!
In addition to understanding your finances, a mortgage broker will determine the amount of mortgage you qualify for and the ideal mortgage terms and conditions you should consider. Mortgage Brokers can also help lead you in the right direction when it comes to your finances. For example: Do you pay off your car loan or put the funds towards a bigger down payment? Do you work on increasing your credit level? Do you need to have your parents co-sign on a mortgage? We recommend these brokers: Great Mortgage Brokers.
(3) Talk to a Realtor!
Sit down with a Realtor (me!) to chat about the buying process, construction styles, neighbourhoods, and what you should consider when you’re thinking about your options. Developing a relationship with a Realtor happens over time – you need to see properties together and communicate about what you like and don’t like – but it starts with a meeting and a Custom Search. Contact me to sit down to get started.
(4) Think about what you like and don’t like about your current home
Thinking critically about your current home will help you reckon what you should look for in your next home. Do you like getting direct sunlight in your home? Do you want to see the mountains? Would you prefer to be on the first floor to avoid taking an elevator, or the top floor to avoid noisy neighbours? Are you okay with some street noise? How much storage do you need?
(5) Start visiting the neighbourhoods you’d consider
This step might come after you get a sense of what you can afford, but nonetheless, take some time to check out different neighbourhoods on the weekend and in the evening. Find the grocery stores, parks, and coffee shops you’ll frequent on a regular basis. If you transit or bike to work, test the route out. Ask your friends and coworkers what neighbourhood they live in and what they like and don’t like about it so you can get a sense of what to expect from a resident. I know quite a bit about different neighbourhoods, so pick my brain too, or check out my website for a quick recap of each Vancouver area.
If you have any questions about the process, or want a better idea of the real estate aspect before diving into the other details, give me a call! I’d be happy to go through the first few steps with you: [email protected] or 778-387-7371.