I want to share my experience being a first time home buyer
After much deliberation and having discussions with my friends and family, I finally came to the decision that buying a home would be exactly what I needed to match my lifestyle. There were so many reasons that made me reach my decision, but the biggest reason was the fact that I had reached a point in life where I was ready to make an investment that would appreciate over time. Another major reason was the fact that I was pretty fed up with the issues I faced with renting an apartment.
After spending hours and hours researching on various websites, my search for a home close to Toronto was so exhaustive and unsuccessful that I finally took the advice of my close friends and hired a real estate agent. Though it was still stressful, things became a lot smoother after I got in touch with my realtor. After a thorough analysis of my needs, they scanned it into their database to get more specific results that would allow me to look at only the properties that I was interested in. We managed to zero down on localities in Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto and Burlington.
My realtor presented me with a simple step-by-step process that was extremely stress free and went miles in helping me in making a well-informed, educated first time home buyer. Their team of qualified professionals made my first time home buying experience a relatively pleasant one. I was a bit anxious about putting up the down payment for my first house, but my real estate agent advised be about the options I had, including the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), which is a program which would let me withdraw funds from my registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs). According to this program, I could withdraw up to a maximum of $25,000 in a calendar year. It really worked well for me, since I am allowed up to 15 years’ time to repay the amount to my RRSP account.
When I finally found the perfect home of my dreams, my realtor helped in determining a fair market value, and even arranged to draft out the offer document. They were extremely skilled in the art of negotiation, and on behalf of me, they actually put forth my offer to the seller’s representative. After lengthy negotiations which went back and forth, they finally accepted my offer.
My real estate agent kept me abreast with timely communication, and always kept me up to date with all new events. Anytime I had a doubt or a query, and I could reach them instantly on the telephone. As a first time home buyer I wasn’t very well informed about how the entire process worked. My realtor took all the right steps and took time to explain to me all the options I had on hand and also provided me with the best plan that worked for me.
I was clearly briefed about the first time home buyer resources well in advance when I was sure that I was ready for homeownership. These are some of the questions that I was asked to prepare me in this regard:
Have you sorted out your finances?
My real estate agent emphasized the importance of having at least 5% of the total purchase price of the home that I wanted to purchase. This amount would cover the down payment. I was told that having a larger percent of the down payment handy would help to save costs in the long run. It was pretty simple—the larger down payment I made meant greater savings for me.
Do you have clarity on what can you afford?
Using their mortgage calculator, my realtor gave me a much clearer picture on what an affordable price range would be for my situation. I was advised about the hidden costs that pop-up after putting down the down payment amount and budget the moving expenses. Repairs were one of the “surprise” costs that I was told to keep in account.
Of course, keep in mind that even after the down payment and moving expenses, there are always hidden or “surprise” costs, such as repairs. They advised me to allot extra savings for any such unexpected expenses.
Take stock of my short and medium term goals
My real estate agent spent time in understanding some of my short and medium term goals. Factors like how long I planned to stay in my new home, my career-moves and how it could affect my staying in my new home if I needed to relocate to a new city for business etc.
And there are other life priorities to remember
Buying my first home is a life-changing experience. My realtor reminded me that I should factor my future plans into my decision of buying a home as well. I was ready to start a family. I had recently taken wheels of my family owned business, and this was another important move that I had made. I needed to assess these situations and how the costs involved in these life priorities would affect my home buying decision.
Your Property Our Priority by Pam Bhasin
Visit : http://www.yourproperty.ca