Ready to own your first home? Take a deep breath and use this step-by-step guide on how to start your home search with confidence.
You’re ready to buy your first home! This is an exciting time for any homeowner-to-be, but the process can seem daunting and scary, too. This is especially true right now, where a seller’s market has been the topic of conversation and inventory remains low across all price points.
While there is no perfect system for buying your first home, there are a few things you can do early in the process to set the stage for success. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to start your home search in Toronto:
- Get Pre-Approved
- Determine Your Wants and Needs
- Set a Budget
- Find a Realtor
- Start Viewing Homes
Before you start shopping for homes in your area, head to your bank or lender and get a mortgage pre-approval.
Mortgage pre-approvals do two things:
First, they transform you from a tire kicker into a serious home buyer in the eyes of a seller. It builds confidence in the process that you can get approved for the amount you need to borrow, which can make the process much more streamlined.
And second, it helps you avoid looking at houses outside of your price range. You have an idea as to your tipping point and can focus your home search based on how much you can afford.
Knowing what you need (first) and want (second) in a home helps you narrow the search. For example, how many bedrooms will you need to live comfortably? Is it important to you to buy in a certain neighbourhood or location? How much square footage should you aim for?
Prioritise your needs and wants and refer to them often. When you come across a home that doesn’t have everything you need, you’ll know to keep looking.
Your pre-approval is a great place to start when budgeting for a new home. But don’t stop there. Keep in mind you will need to come up witha down payment (5% minimum), closing costs (up to 4%), mortgage loan insurance (for down payments less than 20%), and moving costs. There’s also the chance you may need to make certain changes to the home once you move in to make it perfect for you and your family.
Take all of these into account when choosing a budget – and stick to it!
Working with the right Realtor can be invaluable to first-time buyers. Your Realtor goes to bat for you during negotiations and plays matchmaker in finding homes that fit your criteria. They do a lot of the heavy lifting throughout the entire process – and their services to you are completely free.
With a great Realtor on your side, you can start viewing homes in your area. Rely on your Realtor for guidance so you can make the right choice for you and your family.
Get started on your home-buying journey today. Call us and let’s explore your options!