Are You A First Time Buyer?
Allow me to simplify the process.
-A house or condo is undoubtedly the largest purchase you will ever make
-The first house or condo purchase is one that you want to get right!
Much of my business comes from first-time buyers and young people, and over the years I’ve perfected the process.
Let’s look at these steps in depth, shall we?
1) Mortgage Pre-Approval
How can you be expected to know what to look for before you know how much you can afford?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is absolutely, positively, the first step in the process of buying your first home.
Whether you use a mortgage broker or a bank, get a pre-approval done ahead of time, and you won’t be scrambling to get financing when you find your “dream home.” And what if you find that dream home and then you can’t get enough financing to purchase it? Avoid disappointment and surprises by getting pre-approved at the onset.
The interest rate you receive with your pre-approval can be held for 120 days, so if rates increase, you’re protected!
During the mortgage pre-approval step, you’ll also be expected to determine your down payment, so if you have to ask Mom & Dad for help, now is the time to do it! Most first-time-buyers receive a little cash inflow from their folks, so there’s no shame in it!
These ties directly into the section above on mortgages – how much can you afford to pay into your mortgage per month?
What is your minimum monthly carrying cost? This includes your mortgage payment, property taxes, and maintenance (fees on a condo, upkeep on a house maintenance).
What is your take-home pay from your job, and how much can you comfortably spend on your mortgage and subsequent carrying costs?
How much do you spend on your car (insurance, gas, maintenance), cell phone, gym membership, sporting leagues or social clubs, hobbies and activities, groceries, clothing, entertainment?
Take out a blank piece of paper, and brainstorm all the costs you might incur during a given month.
Make a budget, and figure out how you can avoid living from paycheck to paycheck.
The next Bank of Canada interest rate meeting is September 8 ,2010.
I find it’s best to identify where you want to live in the city before you analyze what type of residence you want to live in.
This ties directly into your budget and mortgage, since you might be limited in both the location and type of property depending on what you can afford.
Scarborough,Downtown Toronto,North York,Mississauga,Markham or Leslieville? Queen West Village? St. Lawrence Market? Toronto Harbor? Entertainment District? Or out skirts in durham,peel,york???
Which friends do you want to live near? What are your favorite restaurants, hang-outs, and locales?
Where do you want to call “home?”
Now we really get into specifics!
If it’s a house you’re looking for, congratulations: you are part of the very small portion of first-time-buyers who can actually afford a house!
If it’s a condo, do you want a loft or an apartment? Is that a hard loft conversion or a new soft loft? Do you need a 1-bedroom, a 1-bedroom-plus-den, or a 2-bedroom unit? Do you want to live in a high-rise with clear city views or a low-rise with quick access to the street? Or house like, semi detached, detached, and list of type goes on and on…
Condos or homes come in all shapes and sizes, so think of the condos you’ve seen while visiting family & friends, and come up with a picture in your head. Maybe even try to quantify that picture with a sketch of a layout or a list of ideas that appeals to you.
5) Features & Amenities
This is about as specific as we get, since now we’re analyzing the actual condominium unit or interior of the house itself.
You might want “all the bells & whistles,” but perhaps you can’t afford it, or you could trade some features off for others.
Do you really need granite counters in your condominium kitchen? Or perfect 20 x 20 full luxury of house kitchen…
You might want a 3-bedroom house in Cabbagetown, but can you make do with a 2-bedroom? Or spacious up town house
Make a list of all the features & finishes you’d like in your house or condo, and try assigning a value to it.
If you have a car, then clearly you would call parking a 10/10.
If having outdoor space is a must for you, then let’s call that 9/10 or maybe even 10/10 as well. If your dream condo has a patio, and you want nothing to do with a loft with only windows and no outdoor space, then sure – call it a 10/10. or how many garage or parking spaces….
But let’s not get crazy here and turn down a potential condo because there is no walk-in-closet, when most 1-bedroom condos don’t have them. Or 3 bedroom home with huge living room…
When you’ve completed these five steps, you are way ahead of the game.
I have people come to me who know only that they want to buy their first property, and little else.
Many people don’t even know what they like or have never set foot in a condo before!
The mortgage-pre approval, financing, and budget can take some time and can be tedious, but the rest of the process is fun!
When you’re ready to get started, give me a call or an email.
The info. Is intended as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, please speak to a lawyer.
If you have any questions/suggestion or require more information, please do not hesitate to contact me for buying or selling and also I will be happy to assist you negotiating your investment needs.
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Please call me TODAY for a No Obligation Buyer Consultation or Pre-Listing appointment!