Buying real estate property in Toronto, Ontario, for the first time is exciting, but there are several pitfalls that can snare even the savviest of first time homebuyers. Here are 10 things to know before you sign on the dotted line!
Owning Isn’t Always Smarter
Though conventional wisdom suggests that owning a home is always better than renting, that’s not true in every situation. If you have a career that requires regular moves or if you foresee a relationship status change in the next year or so, there’s no rush to purchase. If you’re going to buy a home, plan to stay at least 3-5 years.
Get an Inspection
When you fall in love with a home for sale, it’s easy to overlook any flaws. This is why experts recommend having a third-party inspector conduct a thorough examination of the property before you buy. The inspection probably won’t change your mind, but you should buy your first home with eyes wide open. Know what you’re getting!
Work with a Professional
It’s always smart to have a real estate agent, but it’s doubly important for first time buyers. Your agent will do more than just find a home for sale in Toronto, Ontario. He or she will also tell you whether the price is fair and give you comparable sales examples so you can see for yourself that you’re getting a home at the appropriate price.
Find the Right Agent
The agent you choose is going to be helping you make one of the most important purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. Carefully choose an experienced and patient agent who will walk you through every part of the real estate purchasing process.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Home sellers expect to negotiate. So if you want them to knock a few bucks off the price or to throw in the drapes, don’t be afraid to ask.
Remember a larger house means more maintenance. Similarly, a larger yard means more lawn maintenance.
Many lenders will offer homebuyers higher values in home loans than they can really afford. Your lender will tell you how much they’re willing to loan you, but you have to decide how much you’re willing to pay.
Figure in Insurance, Taxes, and Maintenance
Speaking of affordability, owning a home costs more than just your loan payment. As a homeowner, you’ll also need to pay to insure your house, pay property taxes related to it, and to maintain it. Consider those costs as you’re determining what you can afford to spend on your first home.
Don’t Feel Pressured
There will come a point in buying a home in Toronto, Ontario, where you may feel pressured. Whether it’s an agent wanting you to hurry up and pick a home, or a seller making unrealistic demands, remember that you’re making a very important decision, and it’s OK to take your time.
Buying a home is a process, and it can take time. In a seller’s market, you may have to make offers on more than one home before a seller accepts your offer. In a buyer’s market, there are many homes to choose from, and you should take a look at several before making an offer. Once a deal is in place, it typically takes a few weeks between making an offer and closing a deal.