Tap to Read ➤

First Time Home Buyers - 10 Easy Money-Saving Tips You Must Know

Bo Kauffmann Jul 27, 2019
Buying your first house or condo is a big deal.  It's a major financial investment, and will be a significant lifestyle change (for the better)

First time buyers are well advised to follow these 11 tips.

Things to do BEFORE you look at homes

1) Find the right real estate buyer-specialist

Your real estate agent is involved in every step of the way, and a treasure trove of information.  Select an agent who specializes in helping home buyers
Someone who holds an A.B.R. accrediation.

2) Investigate your mortgage options

This does NOT mean 'go and get pre-approved'.  Rather, investigate your lending options, which will include banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. 

Ask your real estate agent for advice.

3) Create a budget for your home expenses

Home ownership is more than just paying mortgage bills.  Electricity, taxes, home insurance, utilities, maintenance etc.  It all adds up.

Here is a sample budget.

Sample Home Owners Expense Budget

Now that you're ready, here are tips to help you WHILE you are looking at homes

4) Stay within your budget

It's easy to get carried away.  But this is your first home.  Stay within your pre-determined budget and avoid being 'house-poor'.

Mortgage Lenders will, quite often, allow you to borrow more money than you're comfortable with.

5) Don't buy a home that is too small

The other end of the spectrum is to buy a home that's too small.  Something you'll outgrow in a year or two.

Reselling a home after a short period of time will likely cost you money.  That is because, as a buyer, you paid extra taxes and fees when buying the home.  Now, as a seller, you'll be paying other fees, commissions, legal fees, etc.

6) Investigate the neighbourhood

You've heard the top 3 things in real estate are:  location, location and location.

Investigate the neighbourhood to make sure resale will be easier down the road.

7) Get a home inspection (if possible)

At the very least, get a second look.  Don't make an impulsive decision at an Open House.  Take a good look with your own agent and another pair of eyes.

Also, all home inspectors are NOT created equal.  Ask your agent for a couple of referrals.

8) Don't be impulsive.

Easy to say.  Hard to do. Look beyond the home staging and the granite counters.

Ask your agent for honest input.

9) Rely on, and listen to, your home buying experts

Your real estate agent, mortgage broker, home inspector and insurance agents.  They've done this a few times

Listen to, rely and act on their counsel.

What to do after you buy, but before you take possession

10) Don't alter your financial status

Don't take out a car loan. Or buy furniture on lay-away. Or take out a line of credit.
Some mortgage lenders will re-check your credit just before you take possession. 

A negative change in your credit may stop you from getting the house of your dreams.