First Time Buyers - Are You Ready For Home Ownership?
It’s the ultimate dream, for many people - owning your own home. It gives you a place to put down roots, maybe invest in family life, and become part of a wider neighborhood. It’s about independence and building your own future.
When first time home buyers come to us, we share their excitement, but we also want them to be clear about the real responsibilities that come with home ownership. Yes, the freedom to paint the walls the color you choose is a step up from renting. But with rental properties, you can expect the landlord to step in and deal with any leaks and cracks. When you’re a home owner though, the buck stops with you. And that also goes for the big financial responsibilities like mortgages and taxation.
Don’t worry. We’re really not looking to put you off buying. We can’t wait to show you our exceptional range of first time buyer’s properties and help you look for the one you’ll fall in love with. But long experience has shown us that there are certain questions every potential new home owner should ask him or herself before taking that first giant step onto the property ladder.
Questions for Prospective First Time Homeowners
Are you ready for the responsibilities?
Home maintenance and repairs cost money, and if you own your own property, you have to find the funds yourself for those jobs. Over time every house or apartment shows signs of wear and tear. Ask yourself whether the stress and bother of having to fund and deal with maintenance issues is worth it for the chance to own your own home. Would it be better to wait for a while until you’re more financially stable?
Are you ready to commit to a big mortgage?
New home owners are often surprised at the level of salary they need to get a sizable mortgage. It can be very tempting to sign away more of your monthly salary than you can realistically afford in order to stretch towards a more expensive property. If you do so, you’ll probably start to resent the big commitment after time, finding it becomes a burden. Ask yourself if it would make more sense to buy a more modest home now and go for the dream real estate a few years down the line.
What will your funds buy you, in the area you’re looking?
Any good mortgage lender will advise you about your debt-to-income ratio; your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not exceed 32%. Depending where you want to live, that 32% could get you a large comfortable residence in, say, a rural location or run down suburb, or alternatively a tiny apartment in a highly sought after part of town. You need to ask yourself what factors are most important to you.
Have you narrowed down your search to the right area?
In some neighborhoods there are rules, for example, about when you are allowed to put out your garbage can, and exactly how your lawn needs to be cared for. Some homeowners love this. It keeps the neighborhood immaculate and ordered, and everyone knows where they stand. For others, it would feel too structured and confining. How do you feel about the type of neighborhood you’d like to live in?
We help first time buyers like you!
As you can see, when you’re buying a home for the first time, there’s a lot to consider. A good real estate agent will work hard to help you figure out what’s right for you - the right choice, the right property, the right price. We don’t just want you to manage to buy a house, we want to see you standing on your own two feet - happy and successful as a proud new home owner.
How will we help?
- We’ll help you get realistic
To decide what you really want, what you’re ready for, and how much you can afford to spend, you’ll need professional guidance and experience. We’ll take you through the simple steps to help you make good choices that you can be confident in not only now, but years after you’ve moved in.
- We’ll keep you focused
It’s so easy to get swept away when you find a house that feels so right in some ways, forgetting to weigh up all the pros and cons and practicalities. We’ll spend time helping you stay on track with your goals. We’ll keep bringing you back to the essential features you’ve told us you really want and need, as well as keeping an eye on what else is coming onto the market.
- We’ll handle the offers and negotiation
When it comes to making an offer on a house, the negotiations and paperwork can be an emotional roller coaster. You’ll probably have to submit a deposit check to the seller’s broker to show you’re really serious, and even when you’ve set your heart on a property, your offer can still be rejected or countered. But we’ll be there to go through everything with you and communicate with the seller’s broker on your behalf. Don’t forget, we do this all the time.
- We’ll recommend a good local building inspector
You’ll want to get an expert inspection of your home to check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold, as well as any evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. It will cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s an essential investment in the overall home buying process, and will save you from finding out after the sale is complete that you have an expensive problem on your hands. We know some excellent local inspectors who we’d be happy to recommend.
- We’ll take you through a final walkthrough to double check before you sign
And finally, just before you sign on the dotted line, we’ll review everything with you to make sure it’s all in order and you feel confident in your decision to move forward.
So if you’ve never bought a home before, rest assured you’ll be in very safe hands with us. We’ll be right there with you from the very first interview until the day you get the keys to your very own real estate. Contact us without delay if you’d like us to help you. When it comes to first time buyers, we’re with you all the way.