Buying that first home is an exciting prospect -- however, first-time buyers often make mistakes. Below you will find some things that first-time buyers should be aware of and consider as they start the process of buying that first home.
There is no point in looking at Collingwood homes for sale on the real estate market without knowing exactly what you can afford. Unless you are prepared to pay cash for that home, you will need a loan. Banks consider your income, your credit history, and the amount of money you have set aside for a down payment. Getting pre-approved provides new home buyers with a starting point for considering the price point they are comfortable with.
Just because a bank says you qualified for $200,000 does not mean you should presume you can handle a $200,000 mortgage. Review your budget, including loan payments, taxes, and insurance for your home, as well as food, other bills, your entertainment budget, etc. Many buyers find they are comfortable with less than the full amount approved by the lender.
When looking at homes in the Collingwood area, keep in mind the essentials, such as size and layout that cannot be easily changed. Wallpaper and paint, along with bathroom fixtures and cupboards, on the other hand, can be changed with little effort (but it will impact your budget). When shopping for your first home, it is possible you will discover one designed by someone who shares your vision for colour, finishes, carpet versus hardwood floors, etc. However, it is more likely you won't. Consider whether a pink tub is a deal breaker or an amusing conversation piece. Have a realistic discussion with your realtor about what can easily be changed and how much changes might cost. The value of good water pressure cannot be overstated. If you are contemplating a fixer upper, read this and this.
Almost every article written on the net for home sellers these days discusses the importance of staging. While homeowners have always cleaned their homes and removed clutter to present their home in the best light, staging has now become a big business. Homeowners are clearing out their homes and hiring professional stagers to create that stunning showstopper home. You are not purchasing a showroom, you are buying a home. Consequently, consider how you will live in the space. Is there enough storage space for you? If you enjoy cooking, can the kitchen accommodate two cooks? Is the dining room large enough for your future family of six?
You don't just buy a home, you buy that neighbourhood. Take some time to check out the surrounding area in Southern Georgian Bay -- Collingwood isn't the only town with pretty little homes! Spend time in the local coffee shops. Consider the distance to the closest grocery stores. How are the schools? Observe the neighbours. Do people seem comfortable walking in the neighbourhood alone? How does it feel at night?
In addition to your down payment and mortgage, there are closing costs as part of every residential real estate transaction. These costs include the following:
When you are ready to buy your first home, working with a real estate agent you can trust to help you navigate through the process is essential. Contacting us at (800) 886-4713 is a good place to start.
A quick and easy solution to monitor when new homes hit the real estate market ...