It can be intimidating to buy your first home. Aside from the huge financial commitment it takes, the journey to homeownership can feel overwhelming to anyone who has never gone through it.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s common for many first-time homebuyers to have little idea of what the process looks like. If you’re looking to gain an understanding of the general process, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a basic outline of the steps to buying a home.
Is Homeownership Right for You?
The hidden first step in this process is being honest with your needs and your unique situation. Owning a home may not be the right move for you depending on a number of variables. In some cases, renting can be the better option.
- How stable is your financial situation for the foreseeable future?
- Will you be able to handle regular payments for all the costs that come with a home?
- Can you devote time to the regular maintenance of the home?
- Are you looking for a longer-term commitment, or do you just need a temporary living space?
These questions are a start for getting into the mental space of being a homeowner. If you feel confident that you are looking for a longer-term solution and have the financial stability to make it happen, you’re headed in the right direction.
Get Your Financials in Order
On the financial side of things, saving for your down payment should be your first goal. We covered down payments and deposits in more detail here, but essentially you will need to pay for a percentage of the house once an offer is accepted. The amount you need to pay for the down payment will vary depending on several factors including the cost of your house and where you are buying. The larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow from the lender.
The next goal should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. Getting pre-approved is something you can do before you’ve started looking at properties and will help you understand what you can afford. We recommend consulting with a mortgage broker or lender to start the mortgage pre-approval process and to help you find the best rates available.
There are government programs that exist to help first-time homebuyers make their investment. While this will vary greatly from region to region, the idea is to encourage people who are thinking about investing in their first property to take the next step. It’s highly recommended that you speak with a financial advisor about your finances to get a professional breakdown of your options.
- Connect with a mortgage broker or your preferred lender
- Start the mortgage application
Step 2: Connect with a Real Estate Agent and Start Looking!
Now comes the fun part. Once you have your finances in order you will continue assembling your homebuying team and begin looking at properties. It’s important to have a team of experienced professionals throughout your home buying process, particularly if this is your first time
When it comes to looking at properties, consider your needs and think long term. What will you need in the next few years? Consider how the home fits within your budget, the location, neighbourhood, and the personal needs of you and anyone else you are moving with. It can be overwhelming at first, but as you continue looking you will get a greater understanding of what you’re looking for.
Step 3: Make an Offer
Once you’ve found the right house, in the right neighbourhood, for the right price, it’s time to make an offer to purchase! Making an offer can be incredibly exciting, but equally stressful. It’s important not to get too focused on one particular property as it will quickly affect your offer and the negotiations. The offer is all about making the best deal for you and the seller, and if negotiations are not working for either side, it’s best to move on before spending too much time. You’ll also need to discuss possible conditions on your offer with your real estate agent.
Once an offer is accepted, return to your lender or mortgage broker to complete your financing.
- Work with your real estate agent to
- Schedule a home inspection
- List of documentation needed
Step 4: After the Offer
Your offer has been accepted, you’ve paid the deposit, and you’ve entered the closing period. During this period, you’ll be working with a real estate lawyer to go through the final documents. . On the final day, you’ll receive your keys and take legal possession of your new home.
- Find and connect with a real estate lawyer
- Browse insurance options
Step 5: The Final Steps
Decide your move-in day early on and book any moving services you may need far in advance. As you start getting closer to the big day, book any property services you may need in the near future, such as professional cleaners or junk removal. There is still plenty to do during this period, and the good news is that our complete Homebuyer’s Checklist ensures you won’t miss a single step when moving in. Necessary steps like transferring utilities and changing your address can occasionally fly under the radar for new homeowners, so be sure to consult your checklist regularly.
start taking your first steps towards your new home. Good luck!
- Book a moving truck, professional movers, or storage
- Order property services (cleaners, locksmith, junk removal, etc.)
Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice of any kind.