What to Expect When Buying Your First Home

What to Expect When Buying Your First Home

Jun 9, 2021, 2:45:42 PM Life and Styles

A newly released study by Royal LePage found that 68 percent of non-homeowners aged 25-35 planned on purchasing a home in the next five years.

Making your first home purchase is said to be one of the most stressful things you can do. But if you’re stalwart and savvy, you can navigate the mortgage maze and be happy with your new purchase.

Forbes Magazine recommends using a financial planner to help you make certain decisions, such as whether to go for a 30-year-fixed mortgage or try to pay it off faster (which the magazine does not whole-heartedly recommend).

Another helpful tool many new home buyers are taking advantage of is apps like Nobul. These new apps are helping match both buyers and sellers with real estate agents who bid to represent them, as well as taking some of the legwork out of the entire process by allowing buyers to browse properties, share listings, swap photos, and book tours more easily.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests home buyers look out for these hidden areas in the home you consider, and suggests you have the house professionally inspected before making an offer:

  • Brickwork and chimney—look for signs of crumbling bricks around the chimney.
  • Decks and porches—look for chipped or peeling paint.
  • Electrical system—If you’re looking at an older home, try to learn whether the electrical panel has been upgraded. If the service says 200 amps, it is an upgrade. A 60 or 100 amp panel has probably not been upgraded, and may not be sufficient for your family’s needs.
  • Floors—Refinishing flooring isn’t very expensive, but it is easier if done before you move in, while the rooms are still empty.
  • Heating—How old is the furnace? Do you know what kind of energy is used to heat the home? Natural gas is a cheap option, but not always available everywhere. Oil and electricity are common sources of energy in Canada but are more expensive.
  • Insulation—Hiring an insulation contractor to blow extra insulation behind the walls can be expensive, but it will save money on your heating bills in the long run.
  • Parking—find out where you can park and how many parking spaces come with the house.
  • Plumbing—You’ll need a plumbing system with copper pipes with copper soldering or PVC piping. If you’re looking at lead pipes, then you know it’s old plumbing and will likely require a future upgrade.
  • Roof—What’s the condition of the roof? A roof will usually last for 20 to 25 years.
  • Sewage and drains—You will want to find a qualified inspector for this. Ask this person to figure out whether the sewer system and drains will work correctly.
  • Windows—if you’re thinking about purchasing an aging home with single panes of glass in the windows, you might want to consider a new set of windows.

Apps like Nobul may make researching the above information easier.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer shopping in the United States, consider Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which are part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA loans can offer lower down-payments (though you might have to wind up paying for private mortgage insurance), low closing costs, and relatively painless credit checks.

You have to be free of outstanding special debts to qualify for an FHA loan.

Forbes recommends that no matter which options you choose or negotiate for a house, the total cost of the home should be less than 30 percent of your gross income. You’re always free to make an offer lower than the seller’s asking price, and this is often how homes are transacted.

One final thing: Consider a professional appraisal for any house you seek to buy. An appraisal will help reveal any issues with the property and determine if the seller’s asking price is fair.

Buying your first home requires cutting through some red tape, getting creative financially, and signing a mountain of documents. But if you buy smart, you’re more likely to end up with the right home for you.

Published by Irfan Haider

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