First-Time Home Buyer Information
1. Initial Consultation
First we will start by meeting in person or over zoom to narrow down your wants, needs and vision for your first home. Here we will get to know each other, explain our process and ask you some relevant questions about what your ideal home looks like. Most importantly, the point of this meeting will be to get to know you! We want to learn about what you value so we can nail down a very specific criteria.
2. Exploratory Tour
The exploratory or "educational" tour will be where the fun starts! We will start by seeing a few homes that meet your criteria from the initial consultation with no intention of placing an offer. This will work as a tool that will teach us even more about the specifics you truly care about. Not in the area or can't meet for a tour? That is no problem at all, we would be happy to show you some homes via zoom.
3. Nail Down the Criteria
At this stage, we fully understand what you are looking for and begin pointing out homes that come up on and off the market within your criteria.
4. Tour Options that Match
Attend open houses and look through potential homes of interest that meet your criteria.
5. Present Offers
Present offers and navigate counter-offers and acceptances. Another element includes getting a home inspector that will know where to find potential issues with the home in question. If you choose not to get one, you may be at risk of having to fix problems with the home that could have been taken care of before the purchase.
Tips for Buying your First Home
1. Make the Most of First-Time Home Buyer Incentives
There are numerous benefits available to first time buyers that the federal government has implemented to encourage new buyers to acquire real estate. These include:
- The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive allows first time buyers to reduce their monthly mortgage payment without increasing their down payment. Those who meet the criteria can apply for a 5% or 10% shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
- The Home Buyer's Amount is another great benefit and can offer a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit that can be applied to qualifying homes.
- The Home Buyer's Plan is a great tool as well that allows Canadians to withdraw funds from their Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) to use towards their first home.
- The GST/HST New Housing Rebate offers homebuyers a GST/HST rebate on the purchase price of a home.
2. Understand your Wants and Needs
The home buying process can be both very exciting and stressful which is why it is very important to stay grounded and not get too high or too low. With these mixed emotions, it is important to lay out exactly what you're looking for before you start placing offers. Ask yourself important questions to make sure you find the exact right place that checks off all your boxes.
- How long do you plan on staying?
- What size does my home need to be to offer room for growth or to raise a family?
- What areas will be easy on my commute to work?
- What can I comfortably afford?
3. Know what you can Afford
This step is crucial and requires an honest conversation with yourself about what you can buy. Obviously it can be disappointing falling in love with a home that is outside of your budget but missing out is better than the financial stress that the purchase may have on you going forward. To determine what you can afford it is important to start with an internal review of your finances and calculate your debt to income ratio. This ratio and your credit history will be important factors in the lending process. As a general rule, the sum of your loans, mortgage, and credit card payments should never account for more than 40% of your income. Check out our Mortgage Calculator!
Ready to look for your First Home? Start Searching Here!