As a Realtor® I enjoy working with first time buyers. Yes, it’s a challenge, but a challenge, that done properly, can be very rewarding. Here is an excerpt from my April 2009 news letter. As you will see things haven’t really changed:
Are you sick and tired of paying rent to a landlord who uses your money to pay his mortgage? Well, you’re not alone! Many first time buyers make the mistake of thinking that renting is more affordable than buying, but it’s worth remembering that when you’re paying a mortgage you’re paying for something that you own – an investment. As a first time buyer, you are the heartbeat of the property market – vital to its health!
Here Are A Few First Time Buyer Tips:
- Pre-approved Mortgage. This is the best way to determine exactly what you can afford. Get your pre-approval in writing and signed by the lender. Any additional items that the lender may require should be completed as soon as possible. (Like the source of your down payment if it is a gift etc.) This information is important when it come to writing a Contract of Purchase And Sale so be sure to give your Realtor a copy of any relevant documentation.
- Be Practical. Your first home most likely will not be your last, so be flexible. Remember a number of factors will affect the desirability and therefore price of a property including transport links, schools, leisure facilities, shops and green space.
- Don’t forget the deposit isn’t the only money you need to raise – you’ll need to consider all the costs associated with buying: property purchase tax and legal fees to name just a few.
- If you find yourself crashing back down to earth with the realization you can only afford a shoebox in your target area , don’t despair. There are ways of making your money go further. For example, did you know that almost half of first time buyers under 30 are getting ‘substantial’ financial help from relatives? So, if it’s an option, go for it. You’ll have a significant advantage. The bigger the deposit the better mortgage rate you’ll get.
- Don’t be too fussy about the area you have decided to live in. Sometimes a better deal can be found elsewhere requiring a bit longer commute. And those friends you can’t possibly move away from? They’ll still be your friends should you move a few extra kilometers away.
- Use a Realtor®. (I know, a shameless plug for me!) A Realtor will help you find the right home and negotiate the best price. Realtors know the market and will get you the best deal. Read “Working With A Realtor” it is full of useful and important information that you need for a successful home purchase.