First Time Home Buyers Advice



First time buyers usually start their home search by considering different types of homes and looking into purchase and resale considerations. Types of homes are co-ops or cooperative apartments, condominiums, and multifamily homes. Purchase and resale considerations include personal tastes, needs, and budget and whether buyers are looking into older homes, newly constructed homes, or fixer-uppers (homes requiring some work). In the view of experts, two-bedroom houses have a lower appreciation potential and less appeal than three-bedroom houses. One-bedroom condos are harder to sell while charming, attractive, and well-maintained homes, i.e. homes with curb appeal, are the ones that are easiest to sell. When resale is an option, buying the most expensive house is not recommended. The same goes for properties that are unique or unusual. Homes that are moderately sized and less expensive have a good investment potential.

Home buyers who are house-hunting are advised to make notes. Viewing different properties can be confusing if done at a time, and it pays to record your impressions as to organize your thoughts. Apart from choosing a house, it is important to choose the right neighborhood. A number of factors can be important depending on one’s needs. These include plans for future construction, crime rate, traffic, property values, and quality of schools. Another factor is proximity to public transportation, shops, hospitals, prisons, parks, beaches, and airports. Prospective buyers are advised to buy a property close to public transportation if commuting is a concern. It is also recommended to shop around in communities that are expected to become hot neighborhoods. Many of them are found father out of cities and on the periphery of desirable neighborhoods. In addition, it pays to drive around different neighborhoods and check how many ‘sold’ signs and ‘sale pending’ signs there are in the area.

If you are using the services of a real estate agent, it is important to treat them kindly so that they negotiate fiercely and wisely on your behalf (rather than clench their clipboards in frustration). To this, there are a couple of don’ts. First of all, it is not the agent’s job to act as a parent. Some clients ask their agents for advice on life choices when their job is to offer advice on whether certain property is right for the client’s situation. Then, some clients lay out their requirements and wishes but fall in love with a house which has a patio and a cool kitchen but meets none of the requirements previously laid out. A good buyer is the one who listens. Two-timing an agent is simply bad – it is not only unethical but impractical as well. If an agent is a pro, he/ she will not accept such clients. Then, it is more effective to use the services of one real estate agent who knows your preferences and will organize listings.

The next step is to secure financing, which is – in most cases – in the form of a mortgage loan. Loan programs are available through credit unions, mortgage brokers, stock brokerage firms, and banks. Canadian home buyers may want to check with their local credit union or bank first. Those who are existing clients of some bank may inquire about the mortgage loans offered by the particular lender. Another idea is to check with big financial institutions such as the Bank of Montreal or the Bank of Nova Scotia.