FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS IN CALGARY
We love first time home buyers. Nothing quite matches helping people find their first home, which they’ll fill with life-long memories. We know that buying a home for the first time is a landmark event, and we’re here to help you through every step of the process.
Owning a home is an exciting and meaningful experience. We want to make sure you get the most out of it.
The first step when considering the purchase of a home is reflecting on whether you’re ready. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a home, and being mentally and financially prepared for them is crucial.
A lot of people look into owning a home because of the extra freedom to paint walls, own pets, and modify the house to reflect your personality. While these are definite perks to being a homeowner, there are many extra responsibilities that people often overlook, such as mortgages, taxes, and maintenance.
It’s important to critically reflect on your finances and expectations to ensure that you get the most out of this new experience.
QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE HOMEOWNERS
ARE YOU READY?
Owning a home is a commitment that can last for decades. That’s why it is important to understand what you are signing up for. You’ll need to be prepared to make sacrifices that can affect your social and financial life.
WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD?
We know it’s discouraging to realize your income won’t buy your dream house right away — a reality that many first-time home buyers have to face. But allocating a massive part of your income to your mortgage will quickly become a burden. It’s best to buy a modest home now and look at upgrading in a few years.
WHAT’S YOUR DEBT-TO-INCOME RATIO?
Lenders take your debt-to-income ratio very seriously, and it will have a direct effect on what you can borrow. Your monthly payments to overall debt shouldn’t exceed more than 40% of your income, with your housing debt never taking up more than 32% of that figure. To find out your debt-to-income ratio, add up all your monthly payments for car payments, credit cards, student loans, and any other monthly debt payments, then divide them by your income. That’s your current debt-to-ratio income. What 32% of your income will allow you to purchase can vary drastically depending on your location and salary, but this calculation can help you figure out what kind of home and neighbourhood you can afford.
WHAT HOME DO YOU WANT?
Are you willing to clean your gutters? Do you mind mowing the grass every week? Do you instead want to pay someone else to look after these things for you? Can you comply with a regular garbage schedule or would you prefer to get rid of trash at your leisure? Do you mind living in an older home? Is a convenient location or an extra bedroom more critical? These types of questions will help you determine what Calgary neighbourhood will suit your style. Write down a list of what you want in your home, making sure to differentiate between what is mandatory and what is a “nice-to-have” feature. This list will help you prioritize and make a smart decision.
THE CALGARY REAL ESTATE ADVANTAGE TEAM CAN HELP
We know that you need devoted real estate agents willing to work hard for you. That’s us: we help you find the best home for the right price, regardless of your budget. We want your first home purchase to make you ecstatic, and we’ll work with you to make that happen.
Hiring us means you will get stress-free advice and assistance from our dynamite team with years of experience. We know the ins-and-outs of the Calgary real estate market and will put our knowledge to work for you.
Remember your goals. Purchasing real estate can be an overwhelming experience and sometimes overrides common sense. Keeping your list of needs versus wants in a house will help keep you on track. When we’re alone, we can compare your list against each property we visit and make sure we’re on track. We’ll keep you focused and ensure that you find a great feature that will meet your needs.
Find a skilled real estate lawyer. We know several lawyers that we’d be happy to recommend to you. We suggest interviewing potential lawyers to ensure you find someone you work with. Real estate lawyers can be expensive, but they make sure you’re protected against future legal troubles. The legal process of transferring land ownership is complicated, so we always highly suggest having a good lawyer on your site.
Making an offer. Making an actual offer on a Calgary home can be a confusing process. We’re happy to prepare the paperwork for you and walk you through every step, so you understand precisely what’s happening throughout the entire process. Sellers may reject offers, so it’s important not to get your hopes too high on a home during this process. Many home buyers, first or otherwise, go through the offering process on several different homes before finding an agreement that works for both parties.
Do your inspections properly. Hire a home inspector. While this step is technically optional, you probably aren’t ready to own a home if you’re willing to skip it. Home inspectors check for damage, pests, and harmful materials. They ensure that your home is safe and has good structural integrity. A home inspector can save you thousands of dollars and preserve your long-term health, by catching problems like mould, lead paint, asbestos, faulty wiring, shoddy craftsmanship, and a whole range of other issues. Even new houses require inspections; an official home inspection can allow you to negotiate home price, the budget for future maintenance and, if needed, walk away from the purchase. We know several great inspectors in Calgary and would happy to recommend them to you.
Walk through the home one last time before closing the deal. We’d be happy to come with you to help ensure that everything promised was completed, before signing the final contract.
From the moment you decide to purchase a house to the day you receive the keys, Calgary’s Real Estate Advantage team can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. We’d love to make your home search more comfortable and help you find your first home. Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.