Congratulations, this is a big decision, I'm so excited for you!
Buying your first home can be a wonderful, scary, intense and interesting experience! Your heart is pumping adrenaline through your body, your nerves are shot, this is it! It’s time to take the leap! The move to home ownership while scary is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your family long term! (Well, you know, apart from getting your education, finding a partner and having kids (if you want kids), but back on topic...) No longer will you be paying off someone else's mortgage, from here on in you're building your own equity! No longer will you be constrained with your design choices; from this point forward it’s all you (and your partner if you've got one)! You can paint whatever colours you like, renovate and more, this is your home, your life and you get to live it! Take some time, browse Houzz to get some decorating ideas, enjoy, plan, imagine!
We're here because this is your first step on the road to home ownership, there's a lot to learn and a lot to do before you make that purchase and you've come to the right place. This article is the first of a series dedicated to help you navigate the way to home ownership in the most informed way. Buying a home isn't like buying a toaster or even buying a TV, you need to know what you're getting into, be prepared along the way and remember like most things in life you need to surround yourself with the best team possible! Like in business, sports or any other aspect of life your teammates determine your outcome. Choose wisely and you'll have a great experience, and end up a very happy purchaser, cracking a bottle of Champagne on the day you move into your new home, choose poorly and the nightmare may just be beginning. Your home ownership team consists of your Realtor, your lawyer, your mortgage broker (or bank mortgage rep), and depending on your circumstances your financial planner and accountant. Sometimes you may also need a general contractor, a planner, a surveyor and more, but we'll cross that bridge when the time comes.
Assuming you've saved enough for a downpayment (more about this in a subsequent post), the very first step on this journey, before anything else, is to speak to either your bank or to call a mortgage broker and get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage. This is the single most important thing you can do when you begininning your home search. Once you have a pre-approval you will know what your price range and most importantly your price limit is. You don't want to fall in love with a home only to realize its outside what you can afford.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage so you can begin searching for a new place to call home! Call me if you need a referral to a good banker or mortgage broker, I have several fantastic people I refer to who I've worked with over the years.
Good luck and happy house hunting!