New home buyers are constantly entering the housing market and getting ready to purchase their first property. This is an exciting time, but also one that requires a lot of preparation! If you are a future home buyer, it’s important to take the time to set some goals before you dive right into the market. This will help you stay focused and prepared as you work your way through the process. Here are a few recommendations of helpful and attainable goals!
Gain an understanding of the market
Before new home buyers enter the market, it’s beneficial to learn about current housing trends. This includes things like interest rates, housing prices, and supply and demand figures. Of course, no home buyer needs to be an expert on these matters. That’s why we have real estate agents, brokers, and lenders! However, most buyers find it helpful to learn the basics. The more you understand going into the buying process, the more confident and prepared you will feel. If you’re someone who finds the housing market a bit intimidating or confusing, now is a great time to study up. Plus, you have unlimited resources at your fingertips! There is endless online content you can read to gain a general understanding of the housing market. You can check out real estate blogs such as this one, or websites like the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. You’ll be ready to enter the market in no time!
Stay within your budget
Creating a home buying budget is one thing, but sticking to it is another. Many home buyers struggle with this task, even those who are already homeowners. It’s easy to overestimate what you can afford, and underestimate what things will cost. Designing an accurate budget might mean getting the help of a real estate agent or mortgage broker. These professionals can tell you where you fit into the housing market in terms of your buying power, and housing costs. Once you have established a budget, do everything you can not to surpass it! Only view properties within your price range, so you won’t be tempted to overspend. Make a list of the closing costs you will encounter, and budget ahead of time for those expenses. Assuming your budget is accurate, it’s very important to stick to it to avoid becoming house poor, or losing your home entirely.
Focus on your needs
When you buy your first home, you should focus on your needs more than your wants. This is your entrance into the housing market, and your first property is likely not going to be your last. You will probably use this asset to help you purchase another home in the years to come. With that in mind, try to focus on practicality and functionality. Think about what you absolutely need in your home, such as the number of bedrooms or access to public transport. Your non-negotiables should take priority over the things you would simply like in a home, like an inground pool or finished basement. Of course, you should buy a property that works for you and is in good condition! You don’t need to settle for a property that doesn’t suit you at all. However, the goal should be to find a good starter home that you can use to support your position in the housing market.
Make your payments on time
New home buyers will have a bunch of new expenses. Mortgage payments, utility bills, and property taxes might all be unfamiliar right now, but they will soon become part of your monthly budget. It’s crucial to remember that your financial obligations don’t end when you close on the sale of your new home. You will be carrying these costs with you for years to come! As a result, you must make sure you are making your payments on time. Late or missed payments can result in late penalties and fees that can be difficult to repay once they start adding up. If you fall behind on your payments, you may struggle to catch up. To avoid this, you can try automating some of your payments so they leave your bank account without your manual input. You can also set reminders on your phone or calendar when it’s time to make payments. Do whatever works for you to ensure you are always staying on top of your financial obligations.
Use a mortgage broker
Finally, new home buyers (and repeat buyers) should make use of a mortgage broker! Brokers are an invaluable resource in the housing market. We support our clients throughout the entire buying process, and we are here for you even after you take possession of your new home. When you first enter the market, we will help you determine your debt levels and budget, and we can guide you through the pre-qualification process to determine what mortgage product might work for you. We connect you with the best lender, and we can support your changing mortgage needs throughout your term. A mortgage broker makes the buying process much less stressful, and using a broker means you can be certain you have the best product for your needs.
New home buyers may feel a bit overwhelmed when they first enter the market. However, creating a list of attainable goals, and sticking to them, will help make the process feel easier and more organized. Plus, you can always reach out to a broker to discuss any questions you might have. We are here to help you at all stages of the buying process, and it’s never too late or too early to get in contact.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!