First Time Homebuyers Guide

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Maybe you live in the best apartment ever with a great landlord, in the perfect location, and you don’t want to change a thing. Or maybe you’ve looked at how much rent money you’ve been putting in somebody else’s pocket and feel like it’s time for a change. Either way, we can help.

Buying a home is a big decision. But it doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the help of a trusted financial expert (like the ones at your local credit union!) it can be a smooth—and dare we even say, enjoyable—process.

Here are a few things to think about as you’re getting started.

1. Can I afford to buy a home?

The actual cost of buying a home goes beyond the purchase price and your mortgage payment. Aside from your scheduled mortgage payments, there are several upfront costs involved in the process like closing costs, inspections, appraisals, taxes, maintenance, legal fees and a down payment. These costs should all be factored into your initial budget.

2. Can I afford not to?

Think of home ownership as an investment in your future. If you have a stable, secure income and are ready to start building equity, homeownership is definitely something you should investigate further.

3. Am I ready for the responsibility?

When you own your own home, you can do whatever you want—so go ahead and paint that powder room lime green! On the other hand, you’ll be on your own when it comes to fixing a clogged sink or if your washing machine bites the dust. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that owning a home can be a lot of work. At the same time, there’s a great reward in taking a house and really making it your home.

4. What exactly do I want/need in a home?

Are you looking for a home with a yard big enough to plant seven different varieties of kale? Or is downtown condo living more your style? What kind of neighbourhood do you want to live in? Are schools or public transit a consideration? Do you want your home to be move-in ready, or are you willing to roll-up your sleeves and get your hands dirty? Take the time to think about everything you’re looking for in a home—from size, to location, to amenities—and write it all down. Take your list with you when you start looking at homes with your real estate agent. It’ll help keep you on track.

For more information on choosing the right location, to knowing which questions to ask, to the different types of mortgages available, our First Time Homebuyers Guide is your one-stop go-to resource for all things home buying.