Buying a home does not have to be overly complicated nor rocket science. Every current home owner have already done it, and pretty much followed a similar game plan.
- Be realistic about your perfect home. A new condominium or a new development does not necessarily mean it will be perfect. Even if you pay a premium in getting your home, it may not be perfect. It is always better to be realistic and flexible about the perfect home as you spend time in it to make it fit your lifestyle.
- Know what is important to you in a home. Size, location, proximity to job, construction material, and price that fits your budget. Starter home or a long-term home to start a family.
- Get your finances in order. Aim for 10% to 20% for down payment, 3% to 4% for closing costs, and savings to cover 1 to 2 years of mortgage payments. Include budget for post-purchase repairs, alterations, furniture, and move-in expenses.
- Get pre-approval from your bank, allowing agents and sellers to know that you are a serious buyer. You don’t have to use up the full pre-approved amount if you might be over-leveraged.
- Give yourself a time frame between bidding on home, closing and moving into your new home.
- Work with a buyer agent that can provide you with a buyer rebate that may help you save a good amount on the buyer’s closing costs.
- Bid on a home that you like. This is where your buyer agent negotiates on your behalf to get the lowest price that you are willing to pay, and reasonable contingencies such as minor repairs by the seller.
After your closing, the happiness of owning a home may quickly dissipate and turn into anxiousness and despair because everything can be overwhelming when it is your first rodeo at home ownership. Which is why it is important to have a realistic game plan that you can follow to balance out your expectations.