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Five Tips for First Time Home Buyers

dream-first-timeDelving into the process of buying a new home can be daunting enough. Although you may already have an exhaustive list of items to prepare you for the journey, take a look at the five tips we offer. They may seem trivial, but sometimes it’s the seemingly inconsequential matters that are the ones to look out for the most:

GET PRE-APPROVED – It is important to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make any offers. The housing market is competitive, regardless of the economy, and if you have outstanding conditions such as unsecured financing, it can be a deal breaker. Sometimes sellers will accept a lower offer from a buyer that has solidified financing than from one who has a higher offer but no pre-approved mortgage. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but being able to mitigate any risks and show a seller your level of commitment is essential in the home buying process.

DO NOT FALL IN LOVE – If you get too emotionally attached to a house, it can lead to bad decision-making and you may end up paying too much… something you may regret later. Keep your feelings out of it and focus on key points that have been established at the beginning of the home buying process.

PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED – Closing costs can creep up on you. This is why it is always a good idea to set aside anywhere between two and six percent of your loan for these expenses. You will want to figure the fee into your saving scheme before you start shopping. Ask your lender to give you a Good Faith Estimate or GFE. Your real estate agent is a great source of information. Ask them to help you factor other expenses that you incur as a result of the closing and in other unforeseen areas.

COORDINATE YOUR MOVE – The prospect of staying with friends and/or relatives in the interim can be a little maddening. Understandably, it is complicated to coordinate the move-out date of your old home with the move-in date of your new one. However, if there is a period of time that a late move-out or an early move-in would be beneficial, sometimes just simply asking for more time on either side will solve the problem. Otherwise, make sure that these dates are made clear during the closing of your home.

GET INSPECTED – The biggest complaint from first-time homebuyers? Something in their new house is not working as it should. To solve this, get a home inspection as a condition of your offer. It is an essential part of the home buying process. Determine the faulty areas ahead of time. This way you gain more leverage during negotiation, or action on behalf of the seller to fix the problem. If the seller refuses to repair any damages and you still wish to purchase the house, make sure you are able to absorb the cost of the repair(s).

For more advice, or to contact an Ottawa-area realtor, visit