What to Consider Before Purchasing Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big deal. Between finding the perfect home to making sure you can qualify for the mortgage, there’s a lot to consider before purchasing. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Your Location Needs

The first thing you’ll want to consider before purchasing your first home is where you’d like to live. Since many of us are working from home, the ability to buy a property in a different city from where you work is now more feasible. Many city dwellers have packed up their condos and made the move to the suburbs to purchase a bigger home at a more reasonable price. But does that mean you should move hours away from work? Real estate and financial experts are advising clients against moving too far from their office until they know for certain that their employers won’t be calling them back once the pandemic ends. So before you decide to move to a remote area of the province, make sure you are 100 percent sure that your work will remain remote for the long term.

The Right Property Type

Next, you’ll want to figure out exactly what you need in a house. You should focus particularly on your long-term needs. For instance, if you’re a growing family, you may want to buy something a little larger now so that you don’t have to move to a bigger home in the future. Questions you’ll want to ask yourself are: “Do I need three or four bedrooms to fit my family comfortably?”  or “Do I need a secondary suite to house my child when they return from college or maybe an aging parent?” On the other hand, if you’re single, you likely don’t need a single-family dwelling so soon. Rule of thumb – don’t buy for the life you live today, buy for the life you will live tomorrow. 

If You Can Afford a Home

Just because you have a five percent down payment saved, doesn’t necessarily mean you have enough money on hand to afford a home. To qualify for a mortgage, you’ll need to pass the stress test that factors in your income, debts, credit rating and the estimated mortgage amount, annual property taxes and heat. So before you start house shopping, it’s important to understand exactly how much you can afford based on your circumstances. A mortgage agent can help you determine your budget and all the costs you need to prepare for. They will factor in things like the mortgage payments, closing costs, mortgage default insurance, appraisal fees, and other amounts that you will need to consider as part of the home buying process. They’ll also look at your regular expenses such as child care to make sure you’re not stretching yourself too thin if a rate increase occurs a few years down the road. A mortgage agent can also arrange for a pre-approval for funding that will let sellers know you are serious and will also help speed up the entire process once you find a home you love. 

The Features You Need

Once you have chosen a location, know how much you can afford and the type of property you’d like to purchase, now it’s time for the fun part – choosing the features you want and can afford. Sure, we’d all love to have a newly finished kitchen with all of the latest appliances, a big backyard, and a bonus room to use as an office space, but properties can vary greatly and they might not come with all the features you desire at a price you can afford. So make a list of all the must-haves and what you can live without for the time being. Having a good idea of all the features you need versus want in a home will help make the entire home buying process easier once you start viewing homes. And it will also ensure you can make a quick decision and put in a solid offer before your competition does. 

What if you could have it all – a new, beautiful home that’s a short drive from the city and built with all the features you need and want? Well, you can with a Valecraft home. Valecraft Homes is known for developing charming communities with spacious, inviting homes. Choose from a selection of luxurious home designs suited to your lifestyle. Our communities have an incredible array of well-crafted condos, townhomes, bungalows and single-family homes in Ottawa. Reach out to one of our community managers for a personal tour of our signature home designs and all the options available for you.

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