When the time comes that you get to say you are a first-time homeowner, you will experience feelings of pride and joy – and rightfully so! Owning a home is no small feat; you have to jump through plenty of hoops to get there, not to mention saving money for your down payment. Working with a Calgary REALTOR® or an Edmonton REALTOR® who has your best interest at heart will be essential to a good home-buying experience. We have gathered some of our best suggestions to help you get ready to buy your very first home!
Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin looking.
Before you even think about looking at real estate in Calgary or real estate in Edmonton, you need to apply for a mortgage pre-approval; once you know what you can afford, you’re able to narrow down your search. Another reason this should always be your first step is that once you’ve got your pre-approval, you can move quickly on a home you love. The market moves fast, especially if you’re looking for a home during a seller’s market. When you have your pre-approval and find the right house, you can make an offer immediately. You can use an online mortgage calculator to get a general idea of what you can afford, but the bank will always have the final say in your approval.
Find a REALTOR® you trust and feel comfortable with.
An excellent buying agent will act something like a tour guide. They are experts in the market and will share unique, important facts about the house and community you are interested in. You and your real estate professional must have a good relationship so you can go through the buying process with ease and transparency. You should always feel comfortable asking them questions, especially if this is your first time buying a home. You will need clarity on many things, and it is your REALTORS® job to be patient with you throughout the process. The great thing about buying is that there are no fees to pay your Calgary or Edmonton REALTOR®, as the buying agent splits the commission with the seller’s agent, meaning that the seller pays the commission. Ensure your REALTOR® is the right fit for you; here is an article we wrote about finding the right pick.
Be ready to make an offer and be prepared to negotiate.
If you are at the point where you’re ready to make an offer, congratulations! That is a very exciting moment, but keep in mind that you still have a way to go! Your Calgary real estate agent is fluent in offers and negotiations, meaning they will be ready to go to bat for you. They will guide you through the process, but here is a brief look at what to expect:
- Your REALTOR® will conduct a market analysis and compare other Calgary real estate listings or Edmonton real estate listings to determine the home’s market value.
- Your REALTOR® will prepare an offer, and you will review it together to clarify what you are signing and agreeing to.
- Your REALTOR® will present your offer to the seller and negotiate on your behalf.
Again, this is brief, but hopefully, you get the idea. What we have found during offers and negotiations is that most sellers love their house; selling a home is often an emotionally taxing process, and most people have a lot of memories in their home. Writing a letter to the seller about why you love their home, what made your heart flutter when you walked into it for the first time, how your family will make memories in it, etc., will go a long way for someone who has poured love and care into that space.
Be ready for the expected and the unexpected.
Buying your first home will be an overwhelming, stressful, and exhilarating experience. Your attention will be demanded frequently throughout, meaning that you should know what to expect (and what not to expect). Talk to your REALTOR® at the beginning and have them prepare you for the process. A few things you’ll need to get in order first, which your real estate agent will fill you in on: being approved for a mortgage, having your down payment ready, and finding a real estate lawyer. Talk to your REALTOR® about unexpected costs that can occur so that you aren’t blindsided when they come up. Remember that your REALTOR® works for you; it’s okay to hit the breaks if you feel swamped or lack clarity. Buy at a pace comfortable for you.
Look into the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive assists first-time homebuyers in reducing their monthly mortgage payments without adding to their financial responsibilities. This incentive is a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada, which offers:
- 5% or 10% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a newly constructed home
- 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a resale (existing) home
- 5% for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a new or resale mobile/manufactured home
You can get more information on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive here!
Realty Unleashed will help you buy your first home!
Our objective since we opened in 2018 has always been to earn our clients’ business every step of the way. The truth is that you are the one buying the home, not us. The right time to buy is, first and foremost, when you are ready. Your real estate professional should never make you feel rushed or confused. If you are looking for a REALTOR® in Edmonton or Calgary who will guide you through the home-buying process with grace and patience, we’d love to hear from you! Please fill out the contact form below, and someone from our team will get back to you in no time.