So you’re all excited and you’re starting your search for that first dream home. Before you embark on the home buyer’s wheel and discover all the stress that can build up in that query take a deep breath and consider these useful tips:

DownpaymentDown-payment~You most likely have accumulated a good down payment as you are smart and educated and you’ve probably Googled to find out all the information on home buying. What Google cannot do for you though is negotiate the right price for you. Your Realtor – Dale Dyer – will do that for you. You should aim for a 20% down payment even though you might not use it all. You can also use up to $25,000 of your RRSP for the down payment of your home if you are a first time buyer.

Pre-Approval~You should find out from the banks or an independent Mortgage Broker – like Dale Dyer, what you would be approved for. This will make it easier when negotiation time comes and will give you the edge over other buyers as the sellers will know that you are serious about the purchase. You should also know that the banks don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart and some of the Mortgage rules out there are down right scary. Know your payment options and amortization time that will benefit you. Because you get approved for a $400,000 mortgage does not mean that it is in your best interest. Start with a comfortable mortgage which allows you some room for a lifestyle that you will be able to budget for and live with. You don’t want to be married to your house. You just want to live there. Build your equity with time. Having a long-term goal can be very challenging for young people but the rewards are palpable. As your financial stability increases you can go on to increase your Real Estate assets. Your ultimate goal should be to have a mortgage payment that you can live with but also be able to pay it off in the long run and be able to make extra payments along the way. Being Mortgage free brings you freedom.

baby-costsUnexpected Costs~Take time to think of unplanned incidentals that could throw a wrench in your planning. Things such as loss of employment, a new baby-they might be little but they cost plenty, a car accident or even a fire which could set you back financially.

Make your List~Before going out to look at homes you should also decide the difference between your needs and your wants. Build a list that can also be compromised so you don’t get in over your head. Go for solid structure and don’t worry about the paint colour. It can be changed.

Closing Costs
~ Save some money for the closing costs as these can add up between 1.5 and 3.5% of the total home cost.  You might also be expected to pay for home inspection, land transfer tax, property tax transfer, appraisal fee, title insurance, interest adjustment, property and fire insurance and legal fees.

second-hand-furnitureOther Costs~Don’t forget to add in moving costs if you need to rent a truck or moving cross-country. You might need to buy appliances right off the bat if these were not negotiated in the contract and then you might just need paint. What about furniture? You don’t need to go crazy with new stuff. Check second-hand stores and online sales. Someone’s extra could be your new couch and coffee table at a fraction of the price. Don’t forget the free stuff column. I gave away a love seat that was almost new but took too much room in my house. Garage sales are also great for some of these extras like garden tools, garbage pails, lamps, desk, bed frames, cooking ware and dishes.

Stop Looking~Last but not least, once you find that home and you have given your down payment stop looking. Concentrate on how you can make your house a home sweet home.