Finally becoming a homeowner can be a fascinating process. You’re getting one step closer to achieving the ultimate dream and having a place to call your own. However, since you’ll be purchasing a big-ticket item, it’s essential to make sure you have everything you need to enjoy a successful transaction.
It is crucial to be prepared for the homebuying process, especially if it’s your first time, to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. As one of the best real estate agents in Toronto, I can walk you through what you need to know about buying your first home. Here are five tips to help you out:
Check If You Qualify as a First-Time Homebuyer
If you’ve never bought a home before, you immediately qualify for first-time homebuyer discounts and benefits. However, although the definition of a first-time homebuyer seems simple enough, it takes on a broader definition in some contexts. For instance, homebuyers who do not have enough of a down payment may qualify for down payment assistance through special loan programs and grants even though it isn’t their first time purchasing a home. However, if you’ve owned a home within the last three years, you do not qualify for these programs.
Review Your Finances
The next step is to check your credit reports and score to determine your creditworthiness, affecting the kind of mortgages for which you qualify. You’ll also want to review your budget and assess your ability to make a substantial down payment and cover the closing costs of buying a home.
Another factor that decides whether you are in a good position to buy a home is your debt-to-income ratio. Ideally, how much you spend for your first property, such as the mortgage payment, homeowners’ insurance, and property taxes, takes up 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
Choose Which Mortgage to Get
There are different kinds of mortgages you can choose to fund your first home. A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that never changes, allowing you to predict your monthly payments for the entire duration of the loan. An adjustable-rate mortgage usually begins with a lower rate for a time, like five or seven years, then goes up or down at a specific interval. If the rate increases, so does your monthly payment.
Gather Mortgage Quotes
It’s best not to go with the first mortgage quote you see but to gather from multiple lenders. That way, you can compare them and find the one that suits your budget best. Mortgage rates change frequently and often vary from lender to lender, which is why you’ll have the best shot at getting the most advantageous loan by shopping around. The goal is to pay the lowest interest rate, which means lower monthly payments throughout the loan’s term.
Hire a Local Real Estate Agent
Lastly, be sure to find an experienced local real estate agent to help you in your search for your dream home. Finding the right one can facilitate the homebuying process and make it much easier since they’re familiar with the local housing market and supply you with valuable insights about the neighborhoods. They can answer all your questions and match your needs and preferences with the most suitable home possible.
The great news is that I am fully qualified to help you meet your housing needs and can negotiate on your behalf to secure the best possible purchase price, ensuring you save as much money as you can on your first home.
Buying your first home brings you one step closer to financial security, making it an exciting milestone to celebrate. To make sure you’re prepared for the process, follow these tips, and you’ll have what you need to start looking for your first home!
If you’re ready to look for your new home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the best real estate agent in Toronto at Sold With Presta! We specialize in residential and commercial real estate, providing excellent service and a hassle-free experience for those searching for properties in the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us today to get started!