7 Tips to Help You Get Started Buying Your First Home in Calgary
Are you planning on purchasing your very first home or condominium ever in Calgary, Alberta? If so, this is a very exciting time to say the least, although its likely you may have several questions about the first time home buying process.
Here are seven simple first time buyer tips that will help you get started down the right road towards home ownership.
Tip #1 – Don’t buy unless you can commit to staying
If you can’t commit to staying in Calgary for at least a few years, then maybe it’s not the right time to buy your first home or condo in the city. The same goes for community; if you think that a beltline location will only be good for the near-future interim, then it may not be the best place to buy.
The costs of buying and then selling soon afterwards can add up quickly due to a number of reasons, one of them being stringent mortgage requirements (which are changing all the time) in addition to sometimes unforeseen factors.
Before you make the big decision to buy, make sure you have given some serious thought to your financial and future plans and that you can commit to staying for at least two to five years.
- Also see Why Owning a Home is Better than Renting to begin with.
Tip #2 – Get pre-approved for a mortgage
It’s important to get a mortgage pre-approval before buying your first home so you are not only aware of what price range and property type you can purchase, but also what you are comfortable with spending and even how any applicable government programs can help you.
For example, the Canadian Government helps first-time buyers out through the RRSP Home Buyers Plan.
Other benefits of having a mortgage pre-approval include giving a seller confidence when you make an offer and strengthening your negotiating position with an idea as to how much leadway you have.
You will also benefit by being fully informed of your financial situation, be comfortable with your payments and know what you will need for a down payment.
- Also see these 8 Mistakes to Avoid as a First-Time Home Buyer
Tip #3 – More than just your mortgage payments
The cost of owning a home or condo month-to-month is more than just your mortgage payments. There are other expenses to consider and factor into your budget like insurance, property taxes, utilities, maintenance and / or condo fees to name a few.
You will also want to consider amenities and lifestyle choices such as television, internet, home phone and possibly a home alarm system to name a few more.
The list really is endless; try to write down what you think you would pay for all these on top of your mortgage and determine if you make enough money to go ahead with the purchase in the first place!
Tip #4 – Don’t do it all alone
You could browse the internet and wait for open houses to see them. You could also do as much research as you could about buying a home and try to do it all on your own.
But are either of these really convenient or efficient in any way? Nope, especially considering that REALTORS® are typically paid by commission from the sellers’ home!
It’s highly recommended that you use a professional real estate agent / REALTOR® to help you in your first-time property search, someone who can take care of all the little details for you and go the extra mile.
Don’t sell yourself short and get an expert opinion from an agent who will make sure to guide you every step of the way while also making the process relatively, if not entirely stress free! This will save you time and hassle!
Tip #5 – Get a home inspector / condo review service
It’s absolutely critical you have a professional home inspection and / or condominium document review when buying your first home because you’ll gain peace of mind knowing you are purchasing a good property and didn’t miss something costly to repair or fix.
This can save you a huge headache and financial cost down the road of home / condo ownership. Learn more about these essential services, of which your REALTOR® should be able to refer you to if necessary below:
Tip #6 – Be very patient
Buying your first home will be exciting to say the least, not to mention being one of the most memorable and largest purchases you may ever make in your lifetime.
With that said, the key to avoiding regretting anything or getting a case of “buyers remorse” is to be 100 percent happy and completely comfortable with your decisions every step of the way.
Part of this is acquiring a real estate agent and REALTOR® who will go the extra mile to help you along the way. Another is being patient and waiting for the right home, the right time and the right price.
If you are unsure of something simply take some time, don’t rush, and don’t let anyone push you around or pressure you.
Sleep on your decision or take some extra time to think. This will let you relax, evaluate every option and make the best decision for yourself and family!
More First Time Buyers Tips
- See our complete list of Calgary First Time Buyers blog tips today
Questions about Buying Your First Home in Calgary?
As a highly-experienced REMAX real estate agent and REALTOR® in Calgary, I have helped countless first-time home buyers realize their real estate goals since I became an agent almost 15 years ago and would love the opportunity to help you accomplish yours!
Call anytime at 403-370-4180 or message below for a quick, if not immediate response. I am looking forward to connecting with you and discussing your first-time home buyer plans in Calgary!