There’s a lot that goes into the process of buying a home, including determining where you want to buy, finding an agent, viewing properties, and finally, making an offer. But what many people don’t consider are all the things that need to be done before you even begin looking at properties. The home-buying process can be stressful, so taking the time to research and fully understand everything that goes into buying a home is vital to making sure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.
We’ve broken down a few things that you should do before buying a home to help you get started on the right foot and make finding your dream home a stress-free experience!
Buying a Home: Know Your Budget
Before you even begin looking at potential properties, the very first thing you should do is establish your budget. Understanding exactly how much you can afford is incredibly important, as it will keep you from looking at (and potentially falling in love) a property that is outside of your budget. After deciding you’re ready to buy a home, sit down and look at your finances to determine how much you’ll be able to afford for a mortgage. Don’t forget to factor in other expenses that come with owning a home, such as insurance and utilities.
Another important step to take before beginning your home-hunting journey is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval informs you of how much a mortgage lender is willing to lend you. This number is based on a number of different factors, including:
- Credit Rating
Your lender will also be able to guarantee the current interest rate for up to 120 days, which allows you to house hunt without worrying about any interest rate increases. Getting pre-approved before beginning your house hunt will not only help you stay within your budget but will also help show real estate agents that you are serious about buying a home.
Choose An Agent
Once you’ve established your budget and have been pre-approved, your next step is to find a great real estate agent to work with. Buying a home is a huge investment and is likely one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime, so working with a knowledgeable agent will help take some of the stress out of the process. The right agent is going to be professional, knowledgeable, and responsive, and will do their best to find you the right home for the best price.
Determine Where You Want To Buy
You might have given a lot of thought to the kind of home you want to buy, whether that be a condo, townhouse, or single-family home, but taking location into consideration is also important. If you’re familiar with the area that you’re buying in, consider the different neighbourhoods and try to find one that is going to suit you and your needs best. Some people may want to prioritize things like green space and activities, while others might be focused on proximity to work, to avoid long commute times. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, ask your real estate agent for their thoughts. They are the area experts, and will be able to give you the ins and outs of the neighbourhoods you’re interested in so you can find the one that’s right for you.
Start Home Hunting
After taking the necessary steps to prepare for the home-buying process, it’s time to begin searching for your perfect home! Spend some time looking through current listings in your preferred areas, and set up some showings with your real estate agent to view the properties in person. Photos and 3D tours can give you a good idea of the space and how a property is laid out, but actually walking through the space will allow you to see how you, your family, and your belongings would fit in the space. Remember that finding the perfect home can take some time, so patience is key in the home-buying process!
Whether you’re searching for your first home or are looking to move up or downsize, taking the necessary steps to prepare for the entire buying process will help ensure you are taken seriously as a buyer and can find the perfect home!