Are You A First-Time Homebuyer?


First-Time Homebuyer Video Resources

First-Time Home Buyer Advice
You can’t know everything there is to know about buying a home, especially when you’re a first-time homebuyer.
Why do people say you need 20% down?
Average down payments are well under 20 percent. So why do so many people say 20 percent down is the minimum.
How to choose a mortgage lender as a first time home buyer
One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make is not shopping around for a mortgage.
What qualifies you as a first-time buyer?
If you’re buying your first-ever home, you’re a “first-time homebuyer” by default.
Do I need a home inspection?
Some loan types, like the FHA and VA mortgage programs, require a home inspection to make sure the home meets requirements for safety and affordability.

If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Ottawa, ON.

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer applies for a mortgage and receives a written commitment from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal, and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) that are unnecessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
  1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
  2. A list or file of the properties your agent has shown you.
  3. Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
  4. A camera to snap pictures of homes you have toured to help you remember your favourites and features you liked.
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
  • Be Objective: Think with your heart when you find a home instead of thinking with your head. Does this home meet your needs? Many houses are on the market, so don't make a hurried decision you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
  1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
  2. Has a professional inspector inspected the property?
  3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
  4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale has been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem somewhat overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

If you have questions or are ready to begin the first-time home buying process, just complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly!

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