Are You Ready To Be a First Time Home Buyer?
Your dream may be to own your own home in Penticton or the South Okanagan region, but in order for your home purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be; you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with being a first time home buyer. Some people have an idea that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have pets and paint the walls whatever colour you like. While these privileges are available to homeowners in most municipalities, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take a hard look at your finances AND your expectations.
4 Questions for Prospective First Time Homeowners
1) Are you ready to purchase your first home?
Owning your own home is about more than just being able to decorate it the way you like; it’s about preparing yourself to maintain your home for many years. Your time and income will go towards home repairs and maintenance. It’s about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
2) How much can you afford?
It can be disheartening to find that you don’t earn enough to purchase the home you truly desire. However, giving up a large part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership no longer fun. It’s better to stick within your budget and look at purchasing your “dream home” in a few years. I will be there to support you in your first Penticton home purchase, and all the ones that follow!
3) What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that mortgage lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live. In less popular areas for example, it can buy a very comfortable residence. In highly sought-after urban areas however, it may not even buy a 1,000 square foot suite in a stylish downtown apartment building.
4) What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you cringe at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? I ask these questions so that I can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you and your circumstances.
I Can Help First Time Home Buyers
Keep your objectives in mind when viewing a property. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you both need and would “like” in your new home, and judge each property by that list, instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. I can help you stay on track while still looking for a great property that meets your criteria.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. I can recommend several lawyers in the region who might be a good fit for you. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be complicated, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles.
Make the offer. This can be like navigating a maze. Their will be terms such as “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, “conditions” and “completion”. As your REALTOR® I am happy to prepare the paperwork and review it with you before submitting the offer. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so we need to stay patient. If your offer is accepted, you will then have to provide deposit funds at this point in time.
We then complete and remove all the conditions. A qualified home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They’ll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that I would be happy to recommend.
As a trusted REALTOR® in the South Okanagan, I will first meet with you to determine your housing requirements. I will then guide you through the complicated process of buying a home until I have the pleasure of transferring the keys to you on your new home possession date! Don’t hesitate to contact me to find out how I can make the Penticton and South Okanagan home buying process easier!