The notion of purchasing your first house has been associated with a wide range of emotions, including excitement, apprehension, fear, joy, and just about every other emotion imaginable. At the very least, everyone who freely participates will have an overwhelming experience. Although the procedure is heightened for first-time purchasers, even seasoned investors have found it difficult at times. Every trade has so many moving aspects that you’re simply deceiving yourself if you’re not cautious.
As a result, even the most experienced real estate investors and homebuyers face difficulties on occasion. Mistakes will inevitably occur, but how you respond to them will determine the final outcome. Preventative techniques, on the other hand, can help you avoid making some blunders entirely. Fortunately, despite their lack of knowledge, first-time homeowners may still be proactive in their error reduction efforts. We created a list of frequent first-time homebuyer blunders, as well as the best strategies to avoid them. When purchasing your first house, be sure to avoid the following seven mistakes:
Making decisions out of emotions
There’s nothing stopping you from developing an emotional relationship to a property, but you’re breaking a cardinal rule if you allow that attachment to influence the terms of your acquisition. Any transaction you enter consciously should be based on one thing: the numbers. The figures should represent your budget as well as what you want to get out of the home. If you’ve done your homework, you should have a good idea of how much the property should sell for. Your connection should not enable you to pay more for a house than it is genuinely worth. At that point, you’re ensuring that you receive the short end of the stick.
The sooner you know there will be alternative properties available, the less likely you are to let your emotions guide your selections. It’s fine to fall in love with a property, but don’t allow your feelings get the best of you. To avoid being too involved, I recommend looking at numerous houses that you “love.” Your mind is more likely to reason with solid judgment if there are other residences in the equation.
Trying to find the perfect home on your own
The introduction of technology, particularly the Internet, has made finding a house much easier than it was previously. There are a number of websites whose sole aim is to assist you in locating the home of your dreams. Their existence, on the other hand, has aided and hampered those trying to acquire. Onlookers will be intimidated by the sheer number of properties available at the press of a button, which might lead to analysis paralysis.
Instead of undertaking an actual house search, I propose using these sites as a research tool. Use them to figure out what you’re searching for and what’s available in your region. When it comes to physically looking for a property rather than sifting through hundreds of dead-end ads, I recommend obtaining some assistance.
There’s always the chance that you’ll locate your dream house on your own, but I’m afraid it’s the exception rather than the rule. Instead, have your agent look for properties in your area. There’s a significant probability they’re aware of properties that aren’t currently on the market. They will, at the very least, eliminate residences that do not suit your requirements, saving you endless hours of looking.
If you’re thinking about buying give us a call and ask us about off-market exclusive listings.
Working exclusively with the listing agent
The seller’s best interests are represented by the listing agent. They are an important element of the house selling process, but they represent the person who is listing the property, as their name implies. Their sole objective is to sell the house at the price set by the owner. As a result, the greater the commission checks they receive, the more money the house sells for. They are, for all intents and purposes, attempting to sell the house for the greatest possible price; something that first-time purchasers are unlikely to appreciate. As a result, any first-time purchasers should avoid initiating any transactions through the listed agency.
Even if you have a favourite bank or a mortgage broker who comes highly recommended from a friend, it doesn’t imply they’re the ideal fit for your needs. Take the time to do your homework, obtain quotations from many lenders, and negotiate the conditions you desire. Consider other aspects as well, including as the lender’s prepayment penalties if you wish to refinance before your term is up.
Before you start looking for a property, you need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Especially in this market with the addition of the stress test which has made lending more stringent, it’s important to understand what you qualify for before starting you search. This will assist you in staying inside your budget when house seeking. It should be noted, however, that pre-approval does not ensure ultimate approval.
You have the right to deal with a buyer’s agent, fortunately. A buyer’s agent, unsurprisingly, represents the buyer. Their knowledge might easily save you more money on the sale than the expense of hiring them. Most buyer agency agreements contain the following items in addition to price negotiations:
- Protecting the financial information of their clients.
- Obtaining the greatest possible price for the customer through negotiation.
- They must reveal whether they are collaborating with another buyer for the same property.
- Display all of the properties that the buyer is interested in.
- Buyers are connected to various service providers such as inspectors, lenders, and others.
- Working with a buyer’s agent has a number of advantages, all of which are preferable to dealing with a seller’s agent on your own.
Assuming that rules are not applicable to you
Various people equate homeownership with many things, but first-time homeowners surely link it with freedom. This may be the first time they aren’t bound by the regulations established in a prior residence; or is it? Just because you’ve never owned a property before doesn’t mean you won’t have to follow the regulations. It’s completely likely that the house you’re looking at has deed limitations and conditions attached to it or that the Toronto condo you’ve been after has noise restrictions and a pet policy.
Deed limitations are specific to their community and might vary significantly. Their main goal is to maintain stability in their particular areas. Some are just there to ensure that the property’s value remains stable. They aren’t inherently a terrible thing; they are just something that must be considered. Deed limitations may sometimes obstruct prospective homeowners’ intentions, so it’s in their best interests to be aware of them before purchasing a home.
Failing to consider the cost of living after the home purchase
It takes a lot of effort to save enough money to put a down payment on a home. In today’s market, the exorbitant cost of rent have made it nearly impossible for anybody to make the shift from tenants to purchasers. The down payment, on the other hand, is only the beginning. Most first-time homeowners don’t save enough for what comes after the initial cost: life as a homeowner. There are fees associated with moving from a rented or parent’s house to your own home that may be ignored. The majority of first-time purchasers fail to account for the fees that arise after the closing.
It’s a good idea to set aside at least two to three months’ worth of mortgage payments. This is in addition to the funds required for additional closing expenses and looming property taxes. The costs of buying a house are many, and first-time buyers should be informed of all of them. It might be disastrous if you fail to account for these charges.
A down payment is a necessary component of the home-buying process. The minimum down payment necessary in Canada is 5%, with larger amounts required for residences costing more than $500,000. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to putting down more. For example, if you have the time to save 20%, you can avoid the expense of mortgage default insurance.
Even if you don’t meet the 20% down payment requirement, saving extra for a down payment will help you qualify for a bigger mortgage. This is particularly useful in the Canadian real estate market, where prices are quite high.
The higher your credit score, the lower your mortgage interest rates will be and the more probable you will be accepted. If your credit score is low but your credit record is clean, there are steps you may take to improve it before applying for a mortgage. There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score:
- Keeping track of bills and paying them on schedule.
- Getting rid of debt that already exists.
- Maintaining a low credit usage ratio (less than 35 percent is best).
- Mortgage lenders want to know that you’ll be able to repay your loan even if interest rates rise in the future.
They employ what’s known as a mortgage stress test to establish this.
This implies they use higher-than-market interest rates to determine how much you may borrow. In June 2021, the qualifying rate for the stress test was raised to 5.25 percent, or the rate given by your lender plus 2%. (Whichever is higher). Before applying for a mortgage, you may do a stress test on your own finances to have a clearer picture of where you stand. Also, read about the first time home buyer incentives.
Ignoring Pre-Approval Loans
Too many first-time homebuyers make the mistake of not being pre-approved. To that end, a letter of pre-approval from your bank can help you secure the home you want. For starters, it’s the most accurate approach to determine how much house you can really afford. Second, sellers in Toronto are more likely to accept bids from buyers who submit firm. Get a pre-approval letter from your bank at least three months ahead of time. You’ll be happy you did.
This procedure can take just a few days and basically indicates that the lender has reviewed your financial condition and is comfortable financing you a certain amount of money.
Having a desire for a home and being able to afford one are two very different things. So, how can you know whether you’re ready to make your first house purchase? And how much money do you have to spend on it? Examining your finances against the criteria used by mortgage lenders to determine if you qualify is one approach to address these issues. These are some of them:
- Ratios of debt service
- Amount required as a down payment
- Stress test for mortgages
However, keep in mind that a lender’s standards don’t tell the whole picture about how much you can pay. Closing fees, non-debt obligations, maintenance costs, general costs of living and future aspirations, such as establishing a family, should all be considered when deciding an acceptable monthly mortgage payment — and overall loan amount.
Excessive Private Mortgage Insurance
Lenders were aware of the recent recession and decided to hedge their chances. Mortgage restrictions were changed to prevent more individuals from defaulting on their loans. One of the new laws compels purchasers to pay private mortgage insurance if they are unable to put down at least 20% on a home. PMI is a type of private mortgage insurance that is added to monthly mortgage payments.
First-time homebuyers are less likely to be able to put down 20% on a property and, as a result, are more likely to pay PMI. However, not many individuals are aware that once they have paid off 20% of their mortgage, they should call their lender. The PMI will be phased out at that point. When you owe 78 percent on your loan, your lender will automatically cancel your PMI, but you don’t want to pay a month more than you have to.
Make sure that you don’t commit to any of these mistakes at the time of buying a new home. Then you can end up with getting the most out of your investment at the end of the day.