This is going to be huge.  The purchase of a home is going to take up a lot of your time, effort, and money.  This is something that doesn’t just stop after you sign the paperwork and move in.  It continues for tens of years while we work to pay off one of the biggest investments of your life.  Before you throw down the down payment that you’ve worked so hard for or enter a bidding war, let’s take a look at 8 things newbies to the real estate market should know before taking off their training wheels.

  1. Be An Expert At Working Your Livable Budget
    Get an app, use an excel spreadsheet, or use a plain pad of paper and pen, it doesn’t really matter how, but make it happen.  By living on a budget before you buy you’ll have the best possible idea on what you can live on without feeling deprived because of your home purchase.  Make sure your budget includes an emergency fund for when something pops up (if you don’t need that money when it reaches a certain point the excess can be used for a vacation fund or to make a balloon payment on your home).
  1. Be Able To Judge A Book By More Than Its Cover
    Odds are, unless you have a never-ending supply of money, you need to visualize what some paint, new fixtures, or simple renovations can do to transform a place. By doing so, this will create more housing opportunities for you.
  1. Be Patient
    Don’t rush it.  By deciding to go for something your gut is telling you to hold off on because you’re sick of looking you may make a purchase that you’ll live to regret for years to come.
  1. Get A Pre-Approval On Your Mortgage
    Simply using an online mortgage qualifying calculator is not the same thing as getting a pre-approved loan.  You may be unaware of mistakes or red flags on your credit report which could impact your chances of getting approved.  Get it done now, before Barbie’s Dream Home is on the line! Talk to a licensed mortgage agent today.
  1. Learn How to Delegate & Outsource
    Odds are you didn’t get your real estate license last year and that you’re not a home inspector as your side hustle – entrust that to an expert who you trust.  Same goes for your mortgage broker or anyone who might be completing repairs outside of your regular scope.
  1. Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run
    Yes, these are the lyrics to the song “The Gambler”, but it also applies to home ownership.  Don’t get carried away in the moment and throw your budget aside during the heat of making an offer or in the middle of a bidding war.  Sometimes it’s not meant to be, and that’s disappointing, but okay.
  1. Understand Your Must Haves & Nice To Haves
    If you work long hours and a short commute is a must for you, don’t compromise on that.  A window seat might be something you can compromise on, and save up for a renovation towards later.  Don’t ignore something that’s important to keeping you happy in your new home, particularly if it’s going to impact your lifestyle on a daily or even weekly basis.
  1. Know The Neighbourhood
    You may love an area on a Saturday night when you’re at your favourite restaurant with friends, but check it out at a variety of times to make sure it really works for you in terms of safety and convenience.  Check it’s walkability score, transit, and local grocer to make sure it fits you like Cinderella’s glass slipper.