Buying your first home should be an exciting time in your life, it definitely was in mine, but it can also be scary and overwhelming as I learned… the hard way. TV shows make buying a house seem easy and enjoyable, but off camera there are a lot of things that happen that we don’t get a chance to see. From my experience, that stuff is probably the most important stuff to know. So here are ?? tips to make buying your first home WAY more enjoyable.
MISTAKE #1: Not CHOOSING Your Realtor
Our first mistake was not taking the time to choose the right realtor for us. We jumped online, looked at some houses and were contacted by the realtor attached to one or more of the listings. While she seemed nice at first, it only took a few houses for us to start feeling like she was pushing us to hurry up and buy despite her comments that she was there for us. None the less we found a house and put in an offer. What we didn’t realize is that one of the documents we signed tethered this realtor to us for a YEAR if the offer didn’t go through.
MISTAKE #2: Not UNDERSTANDING What You Sign
In all the excitement of putting in our first offer on a house that we were temporarily in love with, we signed documents, that even after reading them we still didn’t quite understand. Not to mention that the documents were sent to us via email. Had we known how to choose our realtor this second mistake could have been avoided.
HOW Do You AVOID These First 2 Mistakes? Shop around! Don’t feel obligated to stay with a realtor after looking at houses if they just don’t seem to have your best interest at heart. Thank them and contact another. You can try finding another one online or visit local Realtor offices in your area! Once you have found one you feel comfortable with and you are ready to put in an offer, have them explain IN PERSON the contracts and documents they want you to sign, and don’t allow them to force you into signing right away, take the time to read, make notes and ask lots of questions before you do.
MISTAKE #3: Not KNOWING What to Have Included in the Purchase Agreement
Alright, this mistake goes right back to having a great realtor on your side. When we bought our new build house, our realtor did let us know that we could possibly have our appliances added as part of the agreement, what she didn’t tell us is that we could also have landscaping include as well. When buying a new build house, usually the purchaser is responsible for completing the landscaping within a timely fashion of course, and for us, we had to put a landscaping deposit of $1000 in on the purchase price. (It is returned if we complete the landscaping within a year)
MISTAKE #4: Not REALIZING There are Underlying Costs
When we bought our house I was under the impression that there was the down payment, the loan from the bank and of course from that amount the realtor would get her pay. What I didn’t know is the added expenses (call it naivety if you like). There was the inspection, which we chose not to do because we were buying a new build house, and here in Alberta there are housing warranties that would cover us should anything go wrong. Then there was the landscaping deposit I mentioned earlier, the lawyer fees, and the land tax. That was almost another $5000 on top of the 5% down we had to have.
So in the end, the best advice I can give you is to do as much research about the entire process as you can, even the less exciting stuff like 10 page contracts!
Till the next one!