- Stick to Your Budget
It’s easy to get carried away here, as you want your realtor to give you room to negotiate. Of course you will like that more expensive home over the less expensive one. The important part is to have a plan. Don’t just think about your mortgage payments, also think about your monthly carrying costs (taxes, insurance, HOA), and be honest about your lifestyle. There’s nothing worse than being house poor because you weren’t honest about your spending habits.
- Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away
A house is an emotional purchase, since it’s where you’ll be living and making a home for yourself. But it’s crucial to keep emotions out of the equation as much as possible. You should love your house, but you should love it because it’s in good condition and because the numbers work. Always get a home inspection and if you can’t afford it (or the work it requires), walk away!
- Give Every House a Chance
Don’t judge a home based on it’s photos or virtual tour you see online. If you see something online and it has bad pictures (or no pictures) but it’s in the right neighbourhood or in your price range, go look at it! Chances are you can get a good deal because so many people will skip it without photos online. Also, many home buyers end up purchasing something that they didn’t think they would. You never know until you see it in person.
- Think Long-Term
Before you jump into a real estate purchase, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of this property for the next 5-10 years?” Depending on your mortgage, you may have to lock in for a certain number of years, and if you think you’ll be moving in less than 5 years, that home may or may not not hold or gain value.
- Have a Support System
Having a real estate agent who understands your financial and personal situation is key, and great advice from a mortgage specialist can be invaluable to the home buying process.