Buying your first home on the West Coast is a great goal, but in order for the 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 it.
It is important to keep in mind that home ownership comes with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
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Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own home is about more than just the fun stuff like being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It's better to buy a modest home now and look at purchasing your dream home in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that 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.
What do you want?
Do you like the idea of cleaning your own gutters? Do you shudder at the thought of lawn care? Would you rather just pay a fee every month and have everything done for you? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where everything is 'just so'? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
You need a good real estate agent who will work hard for you. Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
When you hire us to help you buy your first home, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a home on the west coast (Tofino or Ucluelet) that you'll enjoy owning.
Get pre-approved for a Mortgage by enlisting a Mortgage Broker. Mortgage pre-approval can be a very valuable step towards purchasing a home. Many home buyers get pre-qualified for a home loan early on, and then become pre-approved before beginning a serious home search. Enlisting a Mortgage Broker can not only find you mortgages offered by the big banks but can also find you mortgages that the banks don’t offer. By completing your mortgage application prior to choosing a home, you can get a pre-approval letter stating how much home you can afford. Our Buyer Agents can recommended several Mortgage Brokers and then we suggest picking a few to interview to find the right fit.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. 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 need and want in a home and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your real estate agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good Notary Public or Lawyer. We can make several recommendations for either a Notorary Public or Lawyer. We suggest picking 2 and interview Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a notary/lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". We'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to prove the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A 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 we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walk-through before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home on the West Coast in Tofino, Ucluelet, Salmon Beach or any of the neighbouring Islands. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.