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Advice for First Time Home Buyers

Written by Posted On Sunday, 22 May 2016 21:58




Buying your very first home is one of the most exciting times in your life. The only thing that is more exciting is probably your wedding or the births of your children. It is a big decision to buy a home and a major investment of time and resources to make it happen. The key point is, don’t let your excitement over finally being in a financial position to buy your own home get in the way of making the right choice. It might just be that the ‘dream house’ you think you are buying can be your worst nightmare. Here are some words for the wise.


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Do Your Own Homework

The first thing to keep in mind is that the real estate agent who has the listing or is representing you as a buyer will get paid a commission upon closing the sale. Of course most real estate agents are honest and ethical like the agents who have taken Edmonton real estate listings for the MLS, but some around the nation are not as diligent. Make certain that any key facts you are given are fair and accurate. If you are buying a previously owned home and not one in a new development, check records of all repairs and updates. Make certain everything is up to code and no illegal additions have been made. Adequate fire and homeowners’ insurance will depend on everything being in compliance. In fact, oversights are often a problem that is unintentional by well-meaning agents. As they say, two pairs of eyes are better than one!

Remember This Home Is in a Neighbourhood

The house you fall in love with may be absolutely perfect for you and one that you’ve dreamed of living in all your life. However, chances are that home is not on a remote island segregated from the rest of society. The home you are looking at is in a neighbourhood so it is just as important to research the neighbourhood as it is to check out the house. What are the schools like in the area, if you have children, and are there any known predators registered in the neighbourhood? Check recent police blotters and activity in the neighbourhood. Many new homeowners are shocked to learn that the nice young couple next door have the police on their doorstep 3 out of 4 nights for disturbing the peace.

Hidden Fees and Taxes

When you are quoted a purchase price along with any applicable closing costs and taxes, you may be surprised to learn of other ‘hidden’ fees and annual taxes that are higher than you expected to pay. Your loan for the mortgage covers your monthly payment but what happens if you are in a community that has a homeowner’s association fee attached to it or annual property taxes are at a much higher rate than you had anticipated? All these fees and taxes need to be calculated into your budget to see if that house at that price is feasible.


Buying your first home is exciting, to be sure, but beware of any unforeseen costs or unfavourable features in the neighbourhood. Even if you aren’t satisfied by what you are finding, that agent probably has dozens of other properties to show you. Be patient until the right one comes along. You’ll know it when you find it.





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