Buying a home is likely the most significant investment you will make in your life, and it can also be among the most intimidating and scary processes you go through as well. Going through the home buying process without proper preparations can make it even more stressful, and part of our job as realtors is to help guide you through the entire process, easing your stress, and making it a joyful and exciting event, specifically for first-time home buyers
Get Pre-Approved and Determine a Price Range
Before you get serious about buying a home, the first thing you should do is get pre-approved for your mortgage. Finding a home and falling in love with it, only to find out you aren't able to get approved for a mortgage to buy the home can be devastating. Once you're pre-approved you'll have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend based on your own personal budgeting, the down payment you have available, and what you are comfortable spending every month. It will help you avoid looking at houses that are out of your price range and avoid the devastation of wanting to buy a home that is outside of your price range.
One major benefit with getting pre-approved is that the lender will typically hold your interest rate for a number of months. It may take you a couple months to find that perfect home, and if a rate hike occurs during that process, and you haven't yet been pre-approved you might be stuck with a higher interest rate when you're ready to finally get your approval in place.
Pick a Realtor
Working with a reputable realtor will direct you through the home buying process answering questions, providing guidance, and giving you peace of mind throughout your home buying journey. You have a lot to think about when purchasing a home and your realtor is here to ensure none of the little details get missed. When writing an offer, your realtors advice will help you get the best deal you can during the negotiation, and also ensure you have all the necessary subjects, as well as any listing-specific subjects, to include your offer.
First-Time Home Buyers
If this isn't your first time buying a house then you're already familiar with the process, however, as a new home buyer, you don't have the experience viewing houses, negotiating price, and ensuring that you have considered everything in the home buying process. This can be especially frustrating and difficult for first timers, which is why it is imperative to work with a realtor who can help you through the process.
Find Your Neighbourhood
Choosing a neighbourhood to live is just as important as choosing the house you buy. When choosing a neighbourhood to live in consider what shopping is nearby, are schools or churches important? Consider what you do in a typical week and see what neighbourhood fits into your lifestyle best. If you have kids are you looking for an area that is kid-friendly and near parks?
While you are looking, make sure you drive through the neighbourhood during the day as well as the evening to get a good feel for the nighbourhood at all times of the day. To get more information about the different neighbourhoods throughout Kamloops, check out our neighbourhood videos.
For a good feel of the different neighbourhoods in Kamloops, check out our neighbourhoods section where we provide more information on each of the major Kamloops neighbourhoods, as well as listings and a summary video. Kamloops Neighboourhood Videos.
Exterior of the House
Sometimes when you're viewing houses, the exterior is overlooked. How close are you to your neighbours? Is the lawn well-kept? Is the siding and other exterior in good condition? How big is the yard? Often we get caught up in the inside of the house, and forget to judge it by it's exterior.
Build a List
You're likely to come up with a number of things that you want in your new home. One great tip is to keep a list! You can even start on your phone with a simple notes app and list all the features you want in your new home. While touring homes that you are considering, manage the list by adding new features and ideas you like so that you won't forget what's important to you when you find that one special home!
Don't forget about closing costs! Home inspections, insurance, legal fees, appraisal fees, title insurance, property transfer taxes, GST/PST and other costs will come up during your purchase - consult your realtor about what costs apply to you and help you estimate what those costs can be, and as a first time home buyer, what fees you can be exempted from.
If you are considering selling your home, it is imperative that you work with an experienced realtor who has a proven track record of selling homes. Matt and Chris Town are both Royal LePage Director's Platinum Award recipients, an award given to the top 5% of Royal LePage Realtors® within the interior of British Columbia. Call either Matt or Chris Town today to learn more about selling your home!