Buying your first home comes with so many mixed emotions but buying during a pandemic can add a layer of uncertainty that you didn’t anticipate. With the right financial advice, getting into the real estate market doesn’t need to be unnerving. Some preparation and guidance and your dream of being a homeowner can become a reality.
Assess your finances to ensure you’re prepared financially.
Before you start doing virtual tours of houses, understand how much you can afford. Review your lifestyle and other financial obligations that will affect the size of your mortgage (loans, vehicle payments, etc.). Looking at the broader picture is important as well: how much do you have for a down payment; how will a new home impact your cash flow; do you have money set aside for emergencies. Using our Mortgage Affordability Calculator will help determine a potential starting point.
Align your budget & stick to it (the best you can).
A common mistake first time buyers make is accepting the pre-approved mortgage amount as their budget. Just because you’re approved for an amount doesn’t mean you have to spend that. Remember you want to enjoy your home, which is why setting a budget independent from your pre-approval is important.
Plan for hidden costs.
There is a lot more than just the down payment and mortgage. You need to plan for closing costs, upfront fees like property inspections and mortgage default insurance, and miscellaneous expenses such as utility bills, property taxes, and insurance.
Research first time home buyer incentive programs.
You want to ensure your money goes as far as possible. Invest some time in researching programs that are available for first time homebuyers to assist with some costs. After all, it’s better in your pocket then theirs. With the right information and support from a trusted Advisor buying your first home during uncertain times can be made easier. Contact an Advisor today.