Tips for First Time Homebuyers

First time home buyersOne of life’s biggest purchases is a house. And if you’re a first time home buyer, you’ve got some things to think about before you invest lots of time, money and energy into finding and buying a new place.

First, consider the general location where you’d like to be. It should be a place where you’d feel comfortable, safe, and near things you need most, like grocery stores, schools, churches, and gas stations. Take a physical map, put it on the table, and draw a circle around areas you’d most like to explore as places to call home. If possible, try and pick places close to where you may be working or spending the majority of your time on a daily basis.

Next, figure out your budget so you can “live within your means” rather than constantly worrying about making huge payments on a house that you’re not financially ready for. Consider the principal payment, interest, taxes and insurance, as well as the monthly/yearly cost of utilities like electricity and heating/cooling systems. Also realize that you may need to update some fixtures or appliances in the home, so budget for those, too. Generally, you’ll want to be able to put a down payment on a house that’s 20 percent of its sale price. Consulting with a mortgage lender and getting your credit score in good shape are two other smart ideas for first time home buyers.

Finally, ask yourself, “Is this a starter house for me, for a couple years, or do I plan to live here for many decades?” That one question will really help determine the first house you buy. Coupled with that question is the idea of whether or not you may be adding family members in the near future– do you need an extra bedroom or two for a child or elderly relative? Plan ahead, “just in case.”

If you’re able to make a short list of “must haves,” such as a garage or a fireplace, you can inform your real estate agent of this list so he or she doesn’t waste your time with houses that don’t fit the bill.

First time home buyers looking for a place in or around Edmonton are welcome to call Alexis Hlady at 780-483-4848 or send her an email at As a real estate agent, Hlady can help you make a wise choice when it comes to buying your first house in Edmonton, Alberta!

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