In case you missed the previous steps in my How To Buy Your First Home series:
Read on, and if you have any questions, let’s grab a coffee (or iced tea if you’re like me and don’t drink coffee) and we can gab about the process of buying your first home.
Step 6: Let the House Hunting Begin
Now that you have your finances in order, have been pre-approved for your mortgage, have calculated the costs of buying your new home, have the necessary money saved, and have picked your real estate agent, the fun starts! Let the house hunting begin!
But before you starting house hunting, you need to have a rough idea of what you’re hunting for.
That’s where a real estate agent can help.
Decide where and what you want to buy
I like to meet with my buyer clients to chat about what they envision for their dream home – what they need, what they definitely don’t want, and what they would like to have in their new home. This usually takes place in a casual environment like a coffee shop and involves me soaking up all the info you share about your ideal home. I will take copious notes, I warn you.
Here are some of the questions I will ask you when we meet:
- What type of property would you like to own? Do you like the low maintenance aspect of a condo? Are you handy and would prefer to do your own maintenance?
- Where would you like to live? What neighbourhoods do you like? How far would this be from where you work?
- How big of a home do you need/want? How many bedrooms, washrooms, parking spaces, does the basement need to be finished? How important is lot size to you?
- Do you want a home that you can put your own touch on through cosmetic upgrades or renovations, or do you want a move-in ready home? If you want move-in ready, what would a home have to have for you to consider it move-in ready?
- Is proximity to schools, parks, church, public transportation, your work of importance to you?
- When would you ideally like to be living in your new home?
- Do you entertain a lot or have a big family that your new home would need to be able to accommodate?
Describe your lifestyle. Do you travel a lot? Work long hours? Need an impressive kitchen because you love cooking?
See what’s out there
Now that I have a good idea of what you are looking for in your new home, I will search the market to see what is available that meets your criteria. Then we’ll go see these homes.
While you may have been creeping realtor.ca daily for the past year, it’s an entirely different experience to actually get out and walk through some homes.
I will book the showings, usually 6 properties maximum per outing, and after each home we see I will ask you for your thoughts. What did you like, what didn’t you like, what would you rate that home out of 10 and why? This helps me to gain a better understanding of what you’re really looking for.
How many homes does an average buyer see before they buy one?
Every buyer is different. One buyer may look at five houses and buy the fifth one. Another buyer may look at 35 homes and then end up going back and buying the 15th home they saw. I don’t put a limit on how many properties I will show a client and first time home buyers often need a little more time to sort through properties and see what they really like. However, if we are seeing 50-60 homes together I will be re-addressing your wants and needs with you to make sure we are on the same page. I don’t want to be wasting your time showing you homes that no longer fit your criteria.
When you find “The One”
Once you find the home that you want to submit an offer on, I will do some research to determine what the market value is for that home and provide advice on what I think you should offer to purchase that home for. I will let you know what comparable homes have recently sold for in the neighbourhood which will help you in making your decision on price.
Depending on the situation, there are different strategies that can be used for your initial offer price. I take all the factors into consideration, such as how long the house has been on the market, whether there are multiple offers, whether the house is under-priced or over-priced, etc. Once we have all the information we can decide how you want to proceed with an offer.
Up next - Step 7: Make an Offer
Do you have questions about the home buying process? That's what I'm here for! Drop me an e-mail or give me a call and I'd be happy to help.