Buy Your First Home In Victoria
Your Guide To Buying Your Very First Home In Victoria
So, you think you’re ready to purchase your own home. It may be that you’re ready to start building some equity of your own, or need a place to call to meet the needs of your growing family. Either way, you’re about to embark on a new and exciting stage in your life, and we’re here to help you though it all!
But before buying a home, it’s important to understand that there are several responsibilities, fiscal and otherwise, that come with ownership. It’s true, you can finally get the dog you’ve always wanted or to paint the walls your color of choice, but you also have to be prepared for taxes, utilities, and the biggest responsibility: a mortgage.
It might sound like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. The Neal Estate Team, we have expert first-time buying agents who specialize in the unique needs of new homebuyers. They love explaining the process to people and are eager to help every step of the way, from helping you identify your needs to finding homes match your lifestyle and negotiating with the seller to handling all the paperwork. They’ll take care of it all so that you can relax and enjoy the journey.
Think you’re ready to start searching for homes? Browse the current listings now, or keep reading to learn more about the home buying process.
Starting Your Victoria Home Search
Connect With A First-Time Buying Specialist
When it comes to buying your first home, it’s easy to feel inundated with real estate acronyms, requests for documents, and unexpected costs. That’s why working with an experienced Victoria REALTOR® from The Neal Estate Team can be so valuable. They’ll explain the process, simply the jargon, and help make the transition from buyer to owner as simple and stress-free as possible.
Determine Your Wants & Needs
Before you start your home search, there are a few things you should ask yourself to help you determine what you’re looking for. While you may dream of a place with a private home theater, top-of-the-line kitchen and a spacious backyard, you may have to come to terms with the reality that it might not be in your budget.
A good place to start is to ask yourself how much space you need and how will you get around. Like most major cities, Victoria is a very walk- and transit-friendly place where you don’t necessarily need a car to get around. This kind of discussion will get you thinking about where you need to live in order to be close to amenities, transit stops, and walking paths.
You’ll also want to start thinking about what kind of property would best suit your lifestyle. If you’re an on-the-go young professional that’s all about the live-work-play balance, you may find that you aren’t spending much time at home, aside from to cook and sleep. If that’s the case, a spacious single-family home with a generous yard may not be a good fit for your lifestyle, considering that you’ll have to keep things like the lawn trimmed and the exterior maintained. A condo close to downtown might be more suitable to your lifestyle. Alternatively, if you love the idea of having our own garden and enjoy tinkering on things around the house, then a single-family home would be more up your alley.
Other things to consider are:
- Do you want or have pets? What are their needs?
- Do you have or plan on having children? Will you want schools nearby?
- Do you want to be close to walking trails, the ocean, or post-secondary schools?
- It’s usually recommended to think about what your life will look like 5 years from now and forecast your wants and needs during that time.
Get Your Financing In Order
Before you aggressively start looking for homes and bookmarking your searches, it’s important to find out exactly how much you can afford to borrow. This can be an emotionally charged process, and there’s nothing more upsetting than becoming attached to a property, only to find out it’s not within your means. Your Neal Estate Team agent can recommend a few trustworthy lenders in the area to help you get pre-approved as quickly and easily as possible. Then, they’ll work with you to find a home loan that best suits your lifestyle. You never want to be in a situation where all of your money every month is going to your mortgage payment, because you won’t have any money left vacations and leisure.
The first step to figuring out how much you can afford is to do a quick assessment of your debt-to-income ratio. Total your monthly income and monthly expense. Factor in car loans, student loans, credit cards into the mix. Your overall debt-to-income ratio shouldn’t exceed more than 40% of your monthly income, and your housing debt shouldn’t account for more than 32%.
Vancouver Island is known for its hot buying market, especially in recent years. Since homes are often receiving multiple offers and selling very quickly, it’s a good idea to have a letter of pre-approval on-hand to offer the seller when you plan an offer to show how serious you really are.
Now that you’ve got a list of your property must-haves, you can use our site to set up a custom search. Enter your search parameters into the search bar, expand the More Options tab, then click Update. After your search has been applied, select Save This Search to save your custom search for future visits. You can also set an email frequency to receive listings that match your search as they hit the market.
Place An Offer
When something catches your eye, let your REALTOR® know immediately. They’ll connect with the seller to arrange a home tour. If it’s love at first-sight, they’ll recommend a good offer that’s competitive yet fair to the seller. This is where having a good real estate agent in your corner is worth their weight in gold. They’ll negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible deal, bar none.
Set-Up A Home Inspection
Whether you’re buying a brand-new condo or a resale home, it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection. A professional inspector will check for mold, asbestos, critters, and shoddy workmanship. Even if things look good on the outside, they know how to tell if there’s been water damage and where, and roughly how many years the roof has left before it needs replacing. If there are a few things that need replacing, like a hot water tank or furnace, your agent can negotiate that into the terms and conditions of the sale.
Close On Your Purchase
If everything looks good and you’re happy with the contingencies, then it’s time to seal the deal. You’ll take one final walk through the house to ensure the seller has delivered on all of their promises, you’ll each sign the paperwork, and you’ll take legal procession of the home. The paperwork at this stage can be extensive, but fear not. Your Neal Estate Team specialist will organize everything you need to sign and quickly take care of all the paperwork.