First Time Home Buyer Tips

So you’re thinking of buying your first home in beautiful Chilliwack! Here are some First Time Home Buyer Tips and information to help you get started. And remember, there are no stupid questions when buying a home. Please feel free to ask as many questions as possible!

First Time Home Buyer Tips:

  1. Pay Off All Debts and Build an Emergency Fund
  2. Determine How Much House You Can Afford
  3. Save for a Down Payment
  4. Save for your Closing Costs
  5. Get Pre-approved for mortgage
  6. Find a Home for Sale in Your Approval Price Range
  7. Research Neighborhoods that best fit your needs
  8. Attend Open Houses and Think Long Term
  9. Make a Competitive Offer (That’s Within Your Budget!)
  10. Prepare for Move In

If you are a First Time Home Buyer, focus on these key tips:

1) Pay Off All Debts and Build an Emergency Fund

Owning a house is expensive—much more expensive than renting. Even if your monthly house payment is estimated to be similar or less than your current rent amount. Furthermore, when you own your own home, you will have additional costs for maintenance and repair costs. All these extra costs can add up very fast! I conclusion, before you think about buying your first home, make sure you have very minimal monthly debts and have saved up an emergency fund of 2-5 months.

2) Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Before you get emotionally invested in your new home, it is important to have a budget first. You can get quick estimated monthly mortgage payments here : Mortgage Calculator. This is a quick easy way to find a budget in your ballpark. But of course keep in mind that property taxes and insurance will also greatly affect your monthly mortgage payment. It is important to keep all these factors in mind before settling on a maximum home purchase price.

3) Save for a Down Payment

Pay off your credit card debt first. It is really hard to save money if you are paying a lot of interest to someone else. If you try to apply for a mortgage with too much consumer debt, you most likely won’t qualify. When you get a raise at work, take that extra money and save it in a separate savings account. Look for cheaper ways to do things, in fact this is how smart people save a lot of money. Do you eat out a lot at restaurants? If so, try eating out less or look for cheaper places in the area to eat that you still like.

Down Payment Rules

Purchase price of your home Minimum amount of down payment
$500,000 or less
  • 5% of the purchase price
$500,000 to $999,999
  • 5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price
  • 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500,000
$1 million or more
  • 20% of the purchase price

Additionally, you can find more Down Payment Rules here : Down Payment Rules

4) Save for your Closing Costs

Many first time buyers underestimate how much money they will need for closing costs. With this in mind, you’ll want to budget between 3% and 4% of the purchase price of a resale home to cover closing costs. So, on a home that costs $200,000, your closing costs could run anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000.

Some Examples Of Home Buying Closing Costs are:

  • Property Transfer Tax
  • Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Property Tax
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Survey Fee
  • Mortgage Application Fee
  • Legal Fees
  • Fire & Liability Insurance
  • Mortgage Default Insurance
  • Moving Expenses

5) Get Pre-approved for mortgage

This is one of the most important First Time Home Buyer Tips! Get pre-qualified for a mortgage and take this time to get a pre-approval letter before you begin your home search. Pre-approval letters shows seller(s) that you’re a serious home buyer, in fact it is a great way for first-time home buyers to get ahead in a competitive market.

Benefits Of Preapproval/Prequalification:

  • Plan your monthly payments
  • Gives you Leverage in a multiple offer scenario
  • Interest rate protection
  • Gives you Confidence knowing what you can afford
  • Simplified Property Search
  • More Credibility as a Buyer
  • Help alleviate unnecessary stress during offer process

6) Find a Home for Sale in Your Approval Price Range

Your goal is to end up purchasing a home you love at a price you can afford, but unfortunately, many Home Buyers do things that prevent them from achieving that dream. I recommended you view as many Open Homes as possible. In doing so will help you narrow down exactly what you Do and Don’t want in a home. When you have narrowed down what it is exactly that you do and don’t want then have your Realtor update your search criteria.

It is very important to be patient when you buy a house. The process of finding the right home could take you anywhere from one day to over one year. Take your time, and narrow down what it is you really need so when the perfect house comes up you can jump on it.


7) Research Neighborhoods that best fit your needs

After you’ve viewed some homes for sale in your price range, it is important to not make your decision based on the home and property alone.

Here are some important Home Buying factors to keep in mind when buying a home:

  • What type of home are you looking for? Single family, Townhome/Condo?
  • What style of home is best for you? Rancher, two storey, duplex?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you need a garage or extra parking spaces?
  • What is your daily commute?
  • How easy is it to get to the places you need to go?
  • How close do you need to be to transit, shopping, schools, hospitals?
  • Are there any important location factors? Backing on to parks, road traffic?
  • How long do you plan to live here? That can impact the type, location and how much you will spend
  • Is it important what direction the house faces?
  • Who are you sharing this home with and what are their needs? For example, pets might need a fenced yard or extended family wants a separate entrance.
  • What other types of rooms do you need? Main floor laundry room, home office?
  • What are your high priority features? Appliances, en-suite, fireplace?


8) Attend Open Houses and Think Long Term

Go spend time looking at homes. Generally speaking, we recommend as soon as you have outlined your list of Needs and Wants, it’s time to go out and look at homes! Spend as much time as possible viewing Open Homes to get an idea of what you Do and Don’t like. On average our Home Buyer views 5 homes before finding the right home for them. The most important key to finding the right home quickly is to have Clarity on what you Need and Want.


9) Make a Educated Competitive Offer

You’ve found a Home. Fantastic!

Here’s what your Realtor should do next:

  1. Conduct a detailed CMA (Comprehensive Market Analysis). CMA’s will outline all the comparable Active and recent Sold homes to determine the market value of the home. Consequently, this will empower you to make an informed decision.
  2. Prepare an offer that protects you, follows your instructions and matches your schedule and needs.
  3. Explain the details of the offer, the terms and suggest options for specialty clauses ensuring you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
  4. Present and negotiate the offer on your behalf to get you the home that you want at the price and terms you want.

10) Prepare for Move In

As you prepare for closing on your new home, make sure you read every document. Additionally, and ask your real estate agent to explain any thing you don’t understand. It is important to realize, it’ll be Your signature on the documents, so you will be the one responsible for anything you sign.

It is very important to make sure your realtor goes over these important dates/times with you so that you can schedule your move accordingly. In a perfect scenario, the sellers should have already cleaned and vacated the house upon possession time.

People are asking question like :

What are the Pros & Cons of Living in Chilliwack BC ?

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Best Neighborhood to buy Chilliwack Real Estate ?

Can you explain the home buying process ?

Where can I find the best Chilliwack Real Estate Agent ?

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Honestly if you are moving or relocating here to Chilliwack, Fraser Valley or Vancouver areas we can make that transition so much easier on you!!

Reach out Day/Nights/Weekends whenever you want, we never stop working for you!!

Chris McRae – McRae Real Estate Group – Top Rated Chilliwack Real Estate Agent

Chris McRae Personal Real Estate Corporation

Homelife Advantage Realty Ltd

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