Before you start looking for homes for sale in Winnipeg or any city in Canada, it’s important that you find out if you’re really ready for this major step. Don’t forget that this is most likely to be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. You’ll end up paying for this house for many years to come, and any uncertainty must be dispelled at the onset.
To help you get started, you first need to ask yourself several crucial questions. If you’re a first time homebuyer, these questions can help you along when you make your decisions and choices.
So here are some of the questions that you need to find answers for:
- How much money can you borrow? This will determine the price limitations on your options. There’s no point looking at million dollar homes when you’re only able to get a $250,000 mortgage. For newbies, you can get a prequalification, which is an approximation of the mortgage you can get. However, when you actually start negotiating with the home sellers it’s better if you obtain a mortgage preapproval so you know for sure how much of a mortgage you can swing to buy a house.
- What kinds of payments can you afford? You should take a long and close look at the total costs of buying a house. These costs will include the down payment (usually 20% of the price), the home insurance, the closing costs, the monthly payments for the mortgage, and an estimate of the maintenance costs for the house. You also need to get an inspector to inform you what kind of repairs will be needed right away when you buy a house along with the costs of those repairs.
A bank may be willing to provide a mortgage loan for $350,000 but that doesn’t mean that you must buy a house that costs that much. You may find that you aren’t ready for the initial and continuing payments you need to make to pay for the mortgage and upkeep of the house.
- What kind of a home should you buy? Your options include a single-family home with a yard, a townhouse, or a condo. Some are turnkey houses with appliances and furniture already put in. Others are fixer-uppers that may require extensive repairs after you buy it. The type of home you need must meet the requirements of your lifestyle.
- What kind of features should your home have? You will need to check the size of the square footage, the number of bedrooms and baths, and if there’s a garage. You should also check out the neighborhoods where you want to live. Other considerations include the basic layout of the home, and the amount of storage space you get.
Here you will need to be flexible. It’s best if you make a list of “must have” features, features you absolutely loath, and features that you may like but won’t be a deal breaker if they’re not included. You should have a good idea of your needs and preferences—you’re spending too much money not to know what you want in a home.
- What kind of assistance can you get? While you can get the support of loved ones when you’re in the process of finding a house to buy, it’s best to get professional assistance. You may want to get a buyer’s agent to help you find the houses that meet your criteria, and they may even negotiate with the seller for you.
Getting the answers to these questions can signify that you really are ready to buy a house. If you can’t be bothered to answer these questions, then perhaps it’s not yet the right time for you.