Buying Your First Home – Where to Start

First Home Derek Jones 18 Jan

We’ve Got This

Buying our first home is one of the most exciting and, at the same time, frightening steps we take in life. Here in Atlantic Canada owning a home is almost a right of passage, a symbol of our own diligence and achievement. Paying rent each month seems like pouring money down the drain with no return. We dream of a place to call our own. But are we ready? How much will we need for a down payment? What if my credit history results in rejection? On and on these questions swirl around in our minds until we are frazzled and stressed.

NOW… Take a deep breath… And another… Relax – and come on a journey with me as we walk you through the home-buying adventure one small step at a time. My team here at Derek Jones Mortgages – Dominion Lending Centres National knows how to shoulder the load and help you take each step toward owning your own home with confidence. Over the next several weeks, I will be posting a new article, breaking down the process into bite-sized pieces that you can handle with ease. My hope is that in helping you work through the process week-by-week, you will become more confident, more excited and less stressed about stepping into this incredible new chapter of your life.

Here are the steps, with the release dates for each article:

  • Determine your housing needs – January 18, 2021
  • Finding a neighbourhood that suits you best – January 25, 2021
  • Discovering how much you can afford – February 1, 2021
  • Building your home-buying team – February 8, 2021
  • Arranging your mortgage – February 15, 2021
  • Making an offer – February 22, 2021
  • Closing the on you new home – March 1, 2021

Getting ready for the adventure:

Whenever Sheila (my wife) and I embark on a trip, we talk through what we will need for the journey, and we almost always pack more things than we need, and forget to pack something we intended to take with us. Here are four quick tips on how to prepare for your home-buying journey

  1. Remind yourself that you will probably not live in your first home for the rest of your life. In fact, the average family lives in their first home for only seven to ten years. Starter homes are just that: homes where families get their start. Our first home was only 1040 ft2, but we remember our time there with such fondness. Our first two boys took their first steps there. We did our first renovation together there. You get the idea.
  2. Check your emotions. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance of buying your first home together, but if we don’t check our emotions, we can end up with too much debt on a house that is in the wrong neighbourhood, or in a house that needs too much repair. Home buying is a decision we musty make with clear and responsible thinking. Choosing the right home-buying team (step 4) can help keep you focused.
  3. Avoid making big purchases before getting approved for a mortgage. Big purchases will either deplete cash that might have been used for a down payment, or create a hit on your credit and negatively affect your debt servicing ratio.
  4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage (step 5) before you start shopping. Knowing how much you can afford saves time in your search and places you in a stronger bargaining position. You can get a rough idea of how much you might qualify for by downloading my mobile app here. However, a mortgage professional will take you deeper in the application process and will verify a number of factors, including your income and credit history, employment status, down payment sources, etc. We like to take a client deeper in the process up front to avoid disappointment later. To begin the application approval process, send me an email or complete an application online by clicking here.

We have provided a companion YouTube video for you as well.  Just click here to watch – and be sure to subscribe to our new YouTube channel.  You can also check out our Facebook page by clicking here.

Now let’s get started start on your home-buying journey that leads to a lifetime of great memories.