Buying a New Home Blog Series – Part Two – First Time Home Buyer Tips

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Buying a new home when you are a first time home buyer is very different from buying a new home when you have already purchased a home in the past. Many first time home buyers underestimate what’s involved with buying a home, so here are some first time home buyer tips.

The first thing a first time home buyer needs to consider when buying a new home is the true cost and what tax credits are available to them. When buying a new home a first time home buyer should prepare for the following costs:

  1. Down payment

  2. Land transfer tax

  3. Homeowners insurance

  4. Property tax holdback

  5. Inspection costs

  6. Legal fees, both for the property transfer and mortgage

  7. Moving expenses and more.

There are tax credits available to first time home buyers to offset some of these costs. For example, in Ontario there is a land transfer tax rebate available to first time home buyers. This tax credit enables first time home buyers to a rebate on closing of up to $2,000 of the land transfer taxes. Some people, especially unionized employees have benefits that may offset legal costs so if your employer offers you benefits, it is always prudent to check to see if you have any benefits that help when buying a new home.

The next think that a first time home buyer should consider when buying a new home is “conditions”. There will are different conditions that will apply to the purchase of your home and as it relates to your mortgage financing. When purchasing a home, there are some standards that first time home buyers may want to include. Two of the most common conditions are financing and inspection. When making an offer that is conditional on financing and inspection and if the offer is accepted, the buyers will have 5 days (this is an average and more or less days can be negotiated) to secure their mortgage financing and to have a home inspector inspect the home.

A home inspection is very important, even in a newer home. A home inspector will check for issues that you may not be able to see. These can include electrical and structural issues. A home inspection usually costs less than $500.00 and will be money well spent.

When obtaining a commitment for mortgage financing from a bank, there will be conditions in the commitment that will have to be met in order for them to fund your mortgage. The sooner you meet these conditions the better. These conditions can include; proof of your down payment, proof of income (job letter, paystub and sometimes tax assessments), proof of homeowner insurance and more. To avoid surprises on closing, it is always best to at least satisfy the mortgage lenders proof of income and down payment requirements as soon as you get your mortgage approved.

Home insurance will be required by the bank and will protect you and your bank in the event that there is a fire or disaster like a flood. When arranging home insurance, shop around. Your car insurance company may not provide you with the most competitive quote for home insurance.

Take advantage of brokers. Whether it is for insurance or your mortgage, brokers will be able to access the best rates offered by all companies in a particular industry and is your best chance at getting the best deal.

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