So it’s time to find a place and put down some roots. You’ve watched countless episodes of house hunters, have made your own “must-have’s” list, and you are ready to find the home of your dreams.
Buying your first home is an exciting time – picking out paint colors, furniture, and every decorative piece Ikea and Home Sense have to offer, and even planning your house warming party – but it’s important that you don’t forgo the more tedious yet important aspects that come along with your new purchase.
Below, we’ve outlined the top 3 things you don’t want to forget when buying your first home – if you remember these three things, you can sit back and relax at your first of many dinner parties or game nights without having to worry about your new home.
Purchase Homeowners Insurance
Having home insurance seems like common sense, especially considering how large of an investment a house is and the number of potential risks that can affect it, but many people actually forgo insuring their homes.
For whatever reason people choose not to insure their homes, whether it be the extra cost or even the attitude that “it won’t happen to me”, the few dollars saved is definitely not worth the risk.
In fact, because of the risks present, many mortgage lenders won’t finalize a sale unless you, as a buyer, have already purchased some form of insurance policy. This is because typically the lender is really the one putting forward the majority of the money necessary for the purchase, and if anything were to happen to the home it would be their money on the line.
Your best bet for a smooth buying process is to purchase home insurance before you close.
This protects both you and the lender from a variety of potentially financially devastating scenarios.
Take Advantage of Homebuyers Programs
In Countries like Canada, the government actually offers a variety of different programs to assist first time homebuyers.
The Home Buyer’s Plan is one of the best programs offered by the government for first time homebuyers. This program allows homebuyers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSP free of taxes to put towards buying or building their home, as long as the funds are repaid into the RRSP over the following 25 years.
Get a Home Inspection
The last thing you want is to lock yourself into a 30-year, $300,000 dollar mortgage only to discover that your home needs extensive repairs or upgrades to be a safe or functioning space.
There are many issues that can be present in a home that aren’t visible during a simple walkthrough and that you, as a homebuyer, may not even think to ask about. This is why it is crucial to have a professional inspector check the house thoroughly before you sign the dotted line.
While it’s important to not let the responsibilities required for purchasing a home take away from the fun and excitement that shopping for your first home should bring, don’t cast them aside.
Protecting yourself, your family, and your finances will allow you to enjoy this next step in your life comfortably and with peace of mind.