I’ve been obsessed with HGTV shows for what seems like forever. House Hunters, Flipped, Property Brothers, Love it or List It, you name it, I’ve seen it. But what these shows don’t tell you, is that buying a home for a first timer is not as easy as it looks. There are so many things that can go wrong and so many unknowns.
What HGTV has taught me, is that having a real estate agent on your side can help you to swiftly side step a lot of aggravation and unanticipated problems. They can also help you find your perfect dream home with less stress, and help you feel as though you are living in a reality TV show – although unfortunately Drew and Johnathan Scott probably won’t be living there with you!
But how do you transition your fantasy of owning an HGTV-worthy home to real life? Where do you even start, and how can you take the plunge in buying your first home while avoiding mishaps?
Here are 5 simple tips to follow to avoid missteps:
1. Read and understand everything before you sign. Take the time to know everything about your agreements and contracts.
2. Be sure you and your representative are on the same page. Clearly communicating with your real estate professional will help you to avoid wasted time, energy and money.
3. Leave your emotions at the door. When you find a beautiful home that excites you, don’t become overly emotional. Analyze everything and get excited about your dream home after you’ve done your homework.
4. Know your tolerance for risk. Is your dream home a bit of a fixer-upper? You may want to consider the financial risk involved.
5. Be flexible and have a backup plan in place. Things don’t always pan-out like we had hoped. No biggie, just come prepared with a contingency plan.
There are several other ways to keep a cool head in a hot market. I suggest that it is very important to set a budget ahead of time and stick to it! If you know you only have X to spend, make sure your real estate agent knows this so that they are guiding you in the right direction. It is also important to not get caught up in ‘winning’ the bid. You might want to negotiate, but going back and forth too often and not being flexible could ultimately cost you your dream house. Also, you might want to widen your search location. You never know – you might want to live in Toronto, but instead you find the house of your dreams an hour away!
Ultimately, there are ways to avoid the stress that surrounds finding a new home. Let your agent take care of some of the work and be home smart!
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This post has been generously sponsored by the Real Estate Council of Ontario, the opinions and language are my own