Tips for first-time homebuyers in Ottawa

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You are thinking about buying your first home. But you are not sure if that is possible and how the pandemic and recent developments have affected the real estate market. And naturally, you will be anxious to do everything right, so you will easily make mistakes. As first-time homebuyers in Ottawa, you need to explore all of your options and be realistic. Buying a home is not as hard as it seems, and in no time, you will be looking for long distance movers Ottawa to help you relocate all your belongings.

Get to know Ottawa real estate market first

It’s understandable that you might be eager to buy that apartment in Ottawa you’ve always dreamed about and relocate there right away. However, you must take the real estate market into account before beginning your search for the best residential movers Ottawa has. After all, negotiating the price with sellers and real estate brokers will be much simpler if you know what to expect.

Ottawa suburb
If you know what you’re looking for, you can negotiate the best deal when buying your first property in Ottawa

According to Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average sale price for a single-family home reached $754,188 in July this year, a 5% increase since last year. Meanwhile, those who wished to buy a condo in the same period had to pay around $435,094. While that might still seem affordable in comparison to other big cities in Ontario, you should keep in mind that the prices may vary between Ottawa neighborhoods.

As first-time homebuyers in Ottawa, you will need a real estate agent!

Finding a house that you like on your own won’t be hard. But there is so much more than simply finding and buying a home. There are a lot of aspects of every home and every purchase that only a real estate agent will know and will be able to assist you as a first-time homebuyer in Ottawa. After all, these professionals can assist you in understanding real estate taxes, interest rates, and other subjects that may be of interest to you.

real estate agent with notebook and alptop
You should hire a real estate agent since it will make everything much easier

Additionally, because they receive a commission for salary, they will go above and beyond to earn your trust. That includes negotiating the greatest price for you, among other things! While your realtor can help you negotiate with the seller, you should still make the final decision. Be prepared to make a reasonable offer, but also be ready to walk away if the terms aren’t favorable.

Plan for the future

Although, of course, you might be buying a home with the goal of living there forever, you should consider your future. This is especially important if you don’t have experience in buying real estate. So, instead of only looking for a place to live in right now, you also should look at this from an angle of a long-term investment.

A lot of first-time homebuyers buy the first home they like without considering what they will want to sell this house. Will you be raising your kids there? How important is that fun family activities in Ottawa are near you? Do you plan to move soon? Besides getting your dream home, you should make sure that you are getting an investment, a home that you will be able to sell easily in the future.

If you are first-time homebuyers in Ottawa – make sure you are okay with a down payment

Your home purchasing price determines your downpayment. And the absolute minimum in Canada when it comes to down payment is 5% for homes that cost less than $500.000. One of the biggest issues for first-time homeowners in Ottawa is saving enough money for a down payment.

coins and documents
Make sure you have enough for a down payment and for a mortgage

You need to create your savings plan. It is important to make sure you have enough money to purchase your home and that the amount of money you need to borrow to buy your dream home is decreasing. Of course, you need to consider your monthly mortgage payment. It is important to buy a home that you can actually afford.

You will need pre-approval as first-time homebuyers in Ottawa

A lot of buyers, especially first-time homebuyers in Ottawa, are out there looking and shopping for their new dream homes. One of the most common mistakes is that people find a home they love, but they do not get the pre-approval. They start looking at storage units Ottawa for their relocation, but they still don’t know will they be able to get that home they like. You should know that pre-approval is a process that checks your credit score and a detailed analysis of your income. But also, the potential lender will check the nature of your down payment.

Also, one of the factors that often is disregarded is the fact that although you might get a pre-approval, your desired house maybe won’t. The lender needs to be sure that the home is worth the price you are willing to pay. So, if you are really serious about making an offer – go to a lender and have him run all the numbers. Not only will you know how much money you can spend, but you will also know if you can get your desired home.

Look around before deciding on which home to buy

One of the common mistakes that people who are looking to buy a home make is that they see a home that they like, and they stop looking further. Although you might have found a home that seems perfect, you need to shop around and look for more homes. Look for better mortgage rates and look for better deals. Don’t look at one home and start calling moving companies Ottawa. Make sure that you have explored all of your options before choosing one.

couple looking into a house
Look around before you decide to buy a home, explore all the options

Don’t forget about all the additional expenses of buying and owning a home

A lot of people decide to buy a home that needs a little bit of renovation, thinking that it will be easy to do it. And they often forget additional expenses, like utilities, repairs, added costs, and insurance. Some utility companies may even require a deposit, and there might be fees associated with setting up these services. Although some of these things are obvious, you can easily forget them when you are excited about buying your dream home. Add these expenses to your budget, and then check if you can afford your dream home.

A person writing down costs for first time homebuyers in Ottawa
Account for all expenses when you’re buying a home!

Also, remember that when you’re buying a home, closing costs typically amount to around 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price. These costs include legal fees, land transfer taxes, and other administrative expenses associated with transferring ownership. Hiring a real estate lawyer to handle the legal aspects of this transaction will be a good idea, and their fees will be part of your closing costs.

Some costs you should be aware of

When budgeting for your first home purchase in Ottawa, it’s crucial to consider more than just the purchase price. There are several additional costs that you’ll need to factor into your budget to ensure you’re financially prepared for the entire process:

  • Land transfer tax: Ottawa residents are subject to both the Ontario Land Transfer Tax and the Toronto Land Transfer Tax (which also applies to Ottawa properties). The amount you’ll pay depends on the purchase price of the home. First-time homebuyers may be eligible for a partial or full rebate on these taxes, so be sure to check if you qualify.
  • Property tax adjustments: Property taxes are usually paid by the seller for the portion of the year they owned the property. You’ll need to reimburse them for the portion of the year you’ll own the property. Your lawyer will handle these calculations.
  • Home inspection and appraisal fees: While a home inspection is highly recommended, it comes with a cost. An appraiser may also be needed to assess the property’s value for mortgage approval purposes.
  • Mortgage insurance premiums: If you’re putting down less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment, you’ll likely need to pay for mortgage insurance. This premium can be added to your mortgage payments or paid upfront.
  • Homeowner’s insurance: You’ll need to secure homeowner’s insurance to protect your investment. This covers the structure of your home and its contents against various risks. The cost varies based on factors like the property’s location and your chosen coverage.
  • Moving Costs: Whether you’re hiring local movers Ottawa or doing everything yourself, there will be costs associated with moving your belongings to your new home. So, make sure to account for them when you’re making your budget!

Research your neighborhood

A lot of people will skip this step, thinking it is not really important. But in reality – it is! You need to know the demographics of your future neighborhood, how is the school system, etc. If your desired neighborhood is full of singles and not families with kids – is it really wise to get home there and plan for a family? If you already have kids, though, perhaps you should look into quiet neighborhoods in Ottawa. You will be excited as first-time homebuyers in Ottawa, but make sure that you are truly getting an ideal home.

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