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6 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home is everyone’s dream. However, this journey is not a smooth sail; there are a lot of activities that you need to put in place. From selecting the right area down to the finer details, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. If you are a first-time home buyer, then these tips are especially for you. With a little bit of advice and some luck, you will be able to make your dream come true.

1) Check Your Credit (And Work on It)

First time home buyers need to know that their credit score matters. A lot. Different types of mortgages have different credit requirements, but to get the lowest rates, you’ll want to aim for a score of 760 or higher. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for competitive loans and interest rates, and the less money you may pay over the life of your loan.

Checking your credit score is easy – many banks offer free online portals where you can check yours at no charge – and it is also something that should be done at least once a year regardless of whether or not you are looking to buy a home. If your score isn’t where you want it to be, consider working on building it up.

2) Nain Down Your Budget

You want a house that fits within your means, but knowing what those means are can be challenging. When figuring out how much home you can afford, don’t forget to consider miscellaneous costs like property taxes and insurance rates that can add up over time. This is also a good time to think about tax implications – being aware of them will help you figure out if buying makes sense for your individual situation. When it comes down to money management for first-time home buyers in Edmonton, also plan for unexpected expenses like maintenance or repairs, so you don’t find yourself unable to make your mortgage payments.

3) Look At Homes with A Real Estate Agent

Whether or not you hire an agent will depend on many factors, including whether or not real estate prices in your area have cooled since last year, whether interest rates are expected to rise or fall, and whether there is currently inventory on the market or not. If any of these factors indicate lower prices and higher competition among buyers, it might make sense to buy without using an agent.

But if things look like they could pick up again soon, it can be smart to team up with a professional who knows where homes are listed, what their listings say about them, and which ones might be a good fit for you based on location. In other words, looking at homes with a professional buyer’s representative can save you time by helping you hone in on properties that fit your wants and needs.

4) Get Pre-Approved (If You Can)

Be aware that pre-approval does not guarantee to finance a home – however, it does provide mortgage underwriters with insight into how much of a loan amount you should qualify for based on assets like your job history, credit history, and more. To get pre-approved, you will typically need to submit proof of income and information on employment history along with other documentation depending on what kinds of loans you are looking at (e.g., FHA loans or VA mortgages). You can get started by reaching out to your mortgage lender or visiting their website to request an application.

Additionally, some real estate agents also have access to financing options through lenders they partner with, so be sure to ask if they offer them too! As is standard in today’s market, rates from nonbank lenders tend to be lower than those from banks. However, remember that these rate levels may change over time as new developments occur in financial markets worldwide, which could affect everything from interest rates to housing prices locally and beyond.

5) Shop Multiple Lenders

Even if you have pre-approval for a mortgage, it doesn’t mean you have to go with that lender when looking at homes. There are dozens of mortgage lenders competing for your business and rates can vary greatly depending on which one is right for you. For example, some borrowers may be able to save money by paying an upfront closing cost such as points or prepaid interest (also called discount points). Your lender can tell you what costs may apply in your situation.

Whether or not these costs are worth it will depend on how long you plan to live in your home, among other factors; but needless to say, shopping around for a lender can help ensure that you’re getting all of the information about loan products that could work best for your individual situation.

By better understanding Edmonton housing market conditions and speaking with a few local lenders, you can find out exactly what types of loans make sense for you! This sort of research is vital to ensuring you don’t waste any time once more listings hit the market. Remember – there’s no one size fits all approach to buying a home – each option has its own benefits so consult your mortgage professional for advice specific to your goals.

6) Put All Your Contingencies in Writing

When you begin your home search, it’s a good idea to have contingencies in place to help protect your interests. A contingency is essentially a safety net that allows you to walk away from a deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, one common contingency stipulates that both parties will wait for a specified period of time – usually 3-6 months — before going through with a contract for sale. This will give you enough time to find financing and inspect any issues around construction or appraisal that may arise. Some other common contingencies include waiting for inspections after an agreed upon date or due diligence period.


Overall, buying a home is one of life’s biggest investments. While it can be scary to walk away from such a big deal, remember that many homeowners go through a similar process and end up closing on their properties when they are ready to do so – it’s all about finding a good fit for you!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

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