Are You Ready To Own A Home?
Owning a home may be the biggest financial decision you will ever make, so to make your first experience a successful one, you need to be sure you are fully equipped to deal with both the financial and mental responsibilities that come along with it.
Home ownership is typically an excellent investment in Calgary; whether you are looking for a small condo, a starter home or your first rental property. Preparing for home ownership requires you to a good look at your finances and your expectations so you can put your best foot forward dealing with your mortgage, taxes, and home maintenance.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Why Do You Want To Buy?
Are you tired of paying rent to a landlord? Would you like to have a yard to enjoy? Are you looking to buy your first investment rental property? Would you rather live in a different part of town? Do you want a shorter commute to work? Having a clears sense of the reasons for buying your first home will help you choose the best property.
How Much Can You Really Afford?
It can be disappointing to find that your salary won't stretch as far enough to buy the home you want. However, being house rich and cash poor is never fun. It's makes far more sense to buy a starter home now and look at buying your perfect "dream home" a few years down the road.
What Is Your Debt Service Ratio?
Lenders use two ratios to determine how much you can afford, the Gross Debt Ratio (GDS) and the Total Debt Ratio (TDS). The GDS is the ratio of mortgage debt to income. It includes mortgage payments, heating, property taxes, and condo fees divided by your income. The standard acceptable GDS ratio is 35%.
The TDS is the percentage of your income that is required to pay all your obligations each month. It includes all your monthly bills like car payments, credit card payments, loan payments, alimony etc. All of those payments added up and divided by monthly income provides the TDS. The standard acceptable TDS ratio is 42%.
What 35% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live in Calgary. In the suburbs for example, it might buy a very spacious condo or single-family home in Calgary. In highly desired City-Centre areas however, it may not even buy a 400 sq.ft. studio suite.
What Type of Home Do You Want?
Do you like the idea of building your own fence? Do you cringe at the thought of mowing the lawn? Would you rather just pay a monthly fee and have everything taken care of? Would obeying rules about when you can have your garbage cans out bother you, or do you want to live in a neighborhood where you can do as you please? Answering these questions will help us find the most suited Calgary home for you.
Choosing A Calgary REALTOR®
You need a great Calgary agent who will work hard for you. Kirby Cox & Associates are dedicated in helping you find that perfect home, at the best possible price. We want you to be successful in your first home ownership experience! When you hire us, we will want to know how much you can afford and what are the "must haves" on your list. We'll find a way to merge the two and get you a home you'll be thrilled to own.
Keep your objectives in mind when touring a home. It's easy to get distracted with all the nice features but keep your emotions in check. Make sure to identify needs vs. wants in a home and don't be distracted from your goal. We can help you go over the pros and cons of each home and help you stay on track.
Hire a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. While fairly straight forward the complexities of transferring land ownership can be complicated, and a talented lawyer can be your best bet against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge more for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a justifiable expense.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "inclusions", "deposit", and "possession". We'll take care of the paperwork and thoroughly review it with you before submitting. Keep in mind, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll be required to write a deposit check to the seller's brokerage that proves the seriousness of your offer.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is an essential part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of faulty wiring and have no recourse other than to pay for its repair. Inspections will cost several hundred dollars, but are worth every cent. We can recommend several Calgary home inspectors when the time is right.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a Calgary home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about buying your first home in Calgary! We're happy to help.