August 4, 2022

Questions You Must Ask as First Time Homebuyers in Canada

The more you know before you buy a home, the better off you are. It’s one of the most important financial decisions of your life and the one that will impact you for many, many years to come. If you're one of many first time homebuyers in Canada, we've put together some great questions for you to ask about the process. Asking these questions can help you make a well-informed decision, and keep you from making costly mistakes. 

The more you know before you buy a home, the better off you are. It’s one of the most important financial decisions of your life and the one that will impact you for many, many years to come. If you're one of many first time homebuyers in Canada, we've put together some great questions for you to ask about the process. Asking these questions can help you make a well-informed decision, and keep you from making costly mistakes. 

What’s my mortgage pre-approval?

Our first insider tip for first time homebuyers in Canada: Get your mortgage pre-approval while you are searching for houses. This will ensure that when you find your dream home, you can place an offer immediately. Otherwise, you may lose the house while waiting to get pre-approved.

But let’s take a step back and discuss what exactly a mortgage pre-approval is. Mortgage lenders take you through a structured process where they analyze your income, assets and debt to determine the maximum amount of mortgage and the interest rate you qualify for. This interest rate is locked in for 60 to 130 days (depending on the lender). 

This means that you can buy a house at this pre-approved value any time during the 60 to 130 days. This is a huge benefit since mortgage pre-approvals take time and might cause you to miss out on a house while you wait. 

What is the closing cost?

A common misconception among first time homebuyers is that the costs end when you buy a house. However, there is a one time payment you need to make when you purchase and “close” on a home. This payment is usually a small percent of the total amount you paid for the house. 

Closing costs confuse many first time homebuyers in Canada. Don’t let them affect your home buying experience. If you have questions about closing costs and want someone to guide you through this process, please contact us and we will make sure you are prepared. 

What’s included in the house?

It’s a common misconception that when you buy a house, you’ll be getting everything that you saw inside at the open house. But the truth is, it’s normal for the previous owners to take certain things with them when they leave. This may include (but is not limited to): 

  • Kitchen appliances 
  • Light fixtures 
  • Washer/dryer
  • Curtains/blinds

Ask your realtor for a detailed list of items that the house is guaranteed to have when you move in. 

How long has the house been on the market?

This is an important question to ask your realtor when you are considering a house. A house that has been in the market for a long period can either be a positive or negative implication on your decision. Let’s break it down for all you first time homebuyers:

  • The positive: The longer the house has been on the market, the more likely it is that you will be able to buy it under the asking price. 
  • The negative: If a house has been on the market for a long time, it might be hard to sell due to hidden issues (especially if other houses in the area are selling quickly). Your realtor is experienced in identifying these hidden issues, so make sure to ask their opinion!

What’s the home’s history of insurance claims?

Insurance claims can give you a lot of insight into potential issues the house may face in the future. For instance, if there are claims of water damage, this might indicate defective plumbing. If there are claims of robbery, you should revisit the neighbourhood’s crime rate. 

As first time homebuyers in Canada, you may be wondering how to access a house’s past insurance claims. That’s where we come in. Your realtor can ask the seller for the insurance claim history on your behalf. 

We are Here to Help!

First time homebuyers in Canada: you don’t have to go through this journey alone! 

We are here to guide you in your search for your first home. It may be tempting to skip professional help to cut costs, but this decision might cost you more in the long run. 

This is the biggest purchase most people make! 

Whether you are a first time homebuyer in Canada or purchasing your second (or third!) property, we will help you make the best financial decisions for your situation. Contact us to set up a meeting where we can answer any questions (big or small) you have.