Gulp. It’s that time – you’re ready to become a homeowner. You’re excited. But also, scared. Will you make the right decisions???
The most important thing to remember is you’re not alone. You’ve got friends and family, some of whom would have experience with property. And you’ve got us – so here are some things to consider when buying a home.
Do you see yourself in a town centre, easy access to shops and restaurants, a half-hour morning commute… although your yard space may be quite limited? Or do you see yourself in a quiet neighbourhood with a garden, pets, maybe even a pool… although you have to get up early to get to work on time? Decide which factors are most important in choosing a location. If you’re a couple, have a conversation to make sure you’re on the same page.
You’ve also got to consider safety. You may think you know everything about your chosen neighbourhood but before buying, why not talk to people who live in the area. They’ll be able to share recent, personal experiences with you that may inform your decisions.
Before looking at homes, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way you won’t fall in love with a house only to learn it’s out of your price range. Consider other financial questions too – what down payment are you comfortable making? What monthly payments can you afford? How will you cope with other debts?
We’re not saying this to deter you – everyone faces these questions. If they’re lucky, they’ll get a mortgage tailored to their specific needs. At Maritime, we’ll work to ensure that you get the mortgage that’s right for you. M.O.R.E. or Mortgage for Own. Rent. Equity. is also the only mortgage that allows you to own and occupy, or purchase to rent at the same preferred rate. You can always reach out to us for a more personal discussion.
Do you want an apartment, a townhouse, a two-storey with the white picket fence? Well, this depends on your lifestyle. If you’re a single, career-oriented thirty-year-old, you probably have a very different lifestyle from the Mom and Dad with two kids.
A single-family house is a common home choice. It’s usually spacious, often with a yard. That doesn’t just mean space for a swing set for kids; there’s also more privacy. You often don’t have to contend with a Home Owners Association – which means there are no fees and you can remodel as you please. However, any repairs or problems will be solely your responsibility.
Apartments and townhouses are often more affordable than single-family houses, although there are notable exceptions where land is at a premium. They sometimes include common areas like pools or gyms. You’ve got to pay for this though and you’ll be living in close proximity to your neighbours (so hopefully they’re not fans of loud music or big parties).
Hang on – you don’t just buy house insurance? It’s not complicated, we promise. There’s houseowner’s insurance, which covers the building including walls, gates, fences and swimming pools. And, there’s householder’s insurance, which covers the contents of your property (think furniture, appliances, jewellery etc.). And if you want both? Well, you can get houseowner/householder’s insurance for comprehensive coverage for the building and its contents. Of course, we’ve got more info on our website.
You don’t need us to tell you that buying a house is a major life decision. But with a team around you, it doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. Talk to a financial advisor about the specifics of your situation. It’ll all be worth it when you pull into your garage, sit on your couch and turn on the TV in your living room.