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Carefully craft your wish list and try to stick to it.

Prioritize your top five must-haves and keep those in mind, as you may need to compromise on the other items on your wish list. Remember to keep an open-mind as you tour properties. Customizing a property and undertaking small renovations are almost always a given if you want to create a home that meets your specific design needs. Keep a buffer of about 10% of the home price for some immediate changes you may want to make, like swapping out laminate counter tops in the bathrooms for quartz, upgrading or adding a new deck, or installing cabinets in the laundry room.
If you are shopping with your partner or family, discuss your must-haves and deal breakers together, so you’ll be on the same page during your house hunt. Knowing what you want before you start, and also understanding what’s realistic in your budget, will give you a great head start and help you zero-in on the right home for you, much faster.

Have an idea of where you want to go.

Identify an area that you’re interested in. If you can, look at different communities and neighborhoods, to see which areas you really like and why. Do some research as to what the area is known for or what it offers. Remember you are not only buying a house, but committing to the neighborhood as well. Does it support the type of lifestyle you’re looking for?  Is it safe? What’s the ‘growth potential’? Are there any negatives to consider? Talk to neighbors and ask questions. Spend time in the area to determine if it offers the lifestyle conveniences and amenities you’ll need.

Don’t see too many houses in one day.

You may begin to feel overwhelmed and confused after touring several homes. Too many homes in a short period of time will run together in your mind and you won’t recall which kitchen or which master bedroom belonged to which house. At Shirazi Group, we put together a free home comparison tool, using your top five must haves, with other key information and photographs, delivered to your inbox after multiple viewings. This is a lifesaver and will give you the information you need to make a smart comparison, right at your fingertips.

Let’s not forget about one of the biggest factors of all – the budget.

While it’s important to be realistic and stay within your price range, don’t let that limit your options. The most important thing is getting you into a property that works for you, so you can start building wealth for your future. Sometimes that first step needs to be a bit of a compromise, but I promise, it’s so worth it. It’s all about perspective and being prepared. Visit with your bank or financial institution and get a pre-approval lined up for a mortgage, to see what you can afford. This will make sure you’re in a good position to act quickly, when you find what you’re looking for. Don’t forget to consider added expenses such as closing costs, property taxes, home owner’s association fees, maintenance, moving, new furniture or appliances, and insurance.

Buy with your head and your heart.

While it’s important to choose a home that you like and are excited about, it’s also equally important to keep in mind your budget, your lifestyle and also, where you are at in your life. Buying your first home usually involves some compromise, so make sure you focus on the important things. Consider areas or neighborhoods that are experiencing growth or renewal periods, this will positively affect house prices for the future. And remember that sometimes it takes some imagination to get your home the way you want it to be. At the end of the day, buying your first home is an investment for your future and no matter the type of home, it’s still a first big step in getting on the property ladder. So it may not be your dream home, but it can be a beautiful place to grow, make some memories and build wealth.


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