Buying My First Home – Where Do I Start?


Prioritize your needs

Keep your expectations realistic

Talk with your real estate agent first

Buying a home is a major life decision – for most, a home is the biggest purchase we’ll ever make, so- it’s essential to be prepared. For many first-time buyers, inexperience and a limited knowledge of the real-estate market (often based on social media alone) can create unrealistic expectations, setting them up for disappointment. Lots of square footage and a bit of luxury are great to have, but it is important to work to your budget.

Where to begin? No house on the market will meet 100% of your wants and preferences, so prioritize your needs and look for a property that covers as many of them as possible. Being pragmatic and knowing the facts also helps you come across as a serious buyer in the eyes of agents and sellers, which often puts you in a more favorable position.


Try to get pre-approval for your mortgage and make sure you know all the relevant facts, such as how much you can borrow and how long final approval will take. This information will help you focus your energy on finding great properties within your budget.


Before starting your search, consider how your circumstances might change the coming years. Are you getting married or planning to have children? Could your business take you out of the country for longer periods? Is it important that you have space to add a nursery or an office? Might you need to rend it out? Taking such possibilities into consideration will help you find a property that will still be a great match further down the line.


Prioritize your key needs.What’s essential for you in a house? What are the features that really matter to you? If you have young children being closer to good schools and outdoor play areas might be a prerequisite. Or if you’ve always pictured your dream home with a large veranda, you may well be happier finding a home that has just that, paired with a modest interior, than setting for a property with luxury floors and fixtures but tiny balconies that you can barely stand on.


Find a great real estate agent and talk to them! Their skills, qualifications and experience in the market can make all the difference. Before you start looking at properties express your needs, preferences and plans for the future. A good real estate agent can help guide you to the right property for your needs and your budget, saving you the time and frustration of looking at unsuitable properties.


When you find the property you want, go for it. Make an offer and put down a deposit (usually 1-2%) of the price to show that you are willing to move forward and to hold the property while you’re dealing with paperwork. This process should take between one and three months, depending on your specifics and the specifics of the property.

Business Partners Magazine – issue November-December 2017


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