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5 Important Steps for First-Time Home Buyers in the Greater Toronto Area

girl laying down looking at homes on sale on her ipad

As a first-time home buyer, the process of finding, financing, and purchasing your first new home or condo can be quite daunting. It requires taking a big leap of faith, and the experience can be accompanied by stress and worry.

If you’re a first-time home buyer in the Greater Toronto Area, we’ve written up a helpful outline of some of the key steps that you should take into account on your home buying journey. By following these easy steps, you’ll find that the process is relatively straightforward. With the right knowledge and tools in your toolkit, along with the right team, you can let go of the stress and embrace this exciting opportunity!

Step #1: Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval

A lot of people avoid the step, but acquiring a mortgage pre-approval can save you quite a bit of time. Best of all, getting a pre-approval from the bank is simple. Just set up an appointment with your preferred bank, and they’ll be able to guide you through the process. This can also be done virtually.

The bank will generally be looking at the following:

  • Your income
  • Any debts you have, such as credit card balances or loan payments
  • Your credit history and credit score
  • How much you have saved up for your down payment

Once you’ve completed the pre-approval process, shopping for your perfect new home or condo will be a lot easier and quicker. Having a pre-approval allows you to pinpoint exactly what your budget is and how much your monthly payments will be, putting you in a position where you can find the perfect home for you much more easily, comfortably, and realistically.

couple at the bank meeting for a pre-approved mortgage

Step #2: Get the Right People Involved

The next step in the process of buying your first new home or condo is getting the right people involved. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could just do it all yourself? Well, you could, but since buying your first home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make and a major investment  opportunity, it’s better to have a full team backing you before you make the final decision.

In any given scenario, these are the people that you’ll need to be in contact with when purchasing your first home or condo in Toronto:

  • A real estate lawyer – for all the legal implications of purchasing your home, and to help you review all legal documentation
  • A lender – for an outline of your financing options on your home
  • A real estate agent – to scour the market for your dream home and to help you with making an offer, negotiating, and getting the best price

photo of a modern looking living room

Step #3: Go House Shopping!

This is probably the most exciting part about buying your first new home or condo – the search! Now that you have a mortgage pre-approval and a team behind you, you’re ready to get into the market. Screening listings online and going in person to check them out is an exciting step in the home buying process. Make sure you’ve refined your criteria and that you know exactly what you want – like number of bedrooms, your ideal neighbourhood, and so on. Once you’ve done this, pinpointing which home on the market suits you will be a breeze.

person signing the paper work and getting the keys to the home

Step #4: Submit Your Offer

So, you’ve found your dream home or condo in Toronto and now it’s time to take the big step of making an offer. Ideally when you submit an offer it should be in writing, which automatically becomes a legally binding document. It will cover things such as the price you’re prepared to pay, how much down payment you’re willing to put down, the closing date, and any other things you and the seller have agreed upon.

couple receiving the keys to their new home from the real estate mortgage

Step #5: Closing and Moving In

There’s only one thing that’s more exciting than shopping for your new home – moving in! Your closing date is the date that you can move in to your new home or condo. The process of closing the sale and having you become the owner is straightforward, and most of it will be handled by your real estate lawyer.

Moving in means that it’s time to start painting, decorating, and making your new home or condo truly yours. What could be more exciting than that?

Are you a first-time home or condo buyer in the GTA? Questions? If you need support, join us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and reach out!

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