The prep

First Time Homebuyer Couple- Ingrid Bjel McGaughey - Toronto Mortgage BrokerGet off on the right foot

If you’re like me, your first-time home buying journey will include a lot of fun outings to look at great places, obsessive browsing through MLS listings of homes all over the GTA, and the less fun but hugely important practical stuff.

Figuring out how much you can afford

That’s a big part of the practical, and you really have to start here. You don’t want to be spending a lot of time and get emotionally invested in places you won’t be able to realistically buy (although it can be fun and inspiring to look at the occasional property that’s way above your price range, just to see how it’s set up and decorated. I do love a great staging).

Good advice is gold

It’s no secret that the internet is a great source of unlimited information about any topic, and buying your first home is no exception. Only… How do you know which information is current? Which is credible? And which really applies to you? That’s where working with trusted professionals comes in. I’m a big believer in the benefits of working with a great (full-time!) realtor. Similarly, in doing your mortgage planning, you need to be working with someone who will take the time to understand what your goals are, what your concerns are, and how you’re going to be interacting with your mortgage. More so, it should be someone who’s in your corner, someone who fights for you to get the best possible mortgage you can. (Click here for my rant on what I think every first-time homebuyer deserves.) And, a little further down the road, you will need a good, reasonably priced, awesome real estate lawyer who takes the time to address any and all concerns you have about this important purchase. Either your realtor or your mortgage advisor should have a couple of good recommendations for you here, if you don’t already have someone you’re comfortable with.

Pull together your documents

This is the time to start getting organized. You’ll be going through a lot of paper as you go through the process of buying your first home!

I’ve put together an overview of the documents you’ll need, in order to figure out how much you qualify for, in my post about what you should bring to your meeting with your mortgage broker. You should start pulling these together now.

You’ll also need to start thinking about the documents for your down payment. You won’t need those quite this soon, but you should be aware of what you’ll be asked to provide so that you can avoid unpleasant surprises.

Don’t skip the home buying prep work

Putting these pieces in place will set you on the right path in your home buying journey.

If you’re looking to learn more, dive deeper into my posts about first-time homebuying or my numerous (probably too numerous) credit articles.

And don’t forget to have fun!

Next up: your budget!