According to a new survey, more than 7 in 10 Canadian first-time home buyers (71%) are afraid that they will be hit by unanticipated costs during the process, and over half of those respondents (56%) are afraid that they will forget to take a crucial step as they gain their foothold on the property ladder.
Many first-timers are not taking the steps needed to prepare for a home purchase, which should be taken as seriously as preparing for the birth of a first child. Just 39% of respondents reported that they are taking the steps to reduce their debt ahead of their home purchase, with only 28% are working to improve their credit score.
Owning your first home can be an exhilarating yet unfamiliar experience. Knowing and preparing for what to expect on the home buying journey is often half the battle, and can help reduce unexpected surprises.
Less than half of first time buyers have planned for additional costs beyond the purchase price and down payment, and many are not aware of appraisal fees (49%), mortgage default insurance (47%) and closing costs (41%).
Some steps to help buyers along the way include:
manage existing debt and get your financial house in order;
consider all homebuying costs including appraisals, title searches, fee and adjustments;
get the right mortgage for your needs and work with a mortgage broker/adviser;
don't overstretch yourself on monthly costs or underestimate other home related expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance, and;
of course work with a realtor who has your back.