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Top Ten Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Soaring property prices have made it difficult for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. But a slower market could provide new opportunities: find out how to make the most of your money.

1. First-time buyers are in a very strong position right now. Low interest Rates and heavily reduced prices need to be taken advantage of sooner rather than later.

2. Think long-term. Be prepared to hold on to your property for a few years. Think of it as an investment that will make you money down the road versus inthe short term.

3. Know your market. Pick the areas you would like to live in and do some thorough research as trends can vary dramatically from area to area.

4. Sort out your finances. You will be in an even stronger bargaining position if you have your deposit and mortgage ready. Speaking to a lender first will also give you an idea of how much you have to spend. Stick to your budget.

5. Remember the extras. As well as a deposit, you will need to pay for the legal costs, a home inspection and a property transfer tax if your spending over $425000. Then there are the moving costs to consider and new furniture to buy.

6. The asking price is not the sale price! It is rare for properties to sell for their full asking price unless it is a screaming deal.

7. Look out for a distressed seller or someone who needs to move fast. Death, divorce and growing families are the main reasons why home owners might be keen to sell quickly. But in the current climate you may also find struggling buy-to-let investors who want out.

8. Consider new build. The sluggish property market is not kind to developers either. Many are having a tough time selling two bedroom flats in overbuilt locations. You may get a good price for a home or at least persuade the builder to include a bunch of extras.

9. Be Flexible and understand that "the perfect property" rarely exists. If you can find something that you love that is 85% of what you are looking for and in your budget, don't wait.

10. Get Help. Two People you should meet with before you ever look at a home:

1. A Real Estate Professional. When we meet for the first time we go over your list of wants and needs, talk about neighbourhoods, schools, and economic factors that affect the market today and could affect the market in the future.

2. A Mortgage Broker. Being pre-qualified for a mortgage serves a couple of purposes, first of all it assures you that the bank is willing to finance your purchase of a new home and secondly it gives us an idea of the maximum you can afford. For some great local Mortgage Brokers pls email me at for contact information.