Buying your first house together is a very exciting time that thousands of other couples have had the pleasure of experiencing before you. However, since you've never bought a house before, it can be very nerve-wrecking at first.
- Speak to people who have more experience than you. Ask your parents for advice about buying houses – older people have usually bought several houses in their lives and know most of the tricks of the trade. If your parents have little advice to offer, you can ask your friends' parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents and anybody else who you know would have experience with house-hunting.
- Apart from speaking face to face with people you know, search online for house forums and property websites and interact with other people on the internet. Communities like this often have a huge amount of users, including professionals, real estate agents from companies such as http://www.redrealestate.ca/ and older people who have bought many houses in the past. Don't be afraid of asking all your questions and picking the brains of people who have all the expertise.
- In Canada, it's a common fact that the weather is very cold in the winter, so choose the times that you look for houses carefully. There are two sides to this – you might not want to look for houses in the winter since it's cold and difficult to commute; however, in the summer, you may find that most people are also looking for houses. This could reduce the chances of you getting the house that you want, or it could mean that you have to put in a much higher bid in order to secure the house.
- Don't rush into buying a house. Look at the house market and speak to your parents to glean some of their knowledge on the subject. Is it a good time to buy a house? If you wait a little longer, are the house prices likely to go down? Buying a house for the first time often means that you don't have a huge budget, but you could still get a very good house if you wait a while until the prices have gone down.
- Remember to live within your means. Check out how much money you can borrow in the form of a mortgage from a local bank, such as CIBC, and base your house-hunting around that figure or below. Don't try and borrow more money to get a much larger house which in reality, will be too big for just two people. You can always upgrade your home in a few years if you have children or feel that the home you're living in has gotten too small or doesn't suit what you really need.
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