whitehorse real estate,real estate in whitehorse,whitehorse houses for sale whitehorse real estate,real estate in whitehorse,whitehorse houses for sale whitehorse real estate,real estate in whitehorse,whitehorse houses for sale whitehorse real estate,real estate in whitehorse,whitehorse houses for sale

Cobourg first-time home buyers do their research:

COBOURG — First-time homebuyers Matt and Alyssa Elder knew exactly what they wanted in a home.
“I had one stipulation — it needed to have a garage,” said Mr. Elder.
The garage was necessary because Mr. Elder’s truck, a project he started working on at the age of 16 with his father and grandfather, needed to be protected. Ms. Elder wanted to have a home before they started a family. The couple was able to buy a home in Cobourg before the birth of their son, Carter, who is almost two years old now.
They were 25 years old when they bought the home and said they are one of the youngest in the neighbourhood. Nearly half their friends have made the leap to home ownership.
The search for that first home wasn’t as quick and easy as they had hoped.
“Originally I wanted a bungalow,” said Ms. Elder.
“With a two-bay garage,” Mr. Elder added.
Like many first-time homebuyers, the Elders did their research, looking daily online and visiting nearly 30 homes.
Long-time Durham realtor Rick Dimock with RE/MAX says buyers are researching online and learning what they can about the market before putting in offers.
First-time homebuyers Kaity Sullivan, 25, and Brett Bailey, 29, had a list of what they wanted before their search. The most important item was a large fenced-in yard for their two dogs. After nearly a year of searching they realized they had to be willing to deviate from some of the must-haves.
“It’s a give and take,” said Ms. Sullivan.
Houses were going quickly in Cobourg and they would find a home only to realize it had an offer on it already.
“We were getting frustrated,” she said.
The couple moves into their new home in the west end of Cobourg on July 24. Initial items on their list such as a large kitchen and a second washroom were sacrificed because they loved other features of the home. They can make improvements and there could be a chance to move to a better home in the future, said Ms. Sullivan.
“It’s a first home — it may not be your forever home,” she said. Although they were first-time buyers, the two couples didn’t go into the purchase blindly.
Mr. Dimock said he often sees mistakes made by first-time buyers — mostly, people biting off more than they can chew.
“They think they can buy higher than they can,” he said.
Mr. Elder said the mortgage lender gave the couple a maximum limit but they didn’t want to borrow too much and be stuck with high monthly payments.
“I didn’t want to struggle,” said Mr. Elder. “We knew we wanted kids.”
Missing dinners out and other events because they couldn’t afford it wasn’t something Ms. Elder was willing to do.
The couple did what is advised for the first-time buyer.
“Stay within their comfort zone is what I’d recommend to a first-time homebuyer,” said Mr. Dimock. “Make sure they’re not buying at the top of their scale.”
Buyers should know what they can afford before they start looking; Mr. Dimock suggests getting a mortgage pre-approval right away.
“That’s the first thing I tell people to do,” said Mr. Dimock.
Mr. Dimock noted getting that pre-approval will lock buyers into the current interest rate for 90 days.
“If the rates happen to go up within that 90-day period, they’re protected,” he said.
He said banks like clients who have had the same job, or who’ve been in the same line of work, for at least three years. Also, a good credit rating is key to getting pre-approved.
While bankers will check a client’s credit rating, buyers can check for themselves at www.transunion.ca .
“I’ve had clients find out that they had a student loan they forgot to pay off,” said Mr, Dimock. “That screwed up their credit rating.”
A bank or mortgage broker can also give buyers numbers on what they can expect in regards to making mortgage payments. But buyers should also keep in mind all of the other costs that will pop up, including hydro and water bills, cable, Internet and phone.
The Elders were aware of many costs but there were still some “surprises” such as the lawyer’s fee.
Ms. Sullivan said they had a very good real estate agent who outlined all the extra costs.
“For the first-time home buyer it is overwhelming,” she said.
Buyers should also keep in mind all of the closing costs, such as the land transfer tax, a home inspection fee, and insurance.
Buyers will want to make sure they factor in whether big household items, such as appliances, will be included in the sale of the house, and what the conditions of the items are in. Sometimes, someone will buy a new home only to learn one or two months into living there that they need a new washer, dryer or dishwasher, said Mr. Dimock.
In order to keep unwanted surprises at bay, he said it’s important to find an accredited home inspector to make sure everything is in order.
A fan of the show “Holmes on Homes” where homeowners are victimized by shoddy renovation work, the Elders felt a home inspection was very important.
“I didn’t want to be one of those people (on the show),” said Mr. Elder.
Mr. Dimock said the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation fee is another cost that buyers need to be aware of. The mortgage loan insurance is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of the buyer’s down payment.
“If they want to avoid the high-ratio mortgage, they need to have at least 20 per cent down,” said Mr. Dimock.
Is it a good idea to put down that 20 per cent?
“Not necessarily, because they may not have it,” he said.
For example, if parents lend their child money to buy a house, they’ll most likely want it paid back — more costs to keep in mind.
Interest rates are low at the moment, a tempting reason to buy now. Mr. Dimock said buyers should keep in mind that those rates will go up, and to make sure they’ll be able to make those extra payments when their mortgage is due for renewal.
“Are they going to be able to afford that difference?” he said.
First-time home buyers are able to use up to $25,000 of their RRSPs to purchase a new home, and have 15 years to pay it back. Mr. Dimock suggested two key qualities when looking for an agent.
“It’s important to work with an experienced realtor who knows the area,” he said.
Also, buyers should make sure their realtor explains in detail any papers they sign with them, such as a buyer’s representation agreement, “which is a contract.”
Mr. Dimock suggests those moving from an apartment to a house make sure they can get out of their lease before they buy and learn they’re locked in.
Right now, it’s a sellers’ market.
“Buyers are competing against other buyers,” said Mr. Dimock.
So when’s the best time to buy?
“December,” said Mr. Dimock. “It’s not that prices are lower, it’s that they’re not competing with as many buyers. Typically December, July and August are the slowest months of the year. Very serious buyers will be buying in those months.”
Mr. Dimock suggests buyers visit the website fittobuy.ca
By Karen Longwell