10 Tips Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

Your first home is one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make. It can be a stressful time as you want to make sure you’re making the right choice; the right home style, right neighbourhood, and the right timing are all important factors as you make the leap to purchase your first home. In order to make sure you feel safe and secure, here are some tips every first time home buyer should know!

1. Know your home’s warranty program

Make sure that you understand your new home’s warranty. New construction homes in Alberta are covered under specific warranty laws, make sure you read up on them and get your home inspected to ensure you don’t void your warranty. You can read about Cami Comfort’s warranty program here.

2. Ask yourself what kind of home will meet your needs best

Sometimes you may dream of a large home just like the one you grew up in, but that home was likely not your parents’ first home purchase. List out what’s most important to you and what kind of features you absolutely need for your first home. Duplexes can meet a lot of a first time home buyer’s needs, provide them with the sense of comfort that a single family home has while sitting at a much lower price point.

3. Contact an insurance broker before you move in

The moment you take possession, your home will become your largest asset. It’s important to protect yourself and your home with a comprehensive insurance plan. Talk to an insurance provider to make sure you’re protected from all kinds of damages to your home, from theft, to fire, to flood, and more. 

4. Research down payment options

When getting a mortgage, you’ll be required to provide a down payment. As a first time home buyer, you can put down as little as 5%; however, if your down payment is less than 20% you will be required to pay mortgage loan insurance that will increase the cost of your home. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a great resource about mortgage loan insurance. 

5. When picking a home, think about affordability

Sometimes, mortgages (that you’re pre-approved for) feel like a blank cheque that you can use to pay for the home of your dreams. Pre-approval means that the amount you have been given is the absolute maximum amount the bank believes you can afford to pay. When choosing your home, think not just about what you can afford at the time, but also the affordability of your mortgage in the long run. Your mortgage is a continuous expense you can expect, but there are also unexpected costs in life such as home or vehicle repairs, needing new furniture or appliances, and more. When choosing a home and mortgage, make sure you think about how you could afford it even during unexpected circumstances. You could try out a budgeting app to make sure you’re staying on track financially. Mint is a wonderful free resource!

6. Look for energy efficiency

When choosing a home, energy efficiency in the building (windows, doors, furnace) as well as appliances can save you a significant amount of money once you’ve moved in. Learn about EnerGuide Ratings and try to find a home that has a great energy efficiency score. The more efficient your home is, the better! Cami Comfort Homes makes sure that every home we build has a great Energuide score, ensuring your home is as energy efficient as can be!

7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

As a first time home buyer, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. There’s no need to be embarrassed to try to do it all on your own, there are many professionals and resources at your disposal to help. If you’re looking at new construction homes, your home builder is a fantastic wealth of information. At Cami Comfort Homes, we take pride in helping our customers fully understand the home building and home buying process. If you have any questions, we want to help!

8. Don’t skip out on the walk-through

Whether you’re buying a new construction home or a pre-owned home, a walk-through  is a must before you move in. It’s important to see the progress on your new home, so be sure to accept when offered the chance to do a walk- through. Cami Comfort takes all customers on courtesy walk-throughs during key stages of the build, as well as a pre-possession walk-through one week before you move in. This pre-possession walk-through shows you how to use everything and allows you to view the final project. It’s better to see your brand new home for the first time before you’ve moved in and all your furniture has filled up the space!

9. Keep all your paperwork

When you buy a home, you’ll receive a ton of information and paperwork. From the contract to your warranty to your mortgage, there will be a lot of paperwork to keep track of. Not only do you want to ensure you have everything saved online, but you also want to ensure that you have paper copies of all your documents (RPR, deed, mortgage statements, closing disclosure, etc.) in a fireproofed, lockable filing cabinet. Cami Comfort Homes provides a comprehensive Homeowners Manual binder, so you can rest assured that all important documents pertaining to your home are safely organized.

10. Get your first time home buyers tax credit (HBTC)

In Canada, eligible first time home buyers can claim a $5000 non-refundable, income tax credit on their home. You can find out if you’re eligible on the Canadian Revenue Agency website to claim your tax credit. 

Buying your first home can be a stressful time, but with Cami Comfort Homes, we can alleviate a lot of that stress! We’re here to make sure you buy an amazing home that has everything you need and want with a mortgage you can afford. With a Cami Comfort Duplex, you can have all the comforts and features of a single family home at a much lower price point. Live in a gorgeous duplex in St. Albert with Cami Comfort Homes, St. Albert’s premier duplex builder!

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