I just purchased my first home. It was an experience unlike any other I have ever attempted.

It was with helpful online articles (and with the wisdom of my real estate agent) that I was able to have a stress free and enjoyable experience.

There are numerous curve balls that might come your way when buying your first home; however, many of them are avoidable.

Financial Ducks in a Row

First and foremost, run a free credit report to ensure that you don’t have any delinquent or derogatory marks on your credit.

One of the most dangerous pitfalls to buying a home is attempting to hurdle last minute hiccups with loan approvals.

Once you determine that your credit history is in order, visit any of the numerous mortgage calculators online to see what you can afford.

Zillow has a great Mortgage Calculator that is easy to use. The general rule of thumb is that your monthly payments should not be more than 25% of what you earn monthly.

The last major step is pre-approval. After deciding what you can reasonably afford, choose a lender and apply for pre-approval. They will ask you to provide them credit information and proof of income.

Once you have a pre-approval letter in your hand, a seller is more likely to play ball with you, in regards to negotiation price and contract stipulations.

Location, Location, Location

Whether you want to decide on a neighborhood or a house in general, websites like ibuynew provide tools necessary to find homes within your price range and other specifications (such as house size, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc).

Once you figure out the general area in which you desire to live, contact your real estate agent and let them know the specifications you are looking for, and they can provide you with instant updates about houses on the market and houses entering the market.

Inspecting the Goods

It is always wise to hire an inspector. A home inspector has massive amounts of knowledge, ranging from electrical to plumbing, and roofing to foundation work.

A good home inspector will keep you from buying a house with major problems. A great home inspector will find every problem — ever so slight. Knowing what problems the house may have is essential in deciding on a fair price.

Surveying the Land

Without a survey, there is no way of knowing whether or not there may be conflicts with neighbors. The last thing you want to have happen is to move in, just to find that your neighbour has a shed or workshop built on your land.

Additionally, a survey is a must for those looking to building fences or disputes a neighbour’s placement of a fence.

Assessment of the Home

Assessments are required by the bank to ensure that they aren’t writing a check worth thousands more than the house is actually worth. The bank will not give you a loan for $200,000 if the house in question is only worth $150,000. It protects them (and at the same time protects you from getting ripped off!).

While this might all seem confusing, a real estate agent does this for a living and can recommend reputable inspectors, assessors, and mortgage lenders. Your best bet for purchasing your first home is to use a highly recommended real estate agent.

They will act as your guardrails on the symbolic highway to purchasing a new home.

Image thanks to Shutterstock.
  • Thanks all great tips to keep in mind!


  • We rent. Always have. Always will. We have no savings and we’re too old to be able to pay it off now :,(


  • Good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this!


  • Great tips, thank you very much.


  • We are looking to buy an investment property and it is just as difficult to take the plunge!


  • This would have been so very handy had we known this before we bought our first home.


  • these are really good points!
    thanks for sharing with the mums


  • Great tips for those looking at buying a home


  • I don’t want to be alarmist but I feel it only fair to warn people that an inspector may not find all faults which could be expensive to fix. e.g. I know a lady that decided to alter her kitchen cupboards. During the process it was discovered that there was a leaking pipe and that the wall behind some of the tiles was almost at breaking point, part of the wall had gone mouldy. Basically the tiles were holding one small section of the wall together. Replacing the section of wall was bad enough but all the tiles had to be removed because they were unable to match them. Re-modelling the entire kitchen had been planned for about 10 years later.

    • That’s a fair point. One thing I’ve learned since buying a house is that there is always something that needs money spent on it!!

      • I also know an older gentleman who bought a house and I don’t know whether or not he got a building inspection. At some point he went in above the ceiling and discovered some sections of support timbers had been removed. I don’t know if they were some to which the ceiling was attached or roofing timbers. but I know that he showed another relative of his.


  • wow thanks very imformative


  • Some great ideas thanks for sharing.My Canvas Prints


  • Id love to get my own home


  • Thank you! I have been looking at articles all day


  • One thing I wish someone had suggested to me before we bought our home was to pay extra to include asbestos in the house inspection if the home is a bit old! So much cheaper to know what you are getting into from the beginning, then realising in the middle of renovations you need to pay extra to get it removed, or just always wondering if that shed in the backyard is or isn’t asbestos…


  • There is some very sound advice here!


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