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First-time homebuyers hold a special place in the real estate market. Representing a major step towards independence, financial responsibility, and building equity for the future, it is a significant milestone in a person’s life.

To get a better sense of what the process is like for first-time homebuyers, we interviewed our own expert, REALTOR® Sarah Ingram-Morris.

“When I purchased my first home, it was such a liberating experience to move from being a renter to an owner,” Sarah shared. “It’s really important to me that I can give my first-time homebuyer clients an experience that respects how big of a milestone this is for them.”

Whether you have any knowledge of the homebuying experience or not, it is always a good idea to work with a trusted real estate professional who will guide you throughout this major life transition. And if you’re nervous about getting the process started, don’t be! Sarah and our team have you covered.

“I offer a consultation where I explain the whole process from start to finish for each new client, and when it’s a first-time buyer, I really focus on explaining the market, different types of homes, and property values,” Sarah elaborated.

The start of the process is perhaps one of the most important steps — figuring out your budget. “Get pre-approved!” Sarah recommended. “I am more than happy to refer my clients to our trusted mortgage team who will help them understand their budget so I can then help them search within it. The best piece of advice I can offer any first-time buyer is to stay within your budget!”

It is crucial for first-time homebuyers to know exactly what they can afford, ensuring that they factor in mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Being financially prepared from the outset made Sarah’s own first home purchase smooth. “I set aside money for moving and legal costs,” Sarah disclosed. “And since working with my REALTOR® had no cost to me, I was able to set aside a little extra money for small updates once we moved in.”

Did you know that working with a REALTOR® doesn’t cost you anything when you are on the buying side? Now you do! “REALTORS® help their buyers make the most informed decision on what is for most, the biggest purchase of their lifetime,” Sarah explained. “The beautiful thing about this? It’s at no expense to the buyer, as commissions are typically paid by the seller!” That means you get a skilled professional that is dedicated to getting you the absolute best deal possible AND at no added expense. Every penny counts!

Working with a first-time homebuyer is an exceptionally rewarding experience for any REALTOR® who truly loves what they do (like us!). The satisfaction of helping them navigate the complex process to turn their dreams into a reality provides a deep sense of personal fulfilment and pride. “I love working with first-time homebuyers!” Sarah confirmed. “My favourite part is their excitement. Being a homeowner is such an exciting process and transitioning from a renter to an owner is such a wonderful investment. I’m almost as excited as they are when they find that perfect home!”

One last piece of advice from Sarah to her first-time homebuyer clients? “Be open-minded!” she laughed. “I didn’t know what I wanted until I walked through the front door during the showing. I fell in love and put in an offer right away!”

Buying your first home is a remarkable achievement and a significant investment in your future. With careful planning, financial preparation, and the support of a qualified real estate agent, the process can be less daunting and more rewarding. Remember, patience is key, and finding the right home might take time, but it will be worth it when you step into your very own slice of heaven.

Happy house hunting, first-time home buyers!

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