First time home buyer? Here’s what to ask your realtor.

We mentioned in a recent blog post that in addition to being a contractor, I’m an experienced realtor with Century 21. Real estate and construction are both important elements of my business, and I’m passionate about helping families find their perfect home (and renovate it as needed)!

First time home owners have a unique set of questions and needs, and I’m here to help them every step of the way. If you’re thinking about buying your first home, consider asking these questions to ensure that your purchase is truly the right fit.

The right questions, the right answers

It’s great to ask a lot of questions about a house and the actual property it sits on – you want to know about the condition, find out what’s behind the walls and get a great home inspector to assure you that your purchase is sound. That said, the physical property is just the beginning. Consider asking your realtor about the neighbourhood as well as current and future zoning, as this could affect your experience living there. Look into the local school, public transit options and all nearby amenities, from libraries and community centres to grocery stores, hiking trails and entertainment. A great house is wonderful, but the neighbourhood that surrounds it is just as critical.

Additionally, we encourage clients to ask about any and all fees involved in a real estate transaction, from realtor fees to land transfer tax and more. You’ll want to understand exactly how much money will be involved in the transaction, from initial deposit to closing costs and ongoing mortgage payments.

A note on new builds

Finally, we sometimes work with buyers looking at new builds – a great option for many families. In this case, there are specific questions to ask not only your realtor but also your builder, as unexpected costs can crop up in the form of cosmetic upgrades (for example, hardwood instead of laminate flooring, or stone countertops in the kitchen). I often discuss these upgrades with new build buyers as working with the developer is not their only option. It is often more cost effective to have your new home made ‘builder basic’ and then hire an outside contractor to complete upgrades as desired. My team can provide high quality work at a lower cost – so why throw away money before you even move in?

Ask me about how to get the most out of your first real estate transaction, whether it’s a new build or a century home (or anything in between). I’m always happy to offer guidance, help price things out and even renovate your new property. It all starts with a phone call – please reach out to me (Vince) any time at 416-562-2387.