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Getting the keys to your first home is probably one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your life. You will no longer be under the thumb of your landlord, and you will have free reign to paint and decorate to your heart’s content. However, before you take the leap into home ownership or even start looking for your dream home, there are three very important things a first-time home buyer should consider.


Location, Location, Location

Before you head out to every open house throughout the city, it is important to figure out what exactly you are looking for. Take a drive through some neighbourhoods that appeal to you and do some research online to see what you think would be within your budget. Ask yourself some questions and make note of your answers. Would you like a condominium or a home with a yard for your dog? Do you want to be in the inner city or would you prefer the suburbs? How close to work do you want to be, do you mind a commute? Will you need access to schools for your children within the next few years? What characteristics do you love in a neighbourhood? Would you like easy access to a hospital? All of these questions will help pinpoint some neighbourhoods that might meet your lifestyle needs.


Your Finances – What Can You Afford?

Once you’ve narrowed down the type of home and neighbourhoods you’d like, it’s time to take a look at your finances. Most financial institutions have mortgage calculators on their websites where you can easily plug in your numbers to see an estimate of what you may qualify for. This is a helpful tool to give you an idea of what you can afford. Then it’s time to meet with a mortgage representative at a financial institution. They will work with your financial information and be able to provide you with a preliminary figure for pre-approval.  Make a budget and compare your current expenses as a renter to what you think they will be as a home owner.  Remember, owning a home comes with additional expenses like repairs and insurance, so make sure you take these items into consideration when calculating your mortgage affordability.


Work with a Realtor

The home buying process is much easier and enjoyable when you have a real estate professional in your corner. So once you have some ideas about what type of neighbourhood and home you would like to live in, and you’ve also determined the amount of the mortgage you’ve been pre-approved for, then the next step is to contact your realtor. They will work with you to help match your neighbourhood and home expectations to what fits in your budget. Your realtor has a wealth of insider information on neighbourhoods and the current real estate market, and can work with you to find a home that best fits your needs, yet doesn’t surpass your budget! Another benefit of having a professional realtor work with you is that they can provide you with great contacts within the industry like Home Inspectors, Lawyers and Mortgage Professionals. The realtor you choose will be loyal to you and your home buying journey, ensuring that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Ottawa area, please call Rose-Anne Freedman at 613-216-1755 or email

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