Buying your first home is an amazing accomplishment that comes with many new exciting perks and freedoms. If you bought your condo, you may remember a few things about the buying process and begin to anticipate a similar experience when buying your first home. While there are a handful of similarities, the process of buying a home is generally quite different from that of buying a condo.
Here are some key insights about the differences between purchasing processes to help you prepare for buying your first home.
Not sure if you’re ready to make the jump to homeownership? Check out 5 Signs it’s Time to Upsize.
Inspections and Surveys
Just like buying a condo, the process of purchasing a home involves verifying the property’s integrity to protect the buyer. Rather than a condominium status certificate, which covers critical financial and legal information about the corporation and building – the home buying process involves a home inspection and a land survey. Buying a condo can also involve an inspection process, however, this usually involves an inspection of the unit rather than the whole building.
A land survey documents a property’s environmental features. The survey will determine a property’s boundaries, also known as property lines and are typically required for obtaining title insurance or a mortgage
A home inspection is an overall assessment of the house’s current condition. A qualified professional will look closely at systems, components, and overall conditions to help buyers make an informed decision.
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Like repairs and maintenance, purchasing home insurance will become your responsibility as a homeowner. The protections provided by home insurance are something that would typically be covered by your condo fees. As a first-time homeowner, you may feel like you don’t know where to start when shopping for insurance. A great agent can assess your personal circumstances and make provider recommendations based on your unique needs.
The freedom that comes with having your own home and outdoor space are certainly exciting. But without a condo board, it also means you’ll be responsible for coordinating and budgeting for things like maintenance, repairs and other surprise costs.
You’ll also take on new duties when it comes to maintaining your outdoor property. Mowing the lawn and shovelling snow are some examples of outdoor tasks you’ll need to be prepared for. If you have a budget, you can also hire contractors such as landscapers or snow removers to take care of these responsibilities for you. These duties can take time to adjust to, but they will become less overwhelming as you settle into new routines.
Unsure if you want to sell your condo? Check out 4 Signs You Should Keep Your condo as an Investment Property.
When purchasing a home, you’ll have a greater ability to be flexible during the process of making an offer. The final purchasing price of your home will reflect your monthly mortgage costs and have a big impact on your monthly spending long into the future. This final price is, of course, negotiable. When owning a condo, one of the largest monthly costs – condo fees are non-negotiable, making a significant portion of your monthly expense set in stone.
Many things that could be considered “extras” during the purchase of a condo, such as parking, are not relevant to the purchase of the home. This means less leverage that can be used against you.
A great agent can provide market insights and important considerations to give you the best leverage possible during the negotiation process.
Taxes and Fees
One of the most significant ways in which buying a home differs from a condo purchase is the fees and taxes that occur during both the sale process and as annual expenses. As a homeowner, you’ll have other large recurring costs outside of your mortgage. Services and conveniences typically bundled into your condo fees will each be independent costs to be mindful of.
One of the largest of these is property tax. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll need to pay annual property taxes. In Toronto, property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of property by the city’s determined tax rate.
Want to learn more about the buying process? Check out these resources.
Upsizing to your first home is an exciting milestone. When the time comes, a great agent can help answer any questions you have about buying your first home and offer key insights about the local market.
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