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How to buy your first home in 10 steps - Infographic from Ingrid McGaughey Toronto Mortgage Broker

How to buy your first home in 10 steps [infographic]

How to buy your first home - infographic | Ingrid McGaughey | Toronto Mortgage Broker

A 10-step roadmap for first-time homebuyers: how to buy your first home

The journey to buy your first home is an exciting and pivotal time in your life. In my work as a mortgage broker I’ve had the privilege of helping many people find their first homes, so I understand that this process can also feel overwhelming. That’s why I’ve crafted this 10-step infographic roadmap to simplify the process.

Navigating your first home purchase

Whether you’re a young couple, a growing family, or an individual ready to invest in your future, this guide empowers you by simplifying the knowledge needed to navigate purchasing real estate confidently. My hope is that it will help make your journey towards home ownership be as seamless as possible.

Let me know what you think! And as always, don’t hesitate to book me for a free consultation to discuss your own situation.

How to buy your first home in 10 steps [infographic]:

How to buy your first home in 10 steps [infographic] by Ingrid McGaughey | Toronto mortgage broker

How to buy your first home in 10 steps [text version]:

1. Get ready

Work with a mortgage pro to figure out your homebuying game plan. Review your credit, savings, and income, and determine your budget for purchasing your first home. At this point, a mortgage broker will give you a high level overview of potential lenders and other mortgage considerations that might apply in your situation. Complete any action items that come up. Sometimes this step may come a few months or even a year or two before you move to step 2!

2. Get pre-qualified

Have your mortgage pro review all your documents to make sure everything is up to snuff. Then, get a mortgage pre-approval (or several) to lock in a mortgage rate.

3. Search for your home

Work with a reputable realtor to research neighbourhoods, property types, and amenities that align with your budget and preferences. During this part of the process you can visit properties on your shortlist (in person and/or virtually), get a much deeper understanding of what you like and don’t like, and fine-tune your first home must haves.

4. Make an offer

Consult with your realtor to draft an offer. They will walk you through market conditions and comparable property prices, suss out any competing offers to help guide how much you need to offer to be successful, and negotiate terms and conditions with the seller and the seller’s realtor.

5. Lawyer up

Send your accepted offer to your lawyer for review. If you’re buying a condo, have your lawyer approve the condo status certificate. If you don’t know any good real estate lawyers in your area, both your mortgage broker and your realtor can recommend good ones to talk to.

6. Book an inspection

Arrange a professional home inspection to identify any hidden issues or concerns before firming up your offer. Again, either your realtor or your mortgage broker can recommend a reputable home inspector in the local area near your future home. If any issues arise during the inspection, both your realtor and your mortgage broker will be helpful in discussing how to address those issues to maximum benefit.

7. Finalize your financing

Provide all remaining documents needed by your lender for review and final sign-off. In some cases, this may include arranging a third party appraisal of your property as well. Once everything has been verified and the lender conditions are satisfied, your lender will then send the official mortgage instructions to your lawyer.

8. Get your cash

Gather up the funds for your down payment and closing costs. Your lawyer will provide you with a breakdown showing the numbers. The initial deposit you provided with your offer gets taken into account. Your lawyer acts as the quarterback, coordinating with the seller’s lawyer to obtain the final amounts owed to them, and then collecting the funds provided by your mortgage lender and letting you know how much money you need to provide to cover the final remaining amount. Often your lawyer will suggest that you provide the funds a few days before closing, if possible, but the latest date to provide the money is the day of closing.

9. Sign off

Meet with your lawyer live or virtually to sign all the legal paperwork, provide identification to confirm your identity, and, if not already done so, to provide the final amount needed to cover your down payment and closing costs.

10. Congratulations – all done!

Your lawyer will be coordinating with the seller’s lawyer to make sure everything is approved on their end, and will reach out when everything is finalized. Celebrate your success, pick up your keys, and take possession of your first home!

Game plan for buying your first home

Having a clear game plan is essential to helping you make well-informed homebuying decisions. This is particularly true in super competitive real estate markets like the Greater Toronto Area. From establishing a budget that aligns with your financial goals, to navigating the intricacies of mortgage options, understanding which industry pros you’ll need to lean on, and finally, crossing the threshold of your first home, each step brings you closer to your goals.

If you have questions or want to book a free consultation to discuss your options, get in touch!


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