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How to Maximize Your First Home Without Going Over Budget



Successfully budgeting for your first home purchase is an accomplishment in itself! However, in a high-cost housing market like Toronto, getting every item on your home wishlist without overpaying can feel like an overwhelming or even impossible task – but it doesn’t need to! 

We know the home-buying process inside and out. In our decades of buying and selling homes in West Toronto, we’ve learned that with careful planning and an informed, strategic approach to buying, you can maximize your first home purchase without going over budget.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your first home.

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Work With a Local Real Estate Agent

If you’re looking to find the best home possible without going over budget, working with a local real estate agent is essential. In West Toronto, average home prices can vary by neighbourhood and even by street. By working with an agent that has a long professional history in the area and a deep understanding of the neighbourhood market, you can make informed decisions about property values and avoid overpaying.

Your agent will also serve as your advocate during the negotiations phase. Their local expertise and business skills can help you land the best possible price on your home. Your agent will help you craft an appealing initial offer and make other recommendations, such as getting pre-approved for financing to help you stand out from other buyers. By submitting a compelling offer right out of the gate you can avoid the possibility of finding yourself in a bidding war with other interested buyers. 

Another way to bypass cost-increasing buyer competition is by exploring off-market homes. A well-connected local agent can also give you access to upcoming or private listings before other buyers even know they’re available. 

Don’t forget – real estate commissions for both the buyer’s and seller’s agents are covered by the seller. As the buyer, working with an agent comes at no extra cost! Choosing not to work with a local agent can not make it harder to find and buy your first home, but it can also make it more expensive. 

Looking to find the best home based on your budget? Check out these other resources from our blog. 

Know Where to Look

In a big, fast-paced city like Toronto, homes in certain neighbourhoods can come at a premium. This is typically due to the area’s reputation or popularity. By tailoring your home search to more affordable neighbourhoods you can build greater selection into your budget. 

While it’s generally true that properties become more affordable the farther away you go from the city centre, you won’t need to venture very far to find a bargain. West Toronto is overflowing with unique, highly-liveable neighbourhoods that offer a wide variety of housing options. 

Get to know some of West Toronto’s most charming and eclectic neighbourhoods by exploring our neighbourhood guides here

Consider a Home With a Rental Suite

While it may be a less traditional path to home ownership, buying a home with a built-in rental suite has become a popular trend among first-time buyers in Toronto. A built-in rental suite allows you to earn passive income which can then be added to your overall home budget. 

This route won’t be for everyone. However, if you’re looking to really maximize your home budget, it’s worth considering. Your real estate agent can help you find homes that are equipped with rental suites. After you’ve moved in, they can assist you in sourcing responsible long-term tenants to ensure you get a strong start on your earnings. 

As a first-time buyer, there may be parts of your home purchase that are unfamiliar to you. Check out these blog posts for more helpful information about homeownership. 

Don’t Skip the Home Inspection

As interest rate hikes cause real estate in Toronto to become more balanced, home inspections are once again becoming a common contingency in home sales.

As a buyer, home inspections are the best way to protect yourself from unexpected costs in the future. Even if you stick to your price range during the buying process, running into problems down line can lead to financial challenges. Structural, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing issues can all be expensive to repair. Be sure to leave room in your budget for a home inspection. 

Should you run into any issues with your first home after moving in, talk to your real estate agent. They will be able to connect you with affordable and trustworthy local contractors who can make any repairs you may need.

Ready to find your perfect first home? We can help. Send us an email.

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