Wednesday, August 24, 2016     Marion Goard   

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First-time homeownership brings with it a daunting list of fears and what-ifs that are accompanied by an equally emotional list of joys and rewards. 

Much of our anxieties as first-timers stem from a lack of knowledge and understanding. While you know you want a semi-detached home over a condo, your grasp of mortgages, closing costs and Realtor sales commissions may be a little lacking.

Unless your parents are in the real estate business, don't look to them for advice. Chances are they haven't purchased real estate in many, many years. Try studying your local real estate market online or attend a free seminar for first-time home buyers.

On the plus side, homeownership gives you independence; it sets you on the path to your dream home and helps you build equity. If you have a green thumb or a decorator's eye, you'll find hours of pleasure and pride working on your house and garden.

Here are a few tips that might help fight some of those first-time buyer fears:

Buyer's Remorse - Prepare a list of the must-haves you require and stick with it. Stay within your price range and be sure to sleep on your decision before putting in an offer no matter how much you love the house. Try to view it a second time before placing an offer as the property will either come more into focus or go out of focus.

Devalued Property - Even Warren Buffett can't predict how the real estate market will fare. If you can afford it, buy in an established neighbourhood where homes are well maintained and lived in by their owners.

Too High Maintenance Costs - To avoid getting saddled with a money pit buy a home that is well maintained or one that has recently underwent new upgrades such as a new roof, new furnace or new electrical wiring. You may want to buy a new home to avoid unexpected costs, though that's not always a guarantee. Always get your home inspected before buying. While there are no guarantees, a good home inspector can ferret out problems you would likely oversee.

To help you on your journey of first time homeownership, be sure to use the help of a licensed Realtor. I'm here for you if have any questions! I can be contacted at 905-335-8808 or at

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  On behalf of Jennifer and I, we would like to thank you for all of the hard work you put into finding us our first home together. It is very reassuring to find someone who really takes the time to make sure that every little thing is done right. Jennifer and I spent months looking for a place to live. We both had very specific requests which didn't always make it easy for you.

By taking the time to ask us the right questions you were able to find our dream house. I must say that you went above and beyond taking a large amount of your time showing us different properties. As I'm sure that you would agree, I am very particular and I like to see every house that is out there before I make a decision. I have worked with REALTORS in the past that were only concerned about "closing the deal" and earning their commission. I never got that feeling from you. I always believed that you had our best interests at heart. I would not hesitate to call you in the future if we are looking for a larger property or investment property. Your knowledge of the Hamilton-Burlington market is quite extensive.

Jen and I are extremely happy and would recommend your services to anyone interested in purchasing a home or investment property.

Adam Berti, Hamilton, ON

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