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5 Tips for first time home buyers in Stratford

New buyers should work with an experienced insurance broker to ensure their investment is secure

Stratford is a picturesque, tranquil city nestled in Ontario’s celebrated region and offers an ideal setting for first-time homebuyers aiming to establish their foundations.

However, like in any other Ontario community, buying your first home in Stratford can be a long complex process that poses certain challenges you may not be aware of as a first-time buyer.

In this article, Orr Insurance will help you navigate the process of buying a home in Stratford as a first-time home buyer by providing some expert tips for securing your dream home.

Develop a Thorough Understanding of the Market You’re Buying In

If you are new to the Stratford area, you should do extensive research to ensure that you are familiar with property values, real estate trends, local amenities, and more.

An experienced realtor who is local to the Stratford area will be an invaluable resource and will be able to help answer any questions you might have about the area. They will also be able to point you in the right direction of neighbourhoods that align with your lifestyle.

For instance, in Stratford, the average home price in 2023 was $756,601. As a first-time buyer, you’ll need to be familiar with this figure to make sure that a home in Stratford fits within your budget. This brings us to their next tip.

Set a Budget Early On

Because the average home price in Stratford can be significantly different from average home prices in other areas, it’s important to be realistic and have a firm understanding of what you can afford before you fall in love with a home you won’t qualify for.

Therefore, before you even begin to look at houses, sit down with your mortgage broker or financial institution to find out what home price you can afford and how much of a mortgage you would be approved for.

Make sure that you are factoring in not only the cost of your monthly mortgage payments but also:

  • Property taxes
  • Home or condo insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Utilities
  • Condo fees if you are purchasing a condo
  • Any other associated costs

Get Pre-Approved

Before you start house hunting, meet with your financial institution or get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Not only will it give you a firm budget to work with, but it will also make your offer more attractive to sellers and streamline the escrow process.

Be Mindful of Your Spending Until Closing

When you are in the process of buying your first home, you will need to avoid making any big purchases or life changes until after you have closed on your house.

The reason for this is that lenders may not approve you for a mortgage if they see a pattern of unstable behaviour, so make sure to avoid any of the following until you have secured your home:

  • Quitting your job
  • Starting a new job
  • Going back to school
  • Buying a car
  • Buying expensive new furniture, appliances, televisions, etc.
  • Transferring large sums of money between accounts (with the exception of your down payment)
  • Buying other properties
  • Taking expensive vacations

Make Sure That You Have the Right Insurance

For any homeowner, obtaining home insurance is absolutely essential.

Not only does it protect your investment in the event of a fire, theft, or other adverse event, but most mortgage lenders require it. However, more often than not, basic home insurance is not enough to ensure you and your home are fully protected.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you should consider investing in additional coverage for flood damage and other risks that may not be included in standard home insurance policies.

Tips to Consider When Shopping For Home Insurance

Just like buying your first home, shopping for your first home insurance policy isn’t always black and white.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when choosing an insurance product that it can be difficult to know what type of policy you need. To help you through this process, Orr Insurance provided just a few additional tips for selecting the right home insurance coverage.

Work With a Stratford Home Insurance Broker

When shopping around for a home insurance policy for your new home in Stratford, they always recommend working with an experienced local insurance brokerage that has your best interests in mind.

Shopping for home insurance as a first-time home buyer can be a complex, overwhelming process without the right support. A broker who is familiar with the Stratford area knows exactly the type of home insurance you need for your new Stratford home and will present you with different options depending on your individual needs.

At Orr Insurance, their Stratford home insurance brokers work with a wide range of leading insurance providers through our partner network and will help you get the best price and find you the best home insurance policy that’s tailored to your specific needs. Should you have any questions or concerns, their team is available anytime to explain concepts and help you understand what type of coverage different policies provide.

Visit our website to learn more about the Orr Insurance team or to request a quote.