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How to buy a house in your 20's and 30's: Expert tips you need to know

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


June 28, 2018 - Karl Yeh

Are you in your 20s and 30s? Planning to buy a home? In this episode, we discuss how to buy a home at a young age including what costs to consider and whether location or price is a priority? We also explore whom to talk to and ask for help, as well as additional resources to check out. 

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Karl Yeh:

Hi, everyone. I'm Karl Yeh, and welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from home-buying experts.

And remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, make sure to hit the subscription button below. [00:00:30] Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Today, I'm joined by Cory McDonald, Community manager with Brookfield Residential.

The question we're going to answer today is:

How do you buy a house when you're young?

Cory McDonald:           

There's a lot of great resources out there to help inform young buyers. It's not impossible.

There's a lot of programs in place to help young buyers, but you want to be informed.

Talking to a really good lender will have a good discussion with them to break down exactly what you're qualified for, [00:01:00] but maybe also more importantly, what you're comfortable paying.

Because what you're qualified for can sometimes leave you house-poor if you're not comfortable with ... You want to go out to dinner on the weekends or you want to have enough extra money to have a social life as well.

And then getting multiple opinions because each lender might be able to provide a slightly different program for you as well.

On top of just the mortgage, there's a couple of things that young buyers might be surprised about when purchasing a brand new home.

There's some additional costs associated with the home [00:01:30] that you might not be fully aware of right off the bat.

Property taxes that are due on an annual basis would be one.

Each community is going to have a slightly different property tax, and you'd want to know exactly what that breaks down to on a month-to-month basis on top of your mortgage payments.

As we discussed earlier, there's also either a residents' association or condo fees with a multifamily site that you'd be paying for on top of just your mortgage.

Again, this goes towards either [00:02:00] utilities or insurance and maintenance on the exterior of the home or general upkeep of the community or the parks in the area.

But then you also want to be looking at if it doesn't include utilities, what your water bills, what your heating bills are going to cost you on a month-to-month basis.

So having a good discussion with a lender or with a brand new sales team, they'll help break down maybe some of these additional costs that aren't as easily visible when you're first looking at just a mortgage payment on a new home.

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Karl Yeh:                      

Now we've covered questions that you need [00:02:30] to ask as a first-time homebuyer above, but:

Is location and community really top priority for young buyers in your experience? Or is it more pricing that would be the lead factor?

Cory McDonald:           

That's a really interesting question, and I have to say that it depends on what the individual is primarily looking for.

There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter buyer.

Each person has a unique idea of what they want or a unique [00:03:00] lifestyle they're trying to fulfill with purchasing a brand new home. For some people, a community is very, very vital.

They want to have easy access to the downtown core.

They want to be close to specific schools or specific parks.

For some people, yes, they're very price-driven, so they might limit the communities that they're able to go to or maybe being further away from the interior core to accommodate a lower price point potentially.

Karl Yeh:                      

Now I remember you talked about making sure you are prepared, right? Because obviously if you were buying your second or your third or your fourth home, [00:03:30] you've had that experience. You've gone through the ringer of all the processes for a homebuyer.

But as a first-time homebuyer, in addition to research, what are some things that they should also do, for example, talk to family members, talk to ... How about realtors? What are some additional things that young people need to be aware of?

Cory McDonald:           

I would agree with both of those. Having those conversations and taking your time to have those conversations with family members that have purchased homes before.

Have mom and [00:04:00] dad have their say in what you should be looking for as a first-time homebuyer based on their experiences.

We love working with realtors, and I think there is definitely an asset in having their experience come with you as well to narrow down the search of what you're looking for, the prices you can afford in specific communities as well.

There's plenty of resources online, different builder websites or even you go to third-party surveys such as [00:04:30] Avid, which is a third-party customer service survey that new homebuyers would fill out.

You get an idea of which homebuyers are happier in which communities and with which builders.

So, getting a sense of where people are happier buying versus maybe they haven't had the greatest experience.

Karl Yeh:                      

Going off your Avid comment, things like Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews as well, just to get a sense of maybe which communities, which home-builders are the best that would meet your needs, obviously.

Cory McDonald:           

[00:05:00] 100%. There is a big difference in different builders.

If I was buying a home, I'd want to probably go with one that had a great reputation and a great priority on customer service.

Karl Yeh:                      

Yeah. Perfect.

And remember, as an additional resource watch these videos too.

Do you have anything else to add in terms of helping young homebuyers?

Cory McDonald:           

It's completely free to look. It doesn't cost anything to look through show homes.

Even when you're looking with a realtor, there's no fees in just [00:05:30] looking, so it doesn't hurt to take your time.

Go explore, come visit some show homes. If you end up buying, that's fantastic. If not, there's no harm done either. So come out and have a look.


Karl Yeh:                      

Perfect. Well, thank you very much, Cory. Thank you very much, everyone, for joining us.

The question I have for you is:

Are you a young homebuyer and what experiences and questions do you have in terms of the home-buying process?

Let us know in the comment section below. Thank you very much and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from homebuying experts.  

About Cory McDonald:

Cory has been working for Brookfield Residential for over 5 years and has had the opportunity to sell  in several beautiful communities around Calgary and Cochrane. He has experience selling everything from starter town-homes to move-up homes within the company. Cory originally grew up in Calgary and after a short stint living in the greater Vancouver area, he returned home for a better quality of life to raise his family.

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