Well hey there Wolf of Bay Street!
Stepping into the home ownership game is a huge step forward and one I made when I was just 22 years old (yes, mom and dad helped). Luckily, you have someone like me who is prone to only learning through making mistakes, so if you are anything like me…this advice is going to be golden for you.
Don’t let your Ego take over.
Yeah, ego gets to you when you’re young and buying a house before anybody else. The problem is, ego can be quickly replaced by reality. While we all want the biggest and best house to show off, you NEED TO make sure it is something that you can handle. It’s not just about the price….you need to factor in things like maintenance and upkeep as well!
When you get approved for a mortgage, you’ll qualify based on a total debt service ratio. While the banks will approve you, try thinking of the real TDS= total drinking spending. Your lifestyle has to be factored into your expenses so you don’t end up house poor. If you like to go out, drive a nice car, eat at nice restaurants, and go on vacations then make sure you can still do that when you own a home.
Location, Location, Location.
If you’re working downtown and partying downtown, don’t buy a home in the suburbs. Think about your lifestyle; think about where your work; and think about what you like to do, and factor all of that into your decision. It would be better to own 700 square feet and be steps to what you love, than 1400 square feet and a have to drive to the nearest pub.
When you’re young, you have a bunch of friends who are living with their parents or renting. It’s so easy to subsidize your mortgage by having a couple of buddies pay you rent. If you can, get a place with at least two bedrooms.
It’s Okay to Involve Your Parents.
Parent’s can be a great tool for guiding you in the right direction, and you should consider their advice. I wouldn’t have considered mechanical things about a house that my dad knew about or ideas my mom had about the functionality of a home. We have a bit of a parental touch with our young professionals who are typically only concerned with view and the location for their bar:)
Really… Make Sure You Love It.
Don’t let the “coolness” affect your true emotions on whether or not you love a place. You’ll be living there, and the novelty will soon wear off, so instead of only thinking the TV would look great on a wall, make sure that it checks off what you are truly looking for.