First Time Home Buyer’s Guide

This first time home buyer’s guide was designed for someone looking to purchase their first home in Ottawa, Ontario. Buying a home for the first time is exciting, but it brings a lot of stresses. However, all of the hard work is worth it the moment you first step into your new home. The agents at Team Grondin take great satisfaction in helping their customers find their dream homes and are happy to share their experience with them to make that process as fun and stress-free as possible.

Here is a guide I put together to help with some of the steps you need to consider when shopping for your dream home:

Hire a real estate agent

You could browse real estate websites on your own to find a home that matches your needs, but it is a labourious process. Professional agents like those at Team Grondin have access to the most updated homes databases and the most current knowledge of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods to help you locate the best housing match. They will guide you through the entire process so that nothing is forgotten.

Ask a lot of questions

Tell your real estate agent all of the things you want in a home to help them find listings you’ll want to visit and don’t be afraid to ask them questions about everything, especially if you are a first-time home buyer. They are there to help answer those questions and chances are they’ve probably heard the same questions from other clients before and can easily answer them.

Get a pre-approved mortgage

Talk to your bank about your financial situation and determine how much money you can realistically borrow for your mortgage. This amount will establish how much home you can buy, narrowing down the number of listings you can afford and making the buying process more efficient.

Hire a real estate lawyer

Buying real estate involves a lot of legal documents necessary to transfer ownership of the property to you. A lawyer (or notary in Quebec) will make sure that every detail is checked off and there won’t be any surprises later.

Visit a lot of homes

Finding the right home can take time so don’t be sold on the very first place you visit. Ask your agent to take you to several properties before you make your final decision. Some houses aren’t always as nice in person as they may appear from photographs you’ve seen online. If you visit enough houses, chances are high that you’ll know a place is right for you the moment you walk in.

Take notes

Keep records of the homes you visit by taking notes and photographs of each so that you can keep track of them all. It’s easy to forget which ones you liked and which ones you didn’t. Good notes will help you narrow down your choices and help you make the right decision.

Visit the neighbourhood

Sometimes you’ll find a great house in a lousy neighbourhood. Make sure you like the area by visiting it at different times of day and different days of the week. Walk around to see if there are shops, schools or public transit options that match your needs. You may even discover things that make it an even better neighbourhood than you thought.

Make an offer

Once you’ve found a place you like, your real estate agent can help you draw up a purchase offer. They are experienced negotiators that will be able to guide you on the right offer. It’s easy to get emotional and offer too much money to guarantee a purchase but agents are professional negotiators that remove the emotional element which helps them get you the best deal.

Inspect the building

Most offers to purchase a home are conditional on a successful home inspection. Hire an experienced inspector to go over every detail of the home in order to uncover any faults that may have been overlooked. In some cases, they will uncover red flags that will make you want to back out of the sale or revise your offer,

Enjoy your new home

Setting up a new home is one of life’s great pleasures. If you took all the right steps to find the house that’s right for you, you can take great satisfaction in living there for years to come.


If you have any questions about this guide or would like to speak with me. You can visit my contact page to get in touch.