Buying or renting your first home is exciting whether you’re finally getting out of mom and dad’s house, or you’re ready to settle down after a year of travelling abroad, or you’ve finally saved up enough of a nest-egg for that down-payment.

Your independence is just around the corner but you’re feeling flustered thinking about all steps you need to take before you find a place you can call home. “What type of place am I looking for? How much can I afford? How do I go about getting the proper insurance?”

We at Bunnell Hitchon understand the overwhelm you’re feeling, so we’ve put together a list of tips that will put you on the right track!

1. Start Outlining Your Budget

Knowing how much you can afford before you start looking is key! You don’t want to waste time looking at beautiful homes outside of your budget. Take a look at your current financial situation to help you determine how much of a mortgage or rent you can afford to pay each month. You’ll also want to estimate how much you might be spending on things like hydro, water, and other utilities. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance. At Bunnell Hitchon we offer insurance for as little as a few dollars per month. When it comes to protecting your belongings, our brokers work hard to ensure we give you the best coverage possible!

2. Create a Wish List

Make list of needs and wants for your first home. Your “want” column might include things like a balcony or front porch, pool or an on-site gym, while your “need” column could include things like a dishwasher or storage space or you can check to to help your wish list to your home.

3. Consider Your Daily Commute

Estimate how long it might take you to get to and from work, and to other places you visit frequently like your favourite grocery store, daycare, or your parents’ house. If you don’t drive on a regular basis, pay attention to the public transit service in the area you’re looking to move to.

4. Complete a Thorough Walkthrough

Take your time and look through every nook and cranny of the space you’re about to purchase or rent. Check for leaky faucets, stains on the carpet, large holes in the wall, or outlets that aren’t working. For homeowners, utilize a trusted realtor or third party to undergo a robust home inspection. For renters, take photos of things you’re told the landlord is unable to change or repair so you won’t be charged for those items when it’s time to move out.

5. Read Your Purchase or Lease Agreement Thoroughly Before Signing

It’s important you understand and agree with everything in your agreement before signing on the dotted line. Pay close attention to mortgage or lease renewal dates, increases, causes for eviction, consider utilizing a realtor or lawyer who can help you navigate through cumbersome and confusing documentation. You’ll also want to pay attention to what requirements there are around insurance. For homeowners, insurance is a must, for renters, some landlords suggest you get insurance to protect your belongings incase of an accident or vandalism, while others make it mandatory you obtain insurance prior to renting.

6. Get Insurance

Homeowners Insurance:

 Having a homeowners’ insurance policy is a must. You’ve worked hard on saving for that down payment and you’ve finally taken the plunge on your first home, now it’s time to protect which has likely become your largest asset.

At Bunnell Hitchon we work with you one on one to determine your lifestyle, and insurance needs in order to provide you with the best insurance policy possible.

Unfortunately life, and the unexpected happens. Should you ever have to move forward with putting through a claim we’re right here for you, offering personalized service and guiding you every step of the way.

 Rental Insurance:

Your landlord is likely covered for damages that happen to the building itself, but that won’t protect any of your belongings should they be damaged in a fire, or go missing from a break-in.

Many renters make the mistake of not getting tenant’s insurance because they think they don’t need it. No matter how careful you may be, you never know when an electric fire’s going to spark, or when a pipe will burst and flood your home. Tenant’s insurance assures you that you’re protected against the damage or loss of personal property when you rent an apartment or house.

Not only does the tenant’s insurance policy we offer cover stolen or damaged personal possessions, it ensures you’re covered for family liability protection, guest medical protection, and additional living expenses should you require somewhere else to stay while your home is being repaired.

If you’re currently without property insurance, it’s time to give us a call! A Bunnell Hitchon Insurance Broker will be happy to assist you and provide you with a quote to get you started!

"My wife and I were recent clients of Arslan. I wanted to let you know that he did an excellent job and was very thorough and informative. As a first time home buyer, there is much to consider. On top of tis, my wife and I purchased a historical home in Brantford and ran into some insurance complications in this regard. Arslan not only assisted us in finding reasonably rated Home and Auto insurance, but he did it in plain language, speaking to us more like a friend. He should be commended for a job well done."

- Rob Centurione

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