Just In Time for the Modern Bride Wedding Show! Tips for Newlyweds Making a Real Estate Purchase

02 January 2020
Ela Napiorkowski

Newlyweds celebrating the purchase of their first home together

On January 25th and 26th, the International Centre on Airport Rd in Mississauga is host to the Modern Bride Wedding Show, and I can’t be more excited to be participating. Brides- and grooms-to-be find themselves in one of the most exciting times of their lives with a lot of changes about to take place. This is not merely restricted to a shiny new ring on their fingers either. It will likely include numerous changes, including their living arrangements, and this is how a real estate agent like myself finds themselves at the Modern Bride Wedding Show.

Selling a home and/or purchasing a new one together for the first time can be a demanding process with much to consider. What any newlywed couple requires during this process is a knowledgeable and dedicated real estate agent that can understand and accommodate their needs. With a long resume of success and deep roots in the area, I, Ela Napiorkowski, Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Brokerage am the perfect fit for any bride- and groom-to-be to navigate these challenging waters. I’m an expert in Toronto housing sales, specializing in Mississauga and Etobicoke real estate, but well-connected across the entire Greater Toronto Area, and I love working with first-time buyers or couples making their first purchase together.

Before we get moving on your real estate project together though, let me provide you with a few tips on the sorts of considerations and plans you will both need to make when deciding on a real estate purchase together. 

Prioritize your needs together

It’s very easy to rush into a decision, getting excited by some feature of a home or the current owners you just fall in love with, but, basing decisions on these sorts of variables will likely reveal themselves to be mistaken decisions in the long-term. To avoid this, you should prioritize your housing needs in advance of looking at properties.

Ask yourselves the right questions. What’s most important to you both? Is it the price? The neighbourhood? The size of the home? A big backyard? Proximity to entertainment or shopping? Proximity to work or school? What about parking? Take your time to answer these sorts of questions, creating a prioritized list of the most important variables you want in your home, and you will avoid making knee-jerk decisions that you will both likely regret for years to come.

Be clear on your budget

Discussing your needs and wants in your home is a fun process. Budgeting probably isn’t, but it’s likely the most important thing you need to do together (besides saying, “I do,” of course). Sit down together and go through all of your expenses, financial obligations, and your incomes, and then be realistic in estimating your budget based on this. You don’t want to buy a house you can’t afford, and if you don’t budget properly, then you may find yourself in a lot of trouble down the road.

This involves more questions for yourselves: Where will you both be in 5 years? Will you have children? How many? Will one of you be staying home to look after them? How might this effect your incomes and budget? You might find that the best strategy here would be a stop-gap home, one you plan to move out of when children start arriving, and that may change your entire plan – and budget - for the home you’re looking for now. 

(Feel free to utilize my mortgage calculator to help you understand where your budget stands.)

Cushion your budget

 Often, newlyweds and first-time buyers figure that if they budget enough for the appropriate down payment, then they’ll be good to move in when the time comes. Unfortunately, there are many more potential costs that are almost certainly to hamper your budget if you don’t take them into account. Additional costs could include items like land transfer taxes, home inspections, mortgage application costs, and lawyers’ fees. To offset the additions, create an incidental fund between 10 and 20 percent of your down payment amount. This should be enough to manage any surprises that may come your way.

Get a pre-approval

There’s really very little purpose to viewing a home you’re interested in if you do not have a pre-approval notice from a mortgage lender. This is less about being ahead of the process and more about showing sellers that you are serious about buying a home. Sellers want to know that you are interested buyers, and a pre-approval states this clearly – without one, they will consider your viewing a waste of their time.

Pre-approvals are easy to get, as long as you are honest with the lender. The mortgage company will run your credit history and uncover any delinquencies when they do, so being up front about everything is of course the best course of action. Acquiring a pre-approval in advance of any viewings will allow you to pounce on the perfect home when you are presented with it.

Being a bride- or groom-to-be is a very exciting time in anyone’s life. There’s a lot going on, and a lot about to change, but taking your time with these big decisions, considering them well in advance of your marriage, is a very prudent way to begin your lives together. If you take the time together now, not only will you be more prepared when the time comes, but you’ll also have a lot more time to think things through and plan properly.

Your first real estate purchase together is a very special milestone, one that serves to complement your wedding vows, and I could not be keener to be a part of that milestone with you. Find me, Ela Napiorkowski, your Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Brokerage, (416) 841-2356, on January 25th and 26th at the International Centre in Mississauga for the Modern Bride Wedding Show at Corner Booth #4518, where I’ll be there to help you set off on your first real estate journey together. I look forward to meeting you at the show!