Ask an Expert: 8 First Time Homeowner Tips from a Sales Manager

Our sales team gets tons of questions from first-time homeowners looking to buy their very first place. They’ve helped hundreds of people find their new homes and know the “ins and outs” of purchasing a home.

Anita Bustos is an Avi Urban Area Sales Manager (currently selling new Calgary townhomes at Prospect Rise Kincora) who has been with Homes by Avi for over ten years. As a wealth of knowledge, she’s answering some questions and giving you some insider tips to make buying a home a breeze!

“Buying your first home is an exciting time in someone’s life,” says Anita, “but it is also a challenging task because it’s often overwhelming.” First-time buyers often don’t know the meaning of real estate and mortgage terms. The amount of paperwork needed to close a mortgage loan and the amount of money they need to put together to purchase a home can be intimidating. “Of course, first-time buyers can make the process less stressful,” Anita shares, “by understanding and recognizing some of the more common challenges that novice home purchasers face.”

Here are eight quick facts that will make the home buying process less stressful:


1.       Be Thorough: Being more thorough in your budgeting process and exploring your mortgage options more carefully helps many first-time buyers become better prepared for their house-hunt.

2.       Learn From Other’s Mistakes: First-time buyers can learn from other buyers’ mistakes. If you think you’re ready for homeownership, do your research and make sure you know as much as you can about the process and on-going commitment.

3.       Starting the Process Sooner: It‘s not uncommon for first-time buyers to be in search for a home for over a year, so the sooner you get started, the better.

4.       Figure Out That Downpayment: The biggest challenge that most first-time home buyers face is coming up with enough money for a down payment. First-time buyers taking out a mortgage loan insured by CMHC, only have to come up with a down payment of 5 percent of a home’s purchase price. Making the largest deposit possible at closing is always most beneficial.

5.       Ask the Experts: Consulting with experienced mortgage advisors is a decision that can remove a considerable amount of potential stress.

6.       Know Your Credit Score: Credit scores can be a challenge for first-time buyers simply because many of them do not have long, established credit histories. Mortgage lenders rely on borrowers’ three-digit credit scores to determine who gets mortgage money and at what interest rates. These scores, which range from the high 300’s to the low 800’s, provide a numerical representation of how wisely consumers have handled their finances. Consumers who pay their credit-card bills late or miss car payments will have lower scores than do those who pay all their bills on time every month.

7.       Stay at a Job for More Than Two Years: Mortgage lenders prefer to lend money to borrowers who have worked at the same employer for at least two years. For first-time buyers this can often be a problem. Many first-timers are young professionals who are still building their careers. This may mean that they move from job to job at a quick pace. Fortunately, most mortgage lenders are flexible on the employment issue. Many will overlook a short job history if borrowers can show that they still have a steady source of income that is high enough to comfortably cover their mortgage loan payments.

8.       Finally, Get Pre-Approved: It is highly recommended that you start with a mortgage pre-approval before you start shopping for a new home. It’ll make the entire process easier.

If you have any questions about purchasing your first home, comment below or connect with Anita Bustos. She can be reached at (403)536-7290 or