By Pierre Bedrossian 

(Real Estate Agent Jake Prescott and his kids) 

Worried? Anxious? Stressed? Time-Crunched? Overwhelmed? These are all natural feelings that a millennial goes through when it comes time to purchase their first home. It can be a long and daunting process that always leaves one wondering “Where on earth do I begin?”


It’s no secret that compared to previous generations, millennials are late to the home buying game. The real estate market has changed dramatically over the years so asking parents for advice might not be the best avenue to explore since purchasing a home was a much simpler process back in the day. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there is simply no time to think about how you will land your dream home. 

Since a home is one of the largest purchases you will make in your life, you usually only have one shot to get it right. We have simplified your worries and outlined 5 crucial first time home buying tips that all millennials should know before they dive into the world of real estate.

1. Get a Pre-Approval Before Beginning Your House Hunt

Before you start the house-hunting process, getting a mortgage pre-approval is an important first step in the process. A pre-approval determines the house price you can afford which allows you to budget for your home purchase and narrow down your search. 

Having this knowledge will make the entire home buying experience smoother and less stressful. It will determine whether or not you can be searching for $300K or $600K homes. That way if you see the right home, you can put an offer in immediately. Also, you will be able to lock in a mortgage rate in case rates increase during the time of your home search. 

2. The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

The cost of buying a home is always more than the purchase price and a moving truck rental. Millennials are often shocked when they see the total amount they need to pay on closing day. Although you may think you have enough saved up for your dream home, there are a few hidden costs that most people don’t know about when it comes down to the wire.

Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help you financially prepare. By familiarizing yourself with more than just your down payment and regular mortgage payments, nothing will come as a surprise on the closing day. 

Some of these additional costs include home inspection fees, appraisal fees, legal fees, land survey fees, land transfer tax, property insurance, and mortgage life insurance. With this in mind, you can negotiate with your broker to waive some of these fees. For cash-strapped millennials, there are government programs and tax credits to help offset some of the costs for your new home.

3. Take Your Time & Don’t Rush

This one seems like common sense, but a lot of people rush the home buying process and immediately have buyer’s remorse afterward. Millennials always like to get things done right away, but the home buying process can take up to 6 months or even longer. 

Since it is a sellers’ market right now, a lot of buyers panic and purchase a home before they’ve checked out all of the finer details. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so make sure you are completely satisfied with the place and check off as many boxes as possible. 

Don't neglect little critical steps such as making sure the neighborhood feels safe at night as well as during the day (try to visit at different times). Taking the time to consider the decision also gives you a chance to research how much the property is really worth and offer an appropriate price.

If you have time on your side, it's OK to wait until something that suits you comes along. As long as your demands are realistic, you are bound to find a new home you can live happily in. New houses come on the market almost every day and you shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than spectacular. 

4. Choosing a Reliable & Credible Realtor

Finding the right realtor is a critical first step in the home buying process. A lot of realtors are in it for the money and don’t always have their clients’ best interests in mind. 

A good real estate agent will answer all your questions, but an exceptional real estate agent will anticipate the questions you’re going to ask and provide you with information before you request it.

Most millennials are afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to be embarrassed if they’re not familiar with certain terms. Professional realtors understand the confusing nature of the business and are always happy to help guide you through the process. 

One real estate company that has been making headlines in Ottawa lately is Tracy Arnett Realty Ltd. The realtors on this team strive for an exceptional client experience with every interaction while always going above and beyond. The company also continues to stand out amongst its competitors by supporting many local organizations in the community such as Hospice Care Ottawa, The Door Youth Centre, Motionball, and CHEO. 

5. Develop a Plan & Strategy

Once you’ve found a trusted realtor to work with, it is important to establish a strategy to execute your plan to a tee. It takes a lot of research to find the right house so make sure you give yourself enough time so that you aren’t rushed.

Once you’ve narrowed down the ideal neighbourhood you’d like to settle down in, it is important to attend several open houses in that area. Looking at homes that are for sale are a great way to learn more about the neighbourhood. When you do find a house you love, you’ll know how your place compares to the best and worst homes in that area.

When it comes to buying, a great strategy is to find the most affordable house in the best neighbourhood. If you buy at the bottom of the price range in a good neighbourhood, you’ll have more room to build home value.


“Buying your first home as a millennial nowadays is very stressful, so make sure to not let your emotions impact your home purchasing decision.” -Jake Prescott

Buying a house is a big decision, but it doesn’t need to be the most difficult. Since emotions play a large part in the decision-making process, you need to make sure you are making rational choices. If you follow these tips and are well aware of any issues ahead of your home purchase, you can protect yourself from costly mistakes and house hunt with confidence. 

While it is almost impossible to find your perfect dream home, you should strive to find a house that you can see yourself living happily in. When it comes to buying a new home, make sure to be realistic, take your time, and don’t act on your emotions so you can ultimately make a home purchase decision that satisfies your needs and your finances. 

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“With Tracy's amazing experience and her well oiled team, we sold our house in a heart beat! Thank you for your professionalism in making the sale of our home so seamless. - Marlene and Scott Scheel”

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