A Plan To Buy Our First House

Have you ever dreamt of winning the lottery to buy a $500,000 worth of house when you do not even buy a single ticket for the chance?

It was a nice and warm day today here in Lethbridge. Neil and I went out to look for a possible starter house for us. Lethbridge, AB is definitely growing. It has been chosen by Moneysense as one of the best places to live in Canada in 2011.

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From Moneysense

Generally Lethbridge is a beautiful city, the people are friendly, the shopping is decent and if you need something special it is just a day trip to Calgary. You can get to anywhere in the city within 10 to 25 minutes. Though I must accept that the wind can be pretty nasty sometimes and it can get really annoying. Lethbridge looks after it’s seniors and you will appreciate that someday when you are one. There is plenty of activities to do here, you just have to look and if it’s not to your liking, again Calgary and Montana is not that far away. There are a lot of job offers as well. The grass may seem greener somewhere else but it sure is pretty green here.

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The Lethbridge Viaduct, commonly known as the High Level Bridge, was constructed between 1907–1909 at a cost of $1,334,525.

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The Henderson Lake. The park contains many amenities and attractions, including a 24 hectare (60 acre) man-made lake, the largest lake in the city. Several annual events are held in the park.

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Whoop-Up Days is an anual non-profit festival, exhibition and rodeo held in the city. The event includes a 4-km parade through downtown, daily concerts, bull riding, a rodeo, an indoor and outdoor trade show, entertainment on the free stage, a midway, HobbyWorld and city-wide pancake breakfasts.

I agree that it is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada as for the moment as there are a lot of developments going on. The city is great during summer season. Master builders like Galko, Avonlea, Milestones, Greer, Ashcroft and a lot more has been building gorgeous homes.

Galko Homes is, and has been Lethbridge’s premiere award-winning homebuilder for over 40 years as they claim. They have been building creative homes with unique features and superb quality that comes from decades of experience. Having said that, we entered their show room. They call it “The Prescott with Bonus Room” where the plan features 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. The family friendly main floor plan features a large island, fireplace in the great room, and main floor laundry. A large bonus room above the garage adds more square footage. The upper level is completed with master bedroom with ensuite as well as two additional bedrooms and full bath. The interior design was absolutely awesome. I was stunned and fell in love with the place! We checked out other plans too, but we cannot seem to like anything else. We already have set a standard for our dream home. They have a lot of exclusive home plans that we have checked, (http://www.galkohomes.com/?p=5&sp=23) and so far The Prescott was the most impressive for us.

The Prescott with Bonus Room by Galko Master Builders

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The Prescott with Bonus Room Living Room

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Dining Area

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The Kitchen

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The Master’s Bedroom with Ensuite

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The Large Bonus Room turned into a 2nd Living Room

Thinking carefully, the house was really amazing but it cost a fortune. We have a lot of questions to deal with.

Is it going to be practical if we are to buy this absolutely gorgeous home?

If we plan to settle in the Pearl of the Orient in 10 years time, is it a good idea to splurge on a massive house like The Prescott here in North America?

Can we still invest properties in the Manila if we are to pay a huge amount of mortgage every month?

Did we want to be a prisoner of our own house for the rest of our youth?

Can we still travel Europe, go on a Safari in Africa, discover the ancient civilization of Egypt, see the most beautiful beaches and a lot more if we are thinking about our monthly dues?

Is it a better idea to just be practical and buy a nice average house just for starter that will not cost us too much money?

Are we better of buying a house that is fully developed in a reasonable cost?

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It is really a tough decision to make. Maybe I should start buying a lottery ticket!

In buying a house, there are a lot of things to consider.

If you really are decided to fullfill a lifelong dream and buy your own home, you should be ready for all the pros and cons that is waiting ahead of you as it is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you will ever make.

Going from apartment renter to a home-owner is a huge change. A lot of different expenses might creep up. We will never really know for sure how much it is going to cost us until we jump in. It is not just about falling in love with the interior design of the model home. It is important to have some financial security, just in case something big goes wrong.

A lot of friends say that borrowing money nowadays are not as difficult as the skeptics make it out to be. Banks have tightened up their terms but now homebuyers can only have a 25-year mortgage with less than 20 per cent down payment which is not a bad thing at all. A shorter term means that we are more likely to purchase within a realistic budget, and we will end up paying thousands less in the long term.

There is so much more to buying your first home besides picking out the house and signing the papers. If you do not know how it all works before jumping in, then how will you really know what’s going on?

After our trip today, we learned a lot of things. As we browse the web looking for houses on sale, we had a second thought on buying a new house in developing areas. There are a lot of houses on sale that are already fully developed and gained it’s character in time. It could be fun to own a 5 year old house and make it your own, have a little project each month and decorate it the way you want it. But since we are still new to this buying-your-first-home dilemma, we have to have proper answers to these questions :

  • Do we have the necessary financial management skills?
  • How financially stable are we?
  • Are we ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in owning a home, including mortgage payments, repairs, and maintenance?
  • Are we able to devote the time required for home maintenance?

For now, we have to save for our down payment.

Have a blessed day!

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