Property Virgins – First Time Home Buyers Guide

August 14, 2012 | By
Andrew Szalontai of Treeland Realty

Andrew Szalontai

Most first time homebuyers don’t realize the extent of what goes into purchasing a home. In addition, they may not be aware of the fees that come along with their new purchase. This list could include; legal fees for securing the home as their own, broker fees, inspection fees, potential reno-related costs and more. It’s not hard to see how purchasing your dream home can sometimes turn into a nightmare, if you don’t have a consciously driven realtor to walk you through the process, and inform you on what additional costs might be expected along the way.

While I have no connection to the program, the HGTV series Property Virgins is a great education tool for first time buyers. It takes you inside the intense world of house hunting and focuses on the journey of property virgins’ first real estate purchasing experience, offering both entertainment and practical take-home advice. I recommend you watch a few episodes to see how new buyers discover the difference between their hopes of acquiring their out-of-reach dream home, vs. what it takes to find the right property.

Unfortunately, some realtors push for the ’dream home’ sale before they offer up the imperative information about additional fees, potentially trapping their clients into a purchase out of their price range. Being able to afford your first home – both for the duration of the mortgage, as well as the initial costs – are things to consider when entering into escrow.

An informed buyer with the correct help need not be scared off from the process. If your realtor has your best interest at heart, he or she will handhold you through the process of going from a “property virgin” to a property owner.

In addition to the insights mentioned in the aforementioned show, here are some helpful tips to consider in your house hunt:

  • Have an idea of what kind of neighborhood you want to live in and the style of house you want.
  • If you’re trying to buy a “hot property”, move quickly but ensure you know the facts.
  • When you are looking at a house, have a wish list, but understand that no house is going to likely fulfill that entire list.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Go inside and look around before making a decision. You have to see past the junk and see the potential. When you buy a house, it’s not just a place to live in, it’s an investment.
  • Brand-new condos tend to be smaller, sometimes no larger than one bedroom, while older units typically have more square footage. Weigh your options.
  • Know that, you can’t negotiate maintenance fees with a condo, and those fees tend to go up periodically.
  • A middle-unit townhome is often less expensive than an end unit. Consider this when looking at townhomes.
  • Feelings often take over the first time you go through a house, but the second visit allows time to do a thorough inspection led by your head, not your heart.
  • It is especially important to have a home inspection if you are looking to buy an aging or older house. They look past the visible surface to the infrastructure, inspecting plumbing and looking for faulty fixtures and waste lines. They check electrical systems to make sure they aren’t overloaded or a safety hazard. They also look at possible structural problems like the foundation, walls and floor joists.


Overall, keep your head in the game while following your heart in finding your dream home!


Filed in: Buying and Selling Real Estate, Home Owner Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Andrew is a West Coast enthusiast through and through. He is a native of the area that you will often find adventuring on one of the many sea to sky activities that abound in the Fraser Valley. Along with being in love with the place he calls home, Andrew is a well known and respected Realtor focusing on helping others to find their own perfect home in Langley, Surrey, White Rock and beyond! Visit to find your perfect home.

Comments (1)

  1. Andrew Szalontai

    Avi and Arna, thanks for the kind words and your knowledge of what it takes to be professional. I hope all is well in your market there and have a great summer!