As your agent of choice, I understand how to find and finance the perfect home for you. Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these 6 steps can make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decision possible.
While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.
Buying a home is a big decision. Ask yourself 3 questions before you decide if you’re ready to own a home.
- Am I financially stable?
- Do I have the financial management skills and discipline to handle this large a purchase?
- Am I ready and able to take responsibility for all the costs that come with being a homeowner?
Before you even go looking for a home, you have to understand your needs and wants. Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e. the number of bedrooms, the size of the house, the vicinity of schools or malls).The second list is your wishes; things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.), but are not necessary. Once you have narrowed down some qualities, it is time to go looking for a home!
So you’re ready to buy or sell a home and you want the guidance of a knowledgeable real estate professional to help you with the process. But with over 65,000 real estate professionals in Ontario, how do you pick the one that is right for now.
You have to pick carefully. They will be acting as your representative and you will need someone to look out for your best interests. You will need someone that you can trust and someone who understands what you want.They have to be a trained professional who knows your area inside out. A great agent is someone who offers you quality services to help you accomplish your goal.
It’s always a good idea to meet with at least a few different real estate professionals before selecting the one you’d like to work with. When you have your shortlist of representatives ready, consider asking these questions to help determine who will be the right representative for you.
- What is your experience and education?
- What is your approach to the buying or selling process?
- What services will be included?
- Do you work on your own or as part of a team?
- How many other clients are you working with at this time?
Think long term when buying a home. What kind of home do you need now? What will you need in 5 to 10 years?
- the location and neighbourhood
- the size of the property and home
- the type of home — for example, detached, duplex, row house or condominium
- the travel distance to work, recreation and services
- your lifestyle needs and possible changes in the future
- your preference for a new, resale or custom-built home
Keeping these things in mind, you are free to go window shopping! Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area? Keep a file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, take notes whenever possible.
Now that you’ve found the house that you are set on, it’s time to make an offer. Not all offers are the same and here’s where your real estate agent comes in. They will help you with specific terms and conditions that will be specified in the offer like the price you want to pay, financing conditions, or other things like inclusions and exclusions.
Be thorough, a few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don’t forget such essentials as:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
- You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.
What happens on closing day?
You legally take possession of your new home on closing day. The final signings usually take place at your lawyer or notary’s office.
To complete the process, your lender gives your lawyer the mortgage money. You then give your lawyer the down payment (minus the deposit) and the closing costs (usually 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price).
Your lawyer or notary then:
- pays the seller
- registers the home in your name
- gives you the deed and keys to your new home
Congrats, welcome to your new home! You’re all ready to move in!