April 18, 2024 | Buying

Steps To Buying A Home

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Buying a home can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time. There is so much to learn and things to know when making a big decision. That is why it is essential that you are guided by a professional in real estate who makes sure you have covered all factors before making your decision. It is important that your buyer representative is knowledgeable in the areas and has the experience in the field.

Since the beginning of my real estate career, I’ve worked with hundreds buyers and helped them find their first home, second home, third, etc assisting families with every stage of their lives. Downsizing is the most challenging stage and there are many helpful resources available to make this move easier.

Here are some steps to buying a home that you may find as a helpful reference:

1. List Your “must-haves”

Prepare a list of “must-haves” that are important features in your next home. Make another list of “nice-to-haves” and lastly a list of “cannot-haves”. Share this list with the buyer representative. This will help shape the type of home, location and price range that may suit your needs.

2. Choose Your Agent

It is important that you work with an experience professional that you are comfortable with. You will be spending plenty of time together. I am an excellent listener, patient and persistent in finding the right home for my clients.

The buyer agent represents your interest in a transaction and negotiates the best terms of the purchases as well as the best price. Buyer agents disclose relevant information about the property and immediate area that may influence your decision.

3. Understand Financing

It is important that you sit down with a mortgage specialist to finalize your pre-approval as well as give you the options on the type of mortgages that are available when you purchase a home.

This helps give buyers confidence knowing their comfort zone and limits before making a purchase. There are also other factors to prepare for, such as the deposit. The average deposit is approximately 5% of the purchase price but this may vary depending on the property.

In a resale transaction, the deposit is due within 24 hours after an accepted agreement has been executed. This amount is credited toward the purchase and the lawyers deliver the balance of the funds to closing to the seller’s solicitor and works with the financial institution you have decided to work with.

4. Choose The Right Neighbourhood

Once you’ve been educated on the financing and buying process, it is time to house hunt! Exploring neighbourhoods that best meet your needs are the first step and looking at homes within your price ranges is where you need to start.

Properties look fabulous on line and it certainly helps eliminating unsuitable homes and locations, but viewing these homes in person is the best way to get a feel of the neighbourhood and the house itself.

The process of finding that suitable home progresses faster when your representative takes you in for private viewings. This can be a very fun and also frustrating process. It depends on the market conditions and how much availability there is for what you need.

5. You’ve Found Your Home!

You have fallen in love! What do you do once you find that perfect home? This is a very important and emotional time. Having a seasoned real estate representative by your side is important to ensure you are making the right steps to acquire this property!

A professional realtor will put together the offer to purchase with all the essential terms and conditions to protect the buyer and negotiate on the buyer’s behave as best he/she can. Depending on the market, buyer representatives advise on the best strategy.

6. An Accepted Offer

Congratulations! You have an accepted agreement to buy! The buyer agent will help you with your text steps. First a deposit is delivered to the listing brokerage within 24 hours. The buyer representative will arrange a home inspection for you and will submit all necessary paperwork to your mortgage specialist to finalize the pre-approval and obtain a commitment from the financial institution guaranteeing your mortgage. It is important that you chose a legal representative to complete this transaction.

7. The Closing

The lawyer ensures you are legally registered on title for the new property when sending the balance of the purchase to the seller’s solicitor. The keys are arranged through your lawyer and the keys are released to the buyer as soon as it has been registered.

There are costs to factor in on closing such as land transfer tax, the legal fees, title insurance and other registration fees. See calculators in the visitor’s tools. Home insurance also needs to be arranged prior to closing. It is advisable that you visit this property a week or so before closing, to ensure it is in the same condition as when you purchased it and there have not been any leaks or damage etc.

Don’t forget these moving tips leading up to your move date, make a list of things to do such as:

  • Sett up your utilities at your new home and disconnecting from the current home.
  • Forward your mail with Canada Post 10 days before moving.
  • Inform all banks, schools, work, investment companies, retails stores, mobile companies etc. of your move.
  • Plan packing in advance and interview a few moving companies before securing your choice.
  • If you have children, maybe set up a playdate for them on moving day so they are taken care of by friends or family during this stressful/exciting time.

Congratulations! You’re home!

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