Home Buying 101
Starting the journey to homeownership can be overwhelming and stressful. But if you follow the right steps and make a concrete plan, you’ll get the home that’s right for you. Before you know it, you’ll have a place to call home. What an exciting time!
STEP 1 – BUDGET
Having a budget is crucial and is the best way to help you set aside money for your down payment goal and any additional costs. A budget will also help you determine the price of home you can afford.
STEP 2 – MORTGAGE
The next thing you need to do is get a mortgage pre-approval. There are many different types of mortgages so make sure you do your research. To get preapproved, your lender will need to verify your financial information (proof of income, taxes, etc.) and submit your loan for preliminary underwriting. Remember that being pre-approved, shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer.
STEP 3 – CHOOSE A REALTOR
Look no further, we are here to help! We eat, sleep and breathe real estate so, it's our mandate to ensure that you're educated and informed on real estate trends throughout your buying experience.
STEP 4 – GET A LAWYER
I highly recommend hiring a lawyer who specializes in real estate. Real estate lawyers among other things, ensure property taxes are up-to-date and no claims are listed against the property. They will also conduct a title search and calculate the land transfer tax that is due when it comes time for closing.
STEP 5 – HOUSE HUNTING
It’s best to make a “wish list” before you begin house hunting. Make sure to take into consideration not only your immediate needs and lifestyle but also your future plan. Try not to only concentrate on the home itself. Take a look at the whole property, the neighbourhood and the surroundings. Calculate your new commute times to see if they seem manageable. Visit the neighbourhood at different times and days to check traffic conditions and noise levels. Only choose a neighbourhood that you feel good about.
STEP 6 – MAKE AN OFFER
This is when you can rely on the expertise of your real estate agent. Your agent will help you make a competitive offer that is within your budget. A personalized letter might help your offer stand out among multiple bids in a hot market. Your agent will present the offer to the seller. This document includes the price, conditions, deposit and closing date. The seller either accepts, rejects or counters the offer (also called “signing back” the offer).
STEP 7 – HOME INSPECTION
Hiring an inspector is voluntary, but it’s always recommended for resale homes. You can choose to make your offer to purchase the home conditional on the outcome of your inspection. If your inspection reveals major problems, you can negotiate those repairs with the seller before your deal closes, or legally withdraw your offer.STEP 8 – FINALIZE THE DEAL
Finalizing the deal will include the final approval of your mortgage, a meeting with your lawyer to finalize details like insurance and conditions, and the results of a title search.
STEP 9 – PREPARE TO MOVE
There’s a lot to do before you move. Always start with utilities and other services like phone, cable and internet. If you rent, you must give your landlord notice. Make sure to forward your mail to your new address and hire a moving company. Preparing these things well in advance will help you make a smooth and stress- free transition to your new home.
STEP 10 – CLOSING DAY
This is the day you legally get possession of the house. Your lawyer completes the paperwork, payments are finalized, and you receive the deed and the keys. Congratulations on your new home!