The first step in buying a new home should be to take a look at what you can afford and how you are going to pay for it. If you're like the majority of home buyers, you will have to finance your purchase with a mortgage loan.
Traditionally most people will use either a mortgage broker or a bank. Your parents probably dealt with a bank to buy their first home, but times are changing. Over 25% of Canadians used a mortgage broker for their last transaction, and about 47% of all first-time home buyers used a mortgage broker. To determine how much you qualify for, banks use a set of ratios that determine how much of your income will be used to pay down your current debt.
Get a realtor
Why wouldn't you use a real estate agent? We are FREE. We act in your best interest and make sure you are protected. You're negotiating a complex transaction with potential pitfalls that could impact your economic future and you need someone to represent you.
Here's why you should always get a realtor:
We have connections in the market that benefit you. We work with many people involved in the real estate transaction process, including loan officers, home inspectors and lawyers. If you have a problem or need a service, we have the contacts necessary to help you immediately. For example, if you need a home inspection but can't find anyone to do the job before the lender's deadline, we have an inspector whom we trust.
Knowledge of Market
We give you informed opinions about the home's current value based on comparable sales, the neighbourhood amenities, schools and whether the investment is solid. We know the city inside out and have access about specific projects in the near future that could impact your decision to buy.
Buyers and sellers both negotiate the home price. You are looking to get the house at the lowest price possible and we want to ensure you do. The reality is, the seller wants the highest price possible. Our role is to provide you with a list of comparable sales in the neighbourhood, evaluate the condition of the home and negotiate to find the right balance. We also help with the legal paperwork required for offers so your interests remain protected during the negotiations.
Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork and is a complex process with several important deadlines. With our experience in real estate transactions, we use our knowledge to ensure the process goes smoothly and nothing important is overlooked. If you have any questions about the papers you're signing, we will help you or get the answers if we don't have them.
Education and Training
We choose our continuing education courses based on what our clients need. Taking several courses a year keeps us up-to-date and informed on the current market.
Starting your search
The process of finding the right home can be a lenghty process but it can also be relatively easy.
Here are some ways to begin looking for your new home:
Work with a Realtor
For buyers, a realtor is key to finding the right home.
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new home. Surprising things sometimes happen. For example, you might hear about a home that is just becoming available on the market.
Check out real estate websites. These websites give information and pictures of a wide range of properties. Most sites let you search by location, price, number of bedrooms, and other features.
For Sale Signs
Drive, bike or walk around a neighbourhood that interests you and look for “For Sale” signs. This is a good way to find homes that are coming soon or not on the internet yet.
Make an Offer
Writing an offer can seem scary, but with us it doesn't have to be. We make sure you take our advice into consideration when we are writing your offer. The Agreement of purchase and Sale is a legal document and should be carefully prepared. It is uncommon for the first offer to be accepted, so be prepared to face a counter offer. Sometimes several counter offers may go back and forth before you and the sellers have agreed on a price. Upon confirmation of acceptance, you will have 24 hours to provide a deposit cheque. The deposit is refundable if you are unable to fulfill specific conditions.
Getting a Mortgage
Once your Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been accepted, we will send your paperwork to your lender and lawyer. Your lender will verify your financial information and put together what’s needed to complete the mortgage application. Your lender may ask you to get a property appraisal, a land survey, or both. We can help with that process.
Fulfill the Conditions
It is a good idea to make sure that your financing has been approved before paying for an inspection, which usually costs $400+. You will need to give the inspector ample time to arrange a time to inspect the property. It is highly recommended that you be present with us during the inspection which can take up to 3 hours. The inspector will guide you through the inspection process and answer any questions you have.
Remove the Conditions
Removing the conditions happens when you decide you are 100% satisfied with the results. You're decision should be based upon the recommendations of your loan officer, inspector and lawyer.
You've made it! On closing day you get keys to your new house and take legal possession of your home. The final signing usually happens at the lawyer’s office. The lawyer will guide you through the paperwork and explain the process.
These are the things that happen on closing day:
Your lender will give the mortgage money to your lawyer
You must give the down payment
(minus the deposit) to your lawyer. You must also give the remaining closing costs.
Pays the vendor, registers the home in your name, gives you the deed and the keys to your new home
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