8 simple Steps to Buy a new Home

Deciding to Buy a Home

Define your needs and wants
Ask yourself which things are most important for you. Make a list of things you cant live without. Like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, how many storage you need and of course the proximity to schools and work. 

Now make a list of things they would nice to have like a pool, a deck or maybe a mud room.

Which type of home ownership do you want?
Make sure you know the difference between:
Freehold (it’s all yours)
Condo (you take care of the inside and pay fees to an association to look after the common areas and maintenance)
Co-op (similar to condos but instead of “owning” your unit, you buy shares in the whole building and pay maintenance and repair fees)

Understand market conditions
Supply and demand can change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, getting to know the market can help you and your agent a lot finding your dream home.

Choose an Agent
Throughout the process your real estate Agent will be acting as your eyes, ears and voice. The relationship with your agent has to be built on expertise, trust and mutual respect. Buying a home is emotional and personal as well.

This is what a agent should do for you and what I will do for you:

  • Inform you about the current market conditions
  • Analyze your needs and wants against your budget
  • Guide you to homes that fit your criteria
  • Coordinate any work of other professionals you will need during this process
  • Negotiate with the seller on your behalf
  • Complete all the required paperwork accurate and meet the deadlines
  • Work with you to resolve any challenges that may arise 
  • And of course be there when needed!

Understand Financing

Planning ahead is the key to success. You should know the price range before we will start shopping. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Down payment
This is usually the percentage of the total cost of a home that you’ll need to pay. The more money you put down, the more money you’ll save on monthly payments and, in the long run, interest paid.

Knowing what you can afford 
How much house you can afford comes down to 3 factors: 

Your monthly mortgage payment, your down payment and the amortization period or length of time it will take to pay off the loan.

Getting pre-approvedreally help you figure out what you’re able to spend on your new home. And you’ll be protected against rising interest rates as well.

Finding your perfect home

Choose the right neighbourhood
To be close to schools, work, public transit or highways are huge factors for when choosing an area to live. And don’t forget other amenities like grocery stores, doctors, parks and your kids sports clubs.

Your agent will be able to inform you of property values in the areas but of course you can just drive around and check out the appearance of other homes in the area.

House hunting
The hunt will be a lot of work but it can also be a lot of fun. Go with a partner, friend or parent – two sets of eyes are better than one! Don’t be shy about asking some tough questions regarding the home. And don’t forget the checklist you did earlier.

Open Houses
View open houses with open eyes. You’ll be getting a home inspector later, but it doesn’t hurt to start with your own observations. Keep a lookout for things like doors and windows, water leaks, squeaky floors, missing shingles, lighting etc.

Make an Offer on a Home

You’ve fallen in love! When you finally found your home you can see yourself living in you and your agent will start to discuss all the details and put together an Offer to Purchase. Remember, real estate is an investment, here a few things you should know:

No offer is the same
The main factors will include price, deposit, terms with financing details, conditions, specific items that are included or not with the home and the closing date. 

From there, you can decide to make a “firm” offer which means that you’re willing to buy the home exactly as it is. 

Or, you could make the offer “conditional” on things like a home inspection, approval of financing or the sale of your existing home.

Negotiating may come into play
The seller will either accept your offer, reject it or make a counter offer.

Some good tips for negotiating are: 

  • making sure what you’re asking for is fair and equitable
  • be polite and collaborative
  • hold fast to your “needs” and be flexible on your “wants”
  • and know when to walk away no matter how hard that may be

My many years of experience will be of grate value and I’m happy to share.

Things to do before buying a house

Now you will need to bring in a few pros help you get you to the finish line and make sure the investment you’re about to make is sound. Your agent will help you the get in touch with these people. Here are a couple of key people you should be talking to:

Home inspector
An absolute must in saving you from some unpleasant surprises later on. 

He will check your property for any structural damage and perform a thorough examination of following things:
– heating and cooling systems
– plumbing and electrical systems
– the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundations, basement and more

Then prepare a complete written report detailing all their findings.

Legal professional 
When it comes to complex legal documents, it takes a lawyer experienced in Canadian real estate law to help make sure that you and your investment are protected. A real estate lawyer will review the agreement of purchase and sale, do a property title search, check that your home complies with current building and zoning codes, ensure utilities and property taxes are paid up, review the mortgage agreement, and get all the paperwork ready for closing

Closing on a home
Closing day is the day you officially take ownership of your new home. Its exciting for sure but before you get handed the keys here some couple of details you need to keep in mind:
– Closing costs – these fees need to be paid by or on the closing day
– they include mortgage application fees, inspections, legal fees, insurance registration   and more

Home moving tips
The day has arrived. And there will be as much excitement as there will be sore backs. Here are some tips for a smooth move:

Make a moving checklist that details a plan for things that need to be done weeks before you move all the way up to moving day itself.

Plan for packing by clearly labeling boxes. You might even want to provide a small floorpan for the movers so they know exactly where to take them.

Inform your key contacts of your change of address.

If you have children, try to make it exciting for them and make sure to talk to them and explain why you’re moving

Make sure you get competitive quotes from reliable moving companies.

Cancel your cable and utilities. Make sure to have the gas, electricity, cable and phone      hooked up at your new home.

Congratulations. You’re all moved in. Welcome home!