Buying with Josh

Thinking About Buying?

Note: Ask for a copy of my Home Buyer's Guide. It's a document I designed to help you get acquainted with the process before you get your feet wet.

Whether you're buying for the first time or are simply changing scenery, this is arguably one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. There’s so much that goes into the process from start to finish, but much emphasis is placed on the stress and anxiety that can happen during. A good Realtor will help walk you through all of the necessary steps and stay focused to help avoid unnecessary frustration. From making the right moves early, to finding the right home and working with you through every step of the process, this is where I come in. And trust me, I'm happy to.

The first key ingredient of a successful purchase is having the proper understanding of what you’re getting into. There are a plethora of factors to consider when arranging a mortgage. For example, what is a pre-approval and what does it mean for me? What’s the difference between a variable and fixed interest rate? What’s a mortgage broker and how do they differ from a big bank lender? I've been hearing a lot about mortgage rule changes recently, what do they mean for me? These are all important questions, questions that have even more important answers. This is why doing your homework beforehand is so important. Making smart and informed decisions now will buy you security in the future. Many Realtors just want buyers who are ready to buy. They don't realize that the process is exactly that, a process. Whether you're ready, planning or just beginning to even think about owning a home, I'm here and happy to help guide you along the way.

I've created a Home Buyer's Guide that you may find useful. Ask me for a copy.


Here's a list of important things to keep in mind:


Do your homework. The internet is full of useful buyer resources (look for credibility). Read up on some of the basics and fundamentals to consider. Understand not only what a mortgage means to you, but what you mean to the mortgagee (your lender). What are my current expenses? Do I have a steady income? Can I afford my calculated mortgage payments? Is my job temporary or permanent? You better ask yourself these questions now, because your lender sure will when the time comes and the answers will have huge weight on the outcome.


Understand the financial obligation. There’s much more to it than just the purchase price. Many are routinely surprised by the cost of actually closing on the purchase of a home. Legal fees, land transfer taxes, moving expenses, things add up quickly. Don’t find yourself unpleasantly surprised when it matters most.


Get pre-approved! Start talking with lenders and mortgage brokers to determine what mortgage products are available and whether you qualify, even if you're a seasoned home owner (mortgage products are constantly changing). I can't stress the importance of this enough. It's important so that you know what price ranges to confidently shop in, but the market has also changed now, sometimes to the extent where having your finances in order before can be a significant advantage when competing against other buyers. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home only to find out soon after that you can’t afford it. Talk to me about this up front and I'll be happy to put you in touch with the right people.


Location, location, location! Determine not only what you want, but where you want it. Maybe it’s family, friends or your job but there are always important push and pull factors to consider when deciding where you’d like to call home. Are there schools nearby? Would living in this area have an impact on my commute to and from work? What future developments are planned for the community? Ask your Realtor for invaluable insight on these matters.


See, feel, smell and touch! There’s nothing more valuable than seeing and comparing prospective properties in person, rather than basing your opinion solely online. Pictures can be deceiving, small and of poor-quality at best. It’s amazing how your opinion on a given property can change after seeing things first hand. Again, do your homework! One of the best (and most important) decisions you can make when buying a home is teaming up with a Realtor in advance. A good Realtor will not only walk you through what's involved, but they'll also be happy to take you out to see homes in private, even if it's just to feel things out and get your head wrapped around current values. I surveyed all of my clients who were first-time home buyers last year on what they knew now that they wished they knew before they got started and the top item on their collective list? Knowing the importance of having your own Realtor. Their answer, not mine! And as an aside, steer clear of contacting the listing agent to get negotiations going on a house of interest. There's lot to talk about regarding that idea, but ask yourself this first, who does that person work for? The owner. Plain and simple. Get your own representation. Period.


Compare, compare, compare! Before deciding on a home, get a feel for what’s out there. Compare listing information online, go to open houses, request showings with your Realtor. Compare not only the homes, but the areas that they’re in as well.


Put in an offer. Once you’ve found your home (trust me, you’ll know), sit down and talk strategy. Consider the area, are you dealing with a buyer’s or seller’s type of market? These and other important considerations should shape and mold the essence of your offer. What requirements do you have before you're satisfied that this is the right house you want to invest your money into? Conditions of sale? Your Realtor is there (and happy) to help.


Offer acceptance and conditions. If you've managed to reach an agreement with the owner and have conditions in place before the sale is binding, or "firm", this is the time in which we need to get working. Arranging your mortgage, having the home and/or other functional aspects inspected, arranging insurance, satisfying yourself of any other unknowns or variables. This is the time to get to work and there are always timelines. Putting our heads together, open communication and staying on the same page will help keep things smooth.


Working towards closing your purchase. Now that the sale is firm, you can start planning the move and put the pieces together on actually making it happen. Hiring a lawyer who deals with real estate is an important step at this point if you haven't already done so. I can put you in touch with the right people if you don't already have a relationship with someone you trust. Utilities, movers, timing etc. It's all important in during the time before and up to closing.


Sit back and relax! You’ve done it!


Josh Collins

Josh Collins

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 United Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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