Knowledge for Buyers

1. Know your budget

For most people buying a house is the biggest and most important investment of their life. Even if this is not your first house, you must be able to identify your needs and evaluate your financial capacity to meet those needs. This way you can determine what purchase price you can afford which will help narrow down your search. Remember, you need only look for a property that meets your needs for the next three to five years
 
2. Get prequalified for a mortgage
 
Most people require mortgage financing to purchase a property, so your next step is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. You can work with a mortgage broker who will help find you a lender that meets your needs or you can shop around yourself. By calculating a monthly housing budget, you will be able to determine your maximum mortgage loan and therefore the maximum price you can afford. Your mortgage lender will help you determine your down payment and your monthly mortgage payments.
 
3. Define your housing needs
 
Besides price, the most important consideration is location. Now that you have a clear portrait of your financial capacity, you can start working with your agent to look at properties in areas of your choice. Remember no property will match your every need, but it can come close if you can clearly define your preferences and make some concessions. Think about proximity to shopping, transportation, schools, downtown, parks. You may need to broaden your search to other neighbourhoods in order to meet your price range.

Also, figure out what features you need in your property. Do you have a large family and need numerous bedrooms? Do you work from home and need a suitable office space? Do you garden and need a backyard? Now, start visiting!
 
4. Make an offer with confidence
 
You have found a property that meets your needs and fits your budget. Your agent will help you determine your offer and will present your offer on your behalf. Where you benefit from working with an agent is in the negotiation skills that your agent will bring based on experience, knowledge of the rules and strong interpersonal skills. You will be asked to make a deposit. Your offer will likely include a condition that the building has to pass a satisfactory inspection.
 
5. Inspect the property
 
Find a certified building inspector who will perform a full physical inspection of the property and who will deliver a written report. There isn't a house that doesn't require some maintenance work. Don't be surprised if you have to spend another 2% to 5% of the purchase price for immediate repairs.
 
6. Prepare for the signing
 
You are almost there! The final stages of the transaction involve notarizing the sale. You will need to find a reputable notary who will finalize the transaction by perform a title examination and draft an act of sale. Be sure to budget for the final costs of the transaction which include the notary's fees (covered by you, the buyer), the transfer tax, any heating costs or municipal tax adjustments, moving costs.
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