Buying a home is an exciting time in your life! It is likely the largest purchase you will ever make, so you want to be sure you’re prepared and familiar with the processes.
1. Get Started
Choose a professional who specializes in residential real estate. Commit yourself to working with one agent who can learn your likes and dislikes in homes and make your home-buying process much easier. A Realtor is there to protect you and your best interests.
2. Become a Pre-approved Buyer
Being a pre-approved buyer gives you a great advantage when it comes to starting your search for a home. Talking to a mortgage broker will give you a better idea of your budget and how much of a home you’ll be able to afford. This will ensure you are looking at homes within your budget, that you will be able to afford. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home only to find out it’s out of reach.
3. What Type of House do You Want?
Next you'll want to define your needs, tastes and preferences for your new home. Describe the style of house you like, whether it be two-storey, a condominium, or something else. List your priorities in home features, such as a garage, gourmet kitchen, or number of bedrooms. Think about your lifestyle (eg. If you don't like yard work, ask your agent to show you condominiums, townhouses or garden homes with smaller yards). Consider ideal communities as well. If you’re unfamiliar with any city areas, your Realtor will have great insight into what communities may fit your lifestyle and interests.
4. Shop for Your Home
Start touring homes with your agent, they have the ability to set you up on a customized home search where you can review detailed information about each property and personally select which homes you would like to view. Be sure to take notes on each property to help remind you of your likes and dislikes of each place. Take as much time as you need to find the right home.
5. Make an Offer
Once you’ve found the perfect place, decide how much you should offer. Consider factors such as the home’s length of time on the market, list price, availability of financing and other costs. Decide what conditions you want to place on buying the house. Your purchase may be made conditional on obtaining financing, a building inspection, or selling your present home. Real estate contracts today already include many of these standard real estate contingencies. Your Realtor will be there to assist you and make recommendations on all these factors when it comes to making an offer. Keep in mind, there may be a lot of negotiating in this short period of time and you will need to be available and in constant contact with your agent.
6. Protect Yourself
Ensuring you have a home inspection completed on your property can add to your peace of mind. A professional inspection of a home prior to closing can lessen the chance for surprises. Even if you've arranged to have an inspection, you should still plan to take a ‘walk-through’ of the property on or before the closing date. This will be arranged through your agent.
7. Coordinate Paperwork
During the time between the accepted offer and taking possession of your new home, you will need to meet with a few professionals to coordinate all the paperwork. You will meet with your mortgage broker to confirm all the details of your mortgage and with your lawyer to finalize the transfer of the home in to your name.
8. Possession Day
Here's the day you've been waiting for! The papers are in order and money has been exchanged. You're handed the keys - the home is now yours! Considering the quantity and value of your possessions, as well as the type of place you're moving from and to, you must decide the best method to move by either hiring professionals or doing the work yourself.
Enjoy your new home! While buying a home can be stressful, being prepared and having the right agent by your side will help make things go as smooth as possible. Be sure to get in touch with me if you have any questions about purchasing your next home.