Choosing to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It’s a complex ordeal that requires a lot of planning, and instating the help of a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent to make the process run smoothly. To ready you for this, here is a general overview of what to expect and prepare.
Get Pre-Qualified For Mortgage
The first step to buying a house or condo is finding out how much your bank is willing to lend you. When you pre-qualify for a mortgage, your lender will look at your income, your debts, your down payment and your credit history. Pre-qualifying will ensure that you know how much mortgage you can get, meaning it can decide your budget range for purchasing a home. It allows you to focus your house hunting efforts and eliminates the risk and uncertainty of financing once you find your perfect home.
Visualize Your Dream Home
Once you’ve established a price range, it’s time to decide what type of home will best suit your lifestyle. Think about things like access to schools, recreational facilities and what the neighbourhood is like, and so on. Why you’re choosing to buy should help answer these questions for you — so think about it carefully. You may want to put this down in writing and create a needs v/s wants list.
Meet With Real Estate Agent
It’s important to partner with a Real Estate Agent you feel completely comfortable with. A REALTOR® can help you find your dream home, that meets both your needs and your budget. They will set you up with viewing appointments, and also help bring clarity to the complicated process of buying a home. You’ll want to go with an experienced and knowledgeable REALTOR® who you can be sure will represent your best interests.
Now that you’ve pre-qualified for a mortgage, narrowed down your search and picked a realtor to work with, it’s time to start looking at listings and houses. Your real estate agent will send you custom listings that match your criteria, and meanwhile you can search listings from my website as well. House hunting will involve screening listings electronically and previewing properties online, and then finally going out to look at homes.
Make An Offer
You’ve found the right home for you: it satisfies your wants/needs, it’s in your price range, and it feels right. Your Realtor begin by drafting the Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPS). The CPS is a legally binding document which contains everything from the price you are prepared to pay, to the inclusions you want (washer/dryer, big screen TV), to your ideal closing date (the date you take possession), to conditions that need to be met for the deal to go through. Once you’ve submitted your offer, the seller can accept it, reject it or sign back a counter offer. During these back and forth negotiations, you may need to compromise on small things, but a good realtor will work hard to get you what you want. And if you’re in a bidding war, make sure you know the facts about bidding wars and how to win in multiple offers.
Meet Conditions And Provide Deposit
Conditions are requirements within the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that must be met for the sale to go through. In your offer, you may have included a financing option or a condition that allows your lawyer to review the legal details of the property or a home inspection. And of course, you’ll need to submit a deposit, an amount up to 5% of the purchase price, which is held in trust until close. Once the conditions have been met, the agreement is firm, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for your closing date. And of course, packing!
After you’ve negotiated an offer, you’ll need to conduct a home inspection and deal with any repairs (the cost of which you can also negotiate with the seller). Finalize your mortgage with a visit to your lender, and you’re ready to sign off on ownership. This typically takes place in a lawyer’s office. Closing is the point at which the ownership and possession of the property are transferred from the seller to you. It takes place once all the legal and financial obligations have been met. Closing the purchase will be a team effort: in addition to yourself, your lawyer and your lender will all be involved in helping close the deal.
At this point, congratulations are in order! Becoming a new homeowner is one of the most liberating things you’ll ever experience. There are many benefits to home ownership - pride of ownership, the ability to renovate your home, building equity, appreciation - the list goes on.