Buying your dream home
Looking for a new home can be an exciting and challenging experience. Having a real estate professional that takes the time to understand your unique needs and lifestyle is important.
Most buyers who start the process of looking for a home begin their journey with quite a bit of excitement as well as some trepidation. That’s understandable when you consider that purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make during your lifetime. Not only do I understand this, I also believe that home ownership is something you can be very proud of. It’s an honor and privilege to ensure that your home buying process is seamless and as stress free as possible and I look forward to getting a set of keys for a new home into your hands soon!
Get a head start by being among the first to know about homes for sale. Find the home of your dreams. Get new listings emailed to you as soon as they’re posted. I love helping buyers and work with my clients individually, taking the time to understand their unique lifestyles, needs and wishes.
Home buying process
Along with wealth building, there may be many good personal reasons to buy a home. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. When it’s done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. The financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home include equity build-up and value appreciation.
Your decision to purchase a home should also be based on facts, not fears:
- If you are paying rent, very likely, you can afford to buy.
- There is never a wrong time to buy the right home.
- A good buy with the financial ability to cover associated costs makes home ownership achievable.
- A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from buying a home
- The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now.
- Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way.
The typical real estate transaction involves many separate individuals, from insurance assessors to mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, buyer’s agents and seller’s agents. For a home sale to close on time, actions and decisions have to be orchestrated and performed in harmony. As your real estate agent I will expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and advocate for you and your interests throughout the process.
There are seven main roles of a real estate buyer’s agent:
- Educate you about the real estate market.
- Understand your wants, needs and priorities.
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.
- Negotiate on your behalf.
- Ensure paperwork is completed accurately and in a timely manner.
- Solve any problems that arise.
- Support you through the closing – and beyond!
Deciding on which professional agent to work with means getting beyond the resume and delving into what makes an agent effective. Some things you may want to ask the sales representative you’re considering working with:
- Why did you become a real estate agent?
- Why should I work with you?
- What do you do better than other real estate agents?
- How will you help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
- What types of things should I watch out for?
- What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
- Are you able to connect me with other professionals to complete the transaction?
- Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be less exciting. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.
From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home:
- Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
- Make a loan application and get pre-approved for financing.
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
Finding a great home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighbourhood stability a priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- Would I be interested in new home construction?
- What features and amenities do I want?
- Which do I really need?
Approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of the local market. Three basic components of an offer to purchase are price, terms and conditions.
Price – the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. My market research will help to guide you with this decision.
Terms – the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
- Schedule – a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
- Conveyances – the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
- Commission – the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
- Closing costs – it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs. If you want to roll the costs into the loan you’ll need to have that amount included in the loan contract.
- Home warranty – this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
- Deposit – this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:
- Against loss or damage to the property itself
- Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
- Structural damage will likely pose a major concern
- Things that can be easily fixed may are identified
- If a major problem is revealed in your inspection report, further investigation may be necessary. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal status, along with your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each is progressing, but your work is pretty much done.
You just have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
- Stay in control of your finances.
- Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
- Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
- Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
- Obtain certified funds for closing.
- Conduct a final walk-through.
On closing day, with the guidance of your lawyer, you’ll sign documents that do the following:
- Finalize your mortgage.
- Pay the seller.
- Pay your closing costs.
- Transfer the title from the seller to you.
- Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a rewarding conclusion to your home-search process and commencement of your home-owning experience.
Compare the mortgage charts published in most newspapers.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.
After you close on your house, as your agent I can still help you:
- Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodelling.
- Help your friends find home.
- Keep track of your home’s current market value.
Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. Home maintenance falls into two categories:
- Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems.
- Watch for signs of leaks, damage and wear. Fixing small problems early on can keep costs from getting out of hand in the longer term.