First Time Buyer's Guide

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS:

Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you'll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of home buying and the responsibilities of homeownership.  Before getting overwhelmed with the process, there are a few important things to take into consideration and remember while out on the house hunt.



GETTING STARTED:

  • Get approved: It's really smart to be pre-approved with your mortgage so you know how much you can spend and you can be competitive with the bidding. And share that number with your realtor so they only show houses that are a fit for your budget.

  • What do you really need? Make a list of things you don't need and share it with your realtor. For example, sharing that you can live without an ensuite bathroom or a fully updated kitchen might help in a competitive market — and help you avoid a bidding war.

  • Budget right: Just because you're approved for a certain amount doesn't mean that number actually fits your budget. Before even thinking about seriously putting an offer on any home, take a look at your monthly financials to determine how much of a mortgage you can really take on.

  • Post-purchase money: Build a budget for after you get the house. Even if you find something (or intend on finding something) move-in ready, you will want to change some things to make it your own. Have the money for it so you can start enjoying your house and making it feel like home!



 

      THE BUYING PROCESS:

 

1) Starting your search

      Here are some ways to begin looking for your new home:

  • Word-of-mouth
    Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new home. Surprising things sometimes happen. For example, you might hear about a home that is just becoming available on the market.

  • Newspapers and real estate magazines
    Check the new homes section in daily newspapers. Look for the free real estate magazines available at newsstands, convenience stores and other outlets. These publications are free and give pictures and short descriptions of homes for sale.

  • The Internet
    Check out real estate websites, such as realtor.ca. These websites give information and pictures of a wide range of properties. Most sites let you search by location, price, number of bedrooms, and other features.

  • “For Sale” signs
    Drive, bike or walk around a neighbourhood that interests you and look for “For Sale” signs. This is a good way to find homes that are being sold by the owner and are not listed with an agent.

  • Work with a realtor
    For most buyers, a realtor is key to finding the right home.


 

2) Making an Offer to Purchase

 

After you have found the home you want to buy, you need to give the vendor an Offer to Purchase (sometimes called an Agreement of Purchase and Sale). It is very helpful to work with a realtor to prepare your offer. The Offer to Purchase is a legal document and should be carefully prepared.

These items are typically included:

  • Names
  • Price
  • Fixtures Included
  • Purchase Price
  • Deposit 
  • Closing Date
  • Other Conditions
  • Agents Information

 

3) Process

 

 The realtor presents the offer to the vendor. What can you expect to happen next? There are three possible results

  • Result 1
    The vendor accepts your offer. The deal is concluded and you move on to the next steps in the buying process.

  • Result 2
    The vendor makes a counter-offer. The counter-offer might ask for a higher price, or different terms. You can sign the offer back to the vendor, offering a higher price than your original offer, but lower than the vendor’s counter-offer. If the vender accepts this counter-offer, the deal is concluded.

  • Result 3
    The vendor makes a counter-offer, asking for a higher price or different terms. If a counter-offer is returned to you at a higher price, ensure that you know exactly how much you can afford before you start negotiating. You don’t want to get caught up in the heat of the moment with costs you can’t afford. You reject the counter-offer because the price is still too high, or you can’t agree to the conditions. The sale doesn’t go through, and your deposit is returned.


 

4)  Mortgage

 

Once your Offer  has been accepted, go to see your lender. Your lender will verify (and update, if necessary) your financial information and put together what’s needed to complete the mortgage application. Your lender may ask you to get a property appraisal, a land survey, or both. You may also be asked to get,depending on your down payment.



 

5) Closing Day

 

Closing day is the day when you finally take legal possession and get to call the house your home. The final signing usually happens at the lawyer or notary’s office.



 

6) Moving Day  :)

 



 

7) After buying your Dream Home

  • Refinance: Even after a few months of blissful home ownership, you can look into refinancing. The process isn't scary and a lower mortgage is totally worth it.

  • Remodel right: Sure, the bathroom or kitchen might not be exactly how you want it, but budgeting for big renovations is a must before taking down a wall you don't think you need. And it's always a good idea to hire a contractor before attempting any home projects — you never know what you might encounter!

  • Save payments: Set yourself up with at least three months of mortgage payments so you are prepared if something happens in the future.



sources: popsugar.com,cmhc.ca

 


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