Helpful Information and Resources for Home Buyers
"Your home will most likely be your largest asset and buying may be the biggest financial decision you make in your life."
Buying a home is an exciting experience but it can also be very stressful. We can guide you through every step from financing pre-approval to contract negotiations. The majority of buyers want a trusted professional to assist them when purchasing their most important asset. We can help.
1. Getting Started
BEING REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR GOALS:
Make a list of all the features you want in your home, and determine which of these features are must-haves and which are negotiable. Here are some things to consider: type of housing - single family, detached, duplex, townhouse or high-rise condominium, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, small or large kitchen, family area, backyard and deck. Location is an investment, too. Do you want to live near recreational facilities? How close is home to work? ... to schools? ... to shopping? Are emergency facilities, such as hospitals, close by? Is public transportation available? These are important questions to ask when buying a home.
BUILDING YOUR TEAM:
When buying a home, you may need some help along the way. You will want to have a team of professionals at your service that may include a real estate agent, a mortgage lender, a mortgage broker, an appraiser, a lawyer or notary and a home inspector. These professionals can help ensure you have the right home for your needs and budget. It is beneficial to talk to a real estate agent and a mortgage lender at the beginning of your home buying process. If you are unsure of which professionals to contact, a real estate agent can help recommend the right professionals for your needs and can provide a list of contacts to help you out.
2. Mortgage & Financing
DETERMINING WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD:
That depends on a number of factors; the most important are gross household income, down payment size and mortgage interest rates. Lenders will also consider your assets and liabilities. Your lifestyle and debt comfort zone will also come into play. There are two simple rules that can help you determine how much you can afford in monthly housing costs:
If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of your home, mortgage loan insurance is usually required. With a CMHC-insured mortgage loan, you can buy a home with as little as 5% down. So if the cost of your home is $250,000 you will need a down payment of $12,500.
GETTING A MORTGAGE:
Buying a home usually means taking out a mortgage for most buyers. Today, many Canadian financial institutions lend money for mortgages, including banks, credit unions, trust companies, finance companies and pension funds. That said, some consumers choose to use the services of a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers do not usually lend money; rather they arrange for a mortgage on your behalf.
The first step of your home buying process should be to approach your mortgage provider to obtain a pre-approval for your mortgage. Your lender approves the amount of your mortgage with a written confirmation over a fixed period (usually 60-90 days) and at a set interest rate.
Our Mortgage Specialist, Tonia Jacobsen, would be happy to assist you in this process. You can reach her at 604-618-2403.
3. Finding a Home
HOW WE WORK FOR YOU:
Once you've been pre-qualified, using our "Buyer Home Search Program" we take the time to listen to your needs and establish your price range, we access and research detailed information regarding properties on the market and what is coming on-stream, utilizing all possible resources to locate homes that match your criteria so you won't miss any opportunities. We find you the very best home on the market and negotiate the very best price and terms possible.
YOU'VE FOUND A HOME:
That meets your needs in your price range, we will present the seller with an Offer to Purchase. The agreement will include the following terms and conditions:
4. Purchase & Closing
THE CLOSING PROCESS AND TYPICAL COSTS:
This is a process during which all of the legal and financial obligations outlined in your Offer to Purchase will be met. Your lawyer or real estate agent should keep you informed of the steps involved. Here is an outline of what to expect:
In addition to the purchase price, you will have to pay closing costs such as legal fees, transfer fees and disbursements. Typically, these costs range from 1.5% to 4% of a home's selling price. Once all of the conditions outlined in the offer are met and the closing day has arrived, you will get the keys and the property will be legally yours!
HELPING YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY:
Real Estate transaction are highly complex, there are many market variables, legal and binding contracts, financing and legislative requirements. Our clients value what we do because they do not have the same depth of knowledge and nor do they want to accept the risks. What's important to remember is that home buying is a major investment for most Canadians. The majority of buyers want a trusted professional to assist them when purchasing their most important asset. We can help.