Buying a new home is one of life’s most significant events. After hard work and financial planning, buying a new home is a thrilling but daunting journey. With the right information and guidance, you can make your dream of owning a home a reality. Let me take you through the steps of purchasing your perfect property:
1. Determine your budget
Before you start house hunting, it is critical to understand your budget:
- Savings – how much money have you saved for a down payment and closing costs?
- Monthly budget – calculate how much you can comfortably afford for a mortgage payment.
- Get pre-approved – speak with lenders to get pre-approved for a mortgage which will help give you a clear picture of your borrowing capacity. Shop around and find out what’s available for you.
2. Identify your wants and needs
We all want certain features in a home but be sure to prioritize based on what you need in a home:
- Must-haves – these are non-negotiable features your perfect property must have, such as number of bedrooms, location, or school district.
- Nice-to-haves – these are features you’d like to have but can live without if necessary, such as a pool or landscaped backyard.
3. House hunting
Now that you know what you want and what you can spend, you can begin your search:
- Real Estate Agent – enlist the help of a local Realtor who can guide you through the process and help narrow your property search.
- Online listings – visit local real estate websites and use realtor.ca to find properties that might suit your needs.
- Visit open houses – attend open houses to get a feel for different homes and neighbourhoods.
4. Make an offer
Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll need to make an offer:
- Offer price – your real estate agent will help you determine a fair offer price based on market conditions and the property’s fair market value.
- Negotiations – be prepared to receive a counter offer and negotiate with the seller on points such as the offer price, closing date, inclusions, and conditions.
- Conditions – ensure your offer includes the necessary conditions to protect your best interest, such as a home inspection and financing approval.
5. Accepted offer
When your offer is accepted by the seller you will have to pay your deposit and fulfill your agreed upon conditions:
- Deposit – to be paid as outlined in the offer, usually within 24 hours of acceptance.
- Home inspection – hire a qualified inspector to arrange an inspection as outlined in the offer, typically within 5 business days. Review the inspection report to determine if there is a need to negotiate repairs of credits with the seller. If you are purchasing a rural property with a well and/or septic system, be sure to include a condition specific to inspecting these systems. Make sure a potable water test is done right away to ensure the quality of the drinking water.
- Secure financing – complete your mortgage application and provide all necessary documentation to your lender. The lender may require an appraisal to confirm the property’s value. This needs to be completed as outlined in the offer, typically within 5 business days.
- Firm up the deal – your real estate agent will help to ensure you meet all conditional deadlines and complete the necessary paperwork to move your deal from conditional to firm.
6. Closing the deal
Just a few more steps before your perfect property is yours to call home:
- Final walkthrough – include a condition to ensure that you are able to do a final walkthrough to ensure the property is in the agreed-upon condition.
- Documentation – you will make arrangements with your lawyer to sign all the necessary documents to transfer the ownership upon closing. Review the closing costs with your lawyer prior to closing to ensure you’re prepared.
- Receive the keys – once the money and ownership have been transferred, you’ll receive the keys to your new home.
7. Move in
Congratulations! You’re a new homeowner. Enjoy the process of moving in and making the space your own. Don’t forget to:
- Submit a change of address form at the post office
- Choose a moving company and confirm the arrangements
- Confirm travel plans for pets and family members
- Label boxes with their contents and destination room
…and now you can relax, unpack and enjoy Your Perfect Property.