What an exciting time! You’ve decided to purchase a home. Don’t let lack of knowledge and preparation rob you of the joy that comes along with this adventure. Check out these 6 steps to buying a house before you begin the home buying process.
Step One – Save Money
Unless you can afford to pay cash out of pocket for a new home, you’ll need to secure a home mortgage loan. Even with the loan, you’ll need enough cash in the bank to cover the down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, and any other unexpected fees. Expect the down payment to be around 20 percent of the selling price of the property and the closing costs to be between 2 – 8 percent. There are times when the seller agrees to pay the closing costs, but it’s better to be prepared to cover the expense.
Step Two – Check Credit Reports
There are two credit reporting agencies that serve Canadian residents. Order a copy of your credit report from TransUnion and Equifax. You can apply for a copy of the reports online and receive them by mail or instantly for download. Keep in mind that you’ll pay extra for the privilege of knowing your credit score. Check these reports for errors and late accounts. If you find errors, report them right away. Don’t let a few delinquent accounts stand in the way of you and your dream home.
Step Three – Real Estate Agent
If you needed surgery for a medical condition, you would select a qualified physician to do the procedure. Why would you consider handling one of the biggest investments of your life without the help of a trained, professional real estate agent? They have the knowledge and experience you need on your side to close a successful transaction. They represent you, handle paperwork, and negotiate on your behalf. Don’t proceed with buying a home until you’ve secured a real estate agent to work with you.
Step Four – Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval
You can waste valuable time and suffer disappointment if you proceed without knowing exactly how much house you can afford. Apply early for a pre-approval on a home mortgage loan. This pre-approval sets your target price range and can give you the upper hand in the event of a bidding war. A seller may choose your offer over one without a pre-approval because they see that you are serious about the purchase and can follow through to closing.
Step Five – Wish List
Before you can find the house of your dreams, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in a home. Make a list that includes the style of home you prefer, how many bedrooms you need, the community you wish to be a part of, and any other important features. Make a special mark beside those you consider to be non-negotiable. Give this list to your real estate agent. The list will help them narrow down the houses they show you and save time.
Step Six – Making the Offer
Once you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to make an offer that will catch the attention of the seller. Your real estate agent can help you with valuable insights. Be prepared to face off against other buyers if multiple offers come to the table. Let your real estate agent negotiate on your behalf. Try to keep your calm and be patience with the process. When an offer is accepted, the inspection part of the process begins. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting at the closing table and receiving the keys to your new home.
The best source of information about local communities and real estate topics is your real estate agent. Give Michael Lewicki a call today at 613-829-1818 to learn more about the area, discuss selling your house, or tour available homes for sale.