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The Buying Process

You can never be over-prepared for what you are about to embark on. This guide will try to walk you through the steps that you need to take in order to ensure that you don't overlook anything.

Plan Ahead

It is important to get your priorities in order. Make a wish list. Get your families input on this. Put items in order of importance. For example. If you have 3 teenagers, a second bathroom will probably be more important than a fireplace, especially when you can always add a fireplace later. Think of things like:

- How many bedrooms
- How many bathrooms
- Do you want a Pool?

Where Do You Want to Live?

Do you prefer city living? Are you a country-lover? Are you happiest in the suburbs?
It is also important to take into consideration your places of work in relation to where you wish to be living.

Choose a Home That Will Complement Your Lifestyle

There are many different types of homes to choose from. For example, new homes, resale homes, townhouses and condominiums, rural and small town properties. School locations are important when considering an area if you have children. We can supply you with a list of schools in the area you want to live in.

Personal Preference and Taste

The style of home you choose reflects your personal taste. However, do not let personal taste overshadow a home's other features. Establish your basic requirements first (be it three bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen or formal dining room). Set your needs in order according to their importance and you'll be far more likely to find the home of your dreams.

Complete Buyers Information Sheet

So now that you have the thought about the basics, send us the infomation. We can then begin a search for properties that meet your needs and send you a detailed report.

Determine Your Budget

This is probably the most important thing to do that everyone at least partially, overlooks. It is difficult to adapt your budget to compensate for a new payment, especially if it is more than what you are presently paying. Completing this step will tell you how much you can afford to pay and help you know how much you have for a downpayment and the necessary closing costs.

Should You Get Pre-Qualified DEFINITELY!

If you have had any serious credit problems, you will need to speak to a mortgage consultant so that you can ensure your pre-qualification amount. This gives us an upper range, but remember pre-qualified is not the same as pre-approved. It is in your best interest to get "pre-approved". This lets sellers know that you're a serious buyer and also sets your interest rate for a period of time. Don't have a mortgage consultant?  No problem, just contact us and we'll be happy to supply a list of reputable mortgage professionals in our area.

There are certain general documents that your mortgage consultant uses, in addition to your credit report, in order to assess your mortgage application. These might include pay stubs, notices of assessment and even income tax returns if you are self-employed. Once this process is completed, you know exactly what you can afford and will not waste your time looking at homes out of your price range. It saves you time, money and disappointment.

Speak with a Real Estate Professional

Buying a home is certainly one of the most rewarding experiences, yet it is also one of the most challenging. If you are buying for the first time, the process may seem overwhelming. Even if you have purchased and sold homes several times, every move is different and presents its own challenges. We help to meet these challenges with training and experience to assist you through each step of the process. Making the process of finding, buying and moving into your new home as smooth, quick and enjoyable as possible.

We are a valuable source of information on market trends and neighbourhoods. We have access to information about homes for sale throughout the entire area, including information about every home listed by area agents who subscribe to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Finding YOUR Home

This can take some time. There is no set number of homes you should see before you decide on one. We will help you sort out the homes that best suit your needs. Sometimes seeing too many houses can be confusing. We will create a checklist for each home we visit, and will include all the pertinent details about each property to be viewed.

After viewing a number of homes, we would suggest that you decide if it is a "yes", "no", or "maybe". Then we can go back and view all the "yes" homes for a second time and perhaps some of the "maybe" homes. Once you have found that special house that you want to call home, together we will prepare an agreement of purchase and sale.

We will recommend that your offer contain a condition of financing and a condition regarding a building inspection. The offer is a legally binding contract that you will sign. Your offer will have a time limit for the Seller to accept, reject, or make a counter offer back to you. A deposit will likely be required upon acceptance of the offer by both parties. The deposit will become part of your down payment.

Upon Acceptance of an Offer-Choosing a Lawyer

A solicitor or notary will review your offer to purchase and handle the closing of your file. As soon as you have chosen one, let us know. A lawyer will:

  • Check and OK the purchase and sale agreement.
  • Once all conditions have been met, he/she will do a title search , verifying the vendor actually owns the property and is free of any hidden liabilities or obligations.
  • Draw up and review your mortgage(s) and register it. 
  • Work out any adjustments necessary on closing (ie: municipal taxes that may be paid in advance by the Seller).
  • Arrange the payment of the provincial land transfer tax, the eight-per-cent tax on chattels that come with the property, and if necessary, a survey of the property.
  • Register the deed, the document that verifies you are the new owner.
  • Obtain a tax certificate, zoning compliance certificate, execution certificate, water and other utility certificates, and, if it's a condominium, a status certificate.

Get Your Home Inspected

Once you buy a home, you're on your own to maintain it, repair it, anticipate problems and pay the bills. This is why it's best to make your offer conditional upon obtaining a report from a qualified building inspector. It's best that you know as much as you can about potential problems before you make the commitment to buy. One of the best ways to understand about a home's condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector.

Financing Approval

Generally a lender will guarantee your interest rate for a period of time prior to closing. The standard is up to 90 days. If the interest rates drop between pre-approval and closing, you will still benefit from that drop. At this time it is also good to review all the mortgage features that are available and compare them with your pre-approval to see if it best meets your needs. It is also a time to consider mortgage life insurance. The lender may require that the property be appraised by a certified, independent appraiser. Signing a commitment will be necessary to let the lender know that you have agreed to use them for mortgage financing and that their conditions are acceptable to you. It is now time to start collecting the required documentation if not already done at the pre-approval stage.

Prior to closing

Prior to moving to your new home, you will need to arrange home insurance. Talk to your Insurance Broker about the best options for you. Make the appropriate arrangements for utility hookups (telephone/internet, cable/satellite, gas, hydro, etc). Change your address through your local post office. Arrange your method of moving and book the moving truck well in advance.

Day Before Closing Date

This is the day that you sign all legal documents at your lawyer and give them the money needed to close the deal. If the bank is financing your home, you will have closing costs, lawyers fees and disbursements. Additionally, there are adjustments that may factor into your purchase. Prepaid water, taxes, condo fees will adjust up or down the final amount that you will pay for your home. You lawyer will have a detailed list of all costs for you to review.

Closing Date

At closing, you will sign all the legal documents at your lawyer's office. Just prior to seeing your lawyer, we will do a final walk-through of the property to make sure it is in the same condition as when you made your offer. The lawyer will require a copy of your paid home insurance for the lender, as well. You will receive title to your new home in the form of a deed and pay the necessary fees such as legal costs, any closing adjustments and the rest of your downpayment. You will receive the keys to your new home, usually late in the afternoon.

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