Buying a home is one of the most exciting ventures one can make. Although it’s exciting, it’s
also one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it’s important you’re informed about
every step of the process. Whether this is your first time buying a home, or you’re planning a
move from your current abode, these are the 7 things you need to know about buying a home
1. Determining Your Needs From Your Wants
The first essential step to buying a home is determining your actual needs. It may not be a hot
list of wants, but this step is very important to set realistic expectations and not lead to
disappointment. Consider things such as location, communities, schools, transit and amenities
in determining what you want and need. What locations or communities are you considering?
Do you need to be near schools, recreation facilities, grocery stores, public transit, or other
Now, for those wants. What does your dream home look like? Does it have a pool? A finished
basement? A gorgeous eat-in kitchen? A key to finding your dream home is working with a
mortgage specialist and professional Realtor ® . This will improve your chances of investing in the
best home available to you at the time, or one with established resale value and the potential to
add even more value by undergoing some key renovations.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a key step to buying a home and is also a powerful
negotiating tool when you put in an offer to purchase, especially if the market is favouring
sellers. This step allows you to determine how much you can afford to spend on a home. Ask
your mortgage specialist if you should lock in a guaranteed rate or go the way of a variable rate.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage you’ll need to first talk to a mortgage specialist, then
complete an application to find out how much you qualify for, based on factors such as your
Gross Debt Service and Total Debt Service ratios, and the amount of the down payment. You’ll
then have to gather your financial information to finalize your pre-approval.
Once you have these numbers, work them into your budget and be realistic about what you can
handle. Your financial reflection will show that owning is the smart step to take, but so is
maintaining a healthy and fun lifestyle in the meantime. You don’t want to end up being house
3. Find a Reliable Real Estate Sales Representative
Although some home buyers choose to forgo an agent and take on the process alone, most
home buyers today choose to work with a real estate agent, as your home is likely your most
valuable asset. Real estate professionals provide key market insights, protect your interests and
save you time and money while you’re on the hunt.
With an agent, you won’t have to worry about overpaying for a home, as they’ll provide you
competitive properties and similar homes that have recently sold; they’ll skillfully negotiate the
best price and terms for your new home; and they manage all the minute details and loads of
paperwork thrown your way. They will also be a source of key contacts – mortgage specialists,
home inspectors, lawyers, and contractors/tradespeople to name a few. Plus, they carry
insurance to protect your interests.
4. Start the Search
Now, it’s time to start your search! Approximately 90% of home searches begin online, with
websites available where you can narrow your search to a specific neighbourhood, price range
and other key features.
However, there are a few important things you can’t see online, which is where a real estate
professional can be a huge help. These things include gorgeous homes in great areas that are
sold before making it online; expired listings or private sales; and in depth knowledge about
each property on your list.
5. Offer and Negotiation
Once you find your dream home, it’s time to write up an offer and start the negotiation process.
Your agent will help you determine the best price, terms and conditions, and prepare an offer
that legally protects you. Make sure to review the offer with your agent and that you understand
exactly what you’re agreeing to. Your agent will then present the offer to the seller and negotiate
on your behalf.
6. Condition Removal and Inspection
Once you’ve agreed on the price and terms, if your offer included conditions it’s time to start
satisfying them. One of the most common conditions is a home inspection, which allows you to
inspect the home and saves you from any unpleasant surprises.
If you’re undertaking a home inspection, ensure to enlist a qualified professional that checks
visible issues with plumbing, electrical, roof, ceilings, insulation, etc., and also gives you a
detailed report that summarizes the state of your home.
7. Closing Day Essentials
Closing day will typically come 30 to 90 days after your offer is accepted. Make sure you’re
organized well in advance by taking care of the following things: Legal documentation and
paperwork, down payment and closing costs, moving arrangements and change of address,
property insurance, change in utilities, and school transfers if you have children.
Buying a home is one of the most thrilling and satisfying ventures! Make sure you’re prepared
for home buying by following these steps!