Thinking about Buying a Home?

Just for Home Buyers

When you decide to buy a home, you need to prepare yourself to face the challenges. There is nothing better to help you conquer all the paperwork and preparation than a real estate agent specializing in helping home buyers find that perfect home at a price that will not break the bank.

As professional REALTORS® like us who have gathered home buying tips to help you find your way home -- to your new dream home!

Decisions, Decisions

You have done your research, and now you are ready to buy a house. Next, you have a few more decisions to make.

First of all, you need to list your deal-breakers, those things your home must-have for you even to consider it. List how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need and other things you can't do without. Next, list some amenities you'd like to have in a home. Finally, search through available real estate listings for sale to get an idea about the prices in the local markets you are interested in.

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent

First of all, find a real estate agent specializing in helping home buyers. A specially trained REALTOR® can best guide you into finding homes for sale that meet your criteria and fit within your budget. Next, ask potential agents for references. They should be able to provide you with a long list of satisfied customers. Learn how many years they have lived in the area where you want to buy a home. Knowledge of local market conditions is a must for a buyer's agent. Finally, make sure that the agent you choose is a good fit for your personality and tastes. Keep in mind that your agent will be working in your interest, so give them a thorough understanding of what is attracting or deterring you from a potential home.

Get your Finances in Order

Set a realistic budget. If you need to finance your home, you will need to make a down payment. Ensure you have enough to cover the down payment, the mortgage payments, and any estimated maintenance costs or homeowners' association fees. If at all possible, get pre-approved by a chosen lender. This way, you can lock down your interest rate and know what you can spend even before you begin looking at homes. If you plan to pay cash, factor in repairs and maintenance costs over the years. Then, make sure your income can cover those expenses before you buy.

Go House-Hunting

Go House Hunting for Homes for Sale

If you do not have a particular neighbourhood in mind, ask us for recommendations based on your needs. For example, if you need stores, parks, schools, and public transit within walking distance, those considerations may limit your choice of neighbourhoods. We know Grey Bruce and South Georgian Bay and can steer you towards the amenities you need and help drive you around the various communities.

Ask about how property values have changed within the past few years. A neighbourhood on the downturn may not be a good choice, particularly if you want to resell the home in a few years.

While looking at homes for sale, take photos and take a homebuyer's checklist to check whether each house has the amenities you need. Look carefully for issues that may need repairs. Ask us to point out any problems with the homes you are viewing. Make a note to yourself to make your offer contingent on a home inspection. Sometimes, issues hidden -- even ones the owner is unaware of -- can surface during a home inspection; you do not want to buy a money pit.

Make an Offer

Here is where you need the expertise of REALTORS® like us the most to make sure you have all your bases covered. First, your offer should be contingent upon a home inspection unless you want to buy an "As-Is" fixer-upper. If you want appliances, furniture, or repairs, have us write that into your offer. Finally, if you need to sell your current home, you might want to make the offer contingent on your existing home's sale.

Know that the home-buying process may involve negotiations. The seller may make a counteroffer. Make sure that you have examined all the terms before accepting that counter offer. As hard as it may be, try to avoid emotional attachment to the home before the deal is closed. If it is not a good deal, walk away.

Before Closing

Have a home inspector look over the home for structural damage. The inspector will check the home's plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical systems, foundation, and structural elements.

Hire a lawyer specializing in real estate law to check to make sure that the title is clear and that the home is up to code, make sure that the homeowner doesn't owe any past property taxes, and prepare the closing papers.

Find a capable mover. Begin packing early. Label each box with its contents and the room it will occupy in the new home. Make sure to wrap up any remaining loose ends at your former home. Transfer your utility and cable bills to your new residence, and notify Canada Post a few days before your big move. Lastly, create a home movers checklist to help stress-free this process!

Get Ready to Close

When the time has come, we will inform you well before the closing date what fees you will owe:

  1. Registration
  2. Mortgage application fees
  3. Your lawyer's fees
  4. The insurance for your new home
  5. Other closing costs

Keep in mind that these costs will vary from property to property, so do some homework with your lender/lawyer in advance. A good buyer's agent will ensure you've taken care of everything since it's easy to forget a few things when you face a mountain of paperwork (including dinner on moving day!!). Then, on closing day, all you'll have to do is sign a few papers, pick up your keys, and celebrate.

When you are ready to start looking, we are prepared to help. We have years of expertise and experience in assisting buyers in finding that dream home.