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. None better to help you conquer all the paperwork and preparation than a real estate agent who specializes 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 to even consider it. List how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, as well as other things you can't do without. Next, list some amenities you'd like to have in a home. Search through available real estate listings for sale to get an idea about the prices in your local market.

Decide whether you want a freehold single-family home (one in which you pay for all of the home's maintenance), a condominium (a home that charges homeowners' fees to take care of maintenance and common areas), or if you are looking for a cottage, possibly a leasehold (where you own the improvements, but not the land). If you are up in the air about which to choose, you can look over all your options with us and discuss what options may suit best before you buy.

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent

First of all, find a real estate agent that specializes 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. 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 in which you want to buy a home. Knowledge of local market conditions is a must when it comes to a buyer's agent. Finally, make sure that the agent you choose is a good fit with your personality and tastes. Keep in mind that your agent will be working in your interest, so do give them a thorough understanding of what is attracting, or deterring you away 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. Make sure 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. 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. 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 the amenities you need and help drive you around the various neighbourhoods.

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 make a homebuyers checklist to check off whether each home has the amenities you need. Look carefully for issues that may need repairs. Ask us to point out any problems with the homes your are viewing. Make a note to yourself to make your offer contingent on a home inspection. Sometimes, hidden problems -- even ones the owner is not aware of -- can surface during an inspection; you do not want end up buying 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. 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. If you need to sell your current home, you might want to make the offer contingent on your current home's sale.

Know that the home-buying process may involve negotiations. The seller may make a counter offer. If so, 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, do these Things

Have a home inspector look over the home for structural damage. The inspector will check the home's plumbing, its heating, cooling, and electrical systems, as well as its foundation and structural elements. Hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate law to check to make sure that the title is clear and that the home is up to code, to make sure that the homeowner doesn't owe any past property taxes, and to prepare the closing papers.

Find a capable mover. Begin packing early. Label each box with its contents and with 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 make this process stress free!

Get Ready to Close

When the time has come, we will inform you well before closing date what fees you will owe: registration, mortgage application fees, your lawyer's fees, the insurance for your new home, and 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 make sure 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!!). On closing day, then, all you'll have to do is sign a few papers, pick up your keys, and go celebrate.

When you are ready to start looking, we are ready to help. With years of expertise and experience in helping buyers select their dream home, he can help you find yours. To start your hunt for your ideal home, call (800) 886-4713 today.