Home Buyers Guide to Purchasing Real Estate in Ontario
Purchasing a property is the single biggest investment you are ever likely to make. With this in mind, choosing the right property and navigating the buying process with care is essential. Choosing the best Real Estate Agents plays a vital role in a successful house purchase - this is where choosing the right REALTOR® can help. Take a look at our home buyers guide containing essential tips to help you complete a stress-free purchase.
Considerations Before You Buy
Before you do anything else, it is helpful to prepare yourself by gathering essential knowledge about the local real estate markets you are interested in. Developing your understanding of how the current real estate market is performing will provide beneficial information, such as: is the market hot or cold? Is it a buyers' market or a sellers' market? Having the right answers will help guide your purchase decisions and put you in the best position for negotiations.
Here are some of the factors to consider before you start searching for that perfect property:
What is the average selling price for properties in the local area?
How long are homes taking to sell at the current time?
Are there any restrictions on purchasing properties currently in place?
Carrying our research around these questions will ensure you are fully prepared with all the knowledge you need to begin your property search.
What type of Home Best Suits your Needs?
As well as building your understanding of the current real estate market and its performance, it is also crucial to consider the type of home that you want to buy. Choosing the ideal home for your needs is essential to ensure that you can live there comfortably for many years to come.
Purchasing the wrong home and discovering that it does not suit your needs can be an expensive mistake to make. Therefore, it is worth thinking carefully about what you want from your new property. Considering your non-negotiables and your preferences for your next home is a great place to start. This will help you make an informed decision when the time comes to begin looking at properties for sale.
Consider your Non-Negotiables
Your non-negotiables are the features your new home must have to make it suitable for you to live in. Non-negotiables will nearly always be the aspects of a property you cannot change after you purchase it or those that would be too expensive to change. Examples of non-negotiables include the following:
The minimum number of bedrooms that your new property needs to have.
The type of property you need. For example, are you looking for Condominiums, or will you only consider Single Family Homes?
The specific location that you would prefer to live in.
Needing the new property to have specific outside space, such as a backyard or driveway parking.
Think about your Preferences
Once you have made a list of your non-negotiables, you can move on to thinking about further preferences that you have for the property. These are the features that you would prefer to have at your new home but are not essential. Examples of preferences you may have for your next home include:
Large amounts of outdoor space.
A pool or home gym.
Scenic views from the property.
Outside buildings for storage included in the selling price.
Dividing up your wants and needs for your property so that you have a clear idea of what you definitely need from a home and which features would be preferable will ensure that you can make quick decisions when searching for a property. Having such a clear idea of what you want from your new home will mean you are less likely to miss out when the right house comes onto the market.
Do you have a Specific Neighbourhood in Ontario in Mind?
The location of your new home is one thing that you won’t be able to change. For this reason, location is considered the most crucial variable to consider when searching for a property. If you already have a neighbourhood in mind, it is worth researching this in more depth to get an idea of how much you can expect to pay for a property in that location.
If you are currently unsure where you want to live, then clarifying what you want from an area is a great way to begin narrowing down your options. Some factors to consider when selecting a location to start your house search include the following:
How good are the local schools?
What amenities are in the local area?
Are crime rates low?
Is there an active community?
Finding out as much as you can about a location before you start viewing properties will help you to determine if it is the right neighbourhood for you and enables you to focus your search.
What size of Mortgage do you Qualify for?
Getting your finances in order before you begin your property search will save you a lot of hassle further down the line. Nothing is worse than finding that perfect property only to discover that you cannot afford it. So, to disappointment, starting the pre-approval mortgage process before you do anything else is advisable.
Ensuring you have a down payment saved and ready to use is also crucial. Saving a 20 percent down payment on the purchase price of a property would be the ideal scenario. However, mortgages are available to many people buying properties under $500,000, meaning you only need a 5 percent down payment. But, if you proceed with a 5 percent down payment, you will likely need CMHC mortgage protection insurance.
When you schedule your appointment, you will need to provide several documents along the way. Some of these items include:
Photo ID (government-issued)
Proof of address
Proof of income
Employers contact details
Proof of down payment
Proof of savings / investments
Details of any current debts
What kind of Home can you Afford?
While a pre-approval mortgage is not the same as a final mortgage offer, it will help you to gain a much clearer idea of how much you can afford to borrow. You will then be able to conduct your property search with a realistic understanding of the type of property that you can afford to buy and the neighbourhoods you can afford to live in.
Pre-approval mortgages are not only helpful for showing you how much you can likely borrow but also show you how much you can expect to spend in monthly mortgage payments. This is an excellent way to understand what your finances are likely to look like when you buy a property and how much of your income will be spent on mortgage payments.
Do you have a REALTOR® to Guide you through the Process?
Whether you are First-Time Buyers or second, third, or fourth-home buyers, having experienced, knowledgeable REALTORS® working with you is invaluable. Choosing the right Real Estate Agents committed to helping you find the perfect home will make it much easier and faster to complete your property search. Working with the right agent will also connect you with the other professionals that will help your property purchase run smoothly, such as a home inspector and lawyer.
It is also essential to find a local REALTOR® as they can use their extensive local knowledge to find you a home that matches your needs. In addition, this local REALTOR® will guide you through the purchase process to get the best possible deal for your new property.
The Buying Process
Finding the perfect property is an exciting time, and you will likely want to get the deal completed as soon as possible. Here is what the buying process typically looks like once you have found a property that you love:
— Seek advice from your agent on a reasonable offer price for the property based on their local knowledge and expertise.
— Write the offer to the seller stating the property name and address, the offer amount, items you want included in the purchase, how long the offer is valid for, the closing day you would like for the purchase, and any conditions that need to be met. You will likely find that you need to go back and forth negotiating on offers a few times before an offer is accepted.
— When the offer is accepted, you will need to contact your mortgage lender to complete the financing arrangements. You will also need to arrange your CMHC mortgage protection insurance at this stage.
— On closing day you will need to attend your lawyer's office to complete the signings. The payment for the property will be made, the home will be registered in your name, and you will receive the deeds and keys.
Finding the Best Real Estate Agents in Ontario
Buying real estate can be a long and sometimes stressful process. However, with the best REALTOR® on hand to help, you can ensure the home-buying process is a lot simpler to navigate. Find a qualified REALTOR® with expert knowledge of your local area to guide you when buying your next property, to make buying the perfect property easier.
Have questions about buying real estate and don't know where to begin? Connect with the best real estate agents to guide you.
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