Buying a house should be an exciting time but it can get pretty stressful, not only for first time home buyers, but for move-up buyers as well. The number one worry is finding problems after moving in. The next worry is that prices will drop and the house won’t be worth the original purchase price. You can reduce some of that stress and worry by putting together a team of experts who will guide you through the entire process.
It starts with a mortgage professional who will take a look at your finances, including your credit score, to qualify you for a mortgage. A lot of information about you and your credit management abilities come up during this process. For example, derogatory items may be on your report, but that doesn’t necessarily deny your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Everyone’s situation is different and a mortgage agent is familiar with most situations, and can offer options.
Once you know the amount of house you qualify for, you can confidently work with a Realtor to find the right home for you. On average, home buyers spend five months house-hunting and visit 10 locations before deciding to buy. It’s certainly a good idea to take your time to make sure to get the house that’s right for you. Interestingly, a 2013 BMO Psychology of House Hunting report found that 33% of home buyers felt rushed into making a purchase – that increased to 39% for first timers. Sixty-eight per cent were prepared to settle for a home that was less than perfect. Four-fifths of prospective buyers said they know a home is right for them as soon as they step inside. So, you may not be alone.
Once you’ve put together the Offer to Purchase with a Realtor, working with a trusted lawyer is the best way to make sure there are no surprises at closing. The bottom line is to take your time, work with professionals and do some research.
Here are the suggested steps to make sure you get on the right track and into your new home:
- Determine the location and the type of home to suit your needs. Most people will have an idea of where they want to purchase their new home based largely on familiarity and convenience. For example, living close to work or schools might be a priority, or selecting a certain area of town with parks and amenities, and/or walkability scores. This is also a good time to think about how much you want to spend and what you can afford.
- Get your finances in order. During the pre-approval process is a good time to make sure you have the finances to cover your down payment and disbursements on your anticipated purchase.
- Start your home search. How you find the perfect property is entirely up to you. Many home buyers enlist the services of a Realtor. It’s important to only look at homes within your budget.
- Hire professional services. You will need a lawyer to complete a real estate transaction. A real estate lawyer ensures your paperwork is correct and that the transaction is complete. They will review the contract and mortgage documents, conduct a title search, purchase title insurance on your behalf, register the property in your name, get signatures, prepare a Statement of Adjustments that shows the amount you will pay in closing costs, and collect and disburse fees.
- Hire a home inspector. Home inspections have become part of the homebuying process for both new home purchases or resales. It might seem like a waste of money to pay for a home inspection for a newly-constructed home, but you might consider getting an inspection a few months before the expiration of the New Home Warranty. Better to be safe.
- Insurance agent. Lenders will require you to have fire insurance. An insurance agent can help you find the best coverage and the best price.
- Make an offer. This is done by presenting the seller with an Offer to Purchase. Sellers have the right to accept, reject or counter offer. Remember to include all necessary details in your purchase offer. The deposit will be paid, in trust, to the Realtor.
If you’re planning on purchasing a first home or a new home, then get started with a mortgage professional.