The 10 Steps To Home Ownership
Step One: Determine How Much You Can Afford
Determine how much you can afford. Based on your down payment, income, existing debt, regular expenditures, and other key financial information, we can help you determine how much you can afford to pay every month and the price range that works within your budget. Try our Household Budget worksheet.
Step Two: Investigate Your Mortgage Options
There are many different types of mortgages. If you don’t have the 20% down payment for a conventional mortgage, you can get a high ratio mortgage, combined with mortgage default insurance that allows for a smaller down payment. You should be pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting so you know how much you can afford to spend on a house. Contact us today to speak with one of our experienced Mortgage Brokers.
Step Three: Team Up With a REALTOR®
Finding a real estate agent to help you search for your dream home is important to the home buying process. The best real estate agent will be a combination of a personal advisor, consultant, and negotiator. This expert will show you homes that match your criteria, guide you through the home buying process, and negotiate the best possible price for your home. We are very happy to recommend one of our fabulous real estate partners to you.
Step Four: Retain A Lawyer
It’s important to hire a lawyer who specializes in real estate. You could find yourself in a bidding war for the home you want, and you may want a lawyer to look over any offer to purchase before you submit. A real estate lawyer will also conduct a title search and check for outstanding taxes and liens on the property.
Step Five: House Hunting
Create a wish list – House hunting can be a lengthy process. To save yourself time, know exactly what you want in a home beforehand. Think about your immediate needs, future plans and lifestyle. When you look at homes, you may be tempted to concentrate on the homes, but don’t forget to look at the whole property: the lot, the neighbourhood, the surroundings. How close is the home to facilities and services important to you.
Bring your check-list – When you’re ready to begin shopping for a home, bring along this Home Hunting Comparison Worksheet. You may end up seeing multiple homes in one day. This worksheet will help you compare and keep track of the homes you visit. And help you remember the features you did or didn’t like.
Step Six: Make An Offer
When you’ve found a place that you’d like to call your own, your real estate agent will help you draw up an Offer to Purchase to present to the seller. This legal document specifies the price, the closing date, and any conditions.
Step Seven: Get Your Mortgage Approved
With a copy of the signed Offer to Purchase and the necessary financial information, we’ll submit your application to the mortgage lender that we have selected. The lender will qualify the application and complete a valuation on the property you have purchased.
Mortgage insurance gives you the ability to buy a home with a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
Step Eight: Arrange The Home Inspection & Get Property Insurance
Many buyers consider including a home inspection as one of the conditions on their Offer to Purchase. A professional inspection is a good way to uncover major problems with the home. If the home doesn’t pass the inspection, you can adjust or withdraw your conditional offer.
Apart from the mortgage, you’ll need to purchase property insurance that protects your home against fire and other damages. Once you have a policy in place, forward a copy to your lawyer and mortgage lender.
Step Nine: Complete The Paperwork
A few days before the deal is set to close, you’ll meet with your lawyer to review, sign, and get copies of all the documentation. At this time, you’ll also provide the remainder of your down payment and pay legal fees and any additional costs, such as prepaid utility expenses for which the seller should be reimbursed, that are due on closing.
Step Ten: Pick Up The Keys
On the closing day, your lawyer and the seller’s lawyer will exchange documents and cheques. Your lawyer will also register your new home in your name. When these tasks are complete, you’ll get the deed and your keys to your new home, and you can move in. Congratulations!