Finding the perfect home doesn't happen in one day. It takes careful planning and lots of work. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to simplify the process. The Canadian Real Estate Association created a checklist to help you navigate through the process. Here are some of the highlights:
Things to Consider Before Starting Your Search
1. What Features Do You Need?
Do you need an extra bathroom, a garage, a fenced backyard, or lower utility bills? Do you want a fireplace, a short drive to work, or maybe minimal yard work? Once your list is complete, decide what’s most important to you.
2. What’s the Ideal Location?
Where you live obviously affects your lifestyle. It’s also one of the most significant influences on the value of your home. Your choice of location may be somewhat limited by the price you can afford. Even so, make sure to consider such things as distance to work, schools, shopping and entertainment.
3. What Kind of Home?
What type of property do you want? A single-family detached home is attractive to many people because it typically provides more living space and land. On the other hand, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice for you, with an emphasis on maintenance-free living. Determine what type of home best suits your desired lifestyle and budget.
4. What’s Your Budget?
How much do you want to spend? Just as importantly, how much do you have to spend? Note there are numerous additional expenses (detailed below) that you’ll pay to complete the purchase of a home.
5. Choosing a REALTOR®
A realtor can help you answer all of these questions and help you navigate through what can be a complicated business transaction. It’s important that you’re comfortable and confident with the agent you choose.
6. Searching For a Home
A realtor will use various tools to try and find properties that meet your specifications. Your realtor can quickly search through numerous properties available for sale in specific areas to find suitable listings; that is, houses that best match your needs, choice of neighbourhoods and price range.
7. Extra Expenses
No matter what type of home or property you're buying, plan on some extra expenses.
ü A land transfer tax (a sales tax on property)
ü An appraisal fee if required
ü Surveying costs or title insurance
ü A high-ratio mortgage insurance premium
ü An interest adjustment. (Mortgages are normally calculated from the first of each month. If your closing date is the same as the beginning of your mortgage, there will be no adjustment. However, if your closing date is July and you move in on June 15, those last 15 days are the interest adjustment period. Your lender will expect you to cover the cost of the interest during that time.)
ü Reimbursement to seller for the unused portion of any prepaid property taxes or utility bills
ü Legal fees and realtor fees
Buying a home can be an exciting experience and a great realtor can help make that experience just that. If you'd like to begin your search, feel free to contact me at (250) 305-7034 and we can start moving forward with the plan.